Travelled less than a mile, worked 1 lock in a time of 25 minutes.
Unlike a lot of the country we did not have any snow over night, we did however have a lot of rain and the wind got up blowing us about a bit. This morning we sat in bed and discussed options for the day. I was all for moving the boat below Uxbridge Lock, because the weather forecast is suggesting we may get snow later on and I did not fancy working the lock in the snow for safety reasons, so at 8 am it was up and out of bed for me. Paddy and I went off for his morning walk up the towpath.
The Ring-necked Parakeet (Psittacula Krameri Manillensis) was happily chirping away. We have seen quite a few of them this past few days. There are now up to 40,000 of the wild parrots thought to be in London and the South-East, in areas such as Richmond Park. The legend has it the birds escaped from Shepperton Studios in Surrey, during filming of the 1951 movie The African Queen starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. But you may know better. Since they started breeding in the wild in 1969, the ring necked parakeet has become London's 15th most common bird.
Having walked Paddy and had breakfast, I walked down to the moorings below Uxbridge Lock to see if there would be room for us for the night and only found two other boats moored up, and so plenty of room.
I had shut the bottom gates on my return from walking to the moorings earlier, so the lock was almost full when we got to it with the boat. The bottom gates are quite a weight, so a bit of brute force and ignorance was needed.
By the time we exited the lock and left the bridge behind, the wind was getting up and the temperature had dropped, so we were waiting for a down pour.
The bollards outside of the Swan and Bottle Pub are not set apart enough for 70ft boats, so Keith put a chain in for the stern and I used a bollard for the bow. Keith had a look at the menu board at the pub and saw that they were doing a lunch menu for £4.95 each and as it was Friday we both fancied a Fish and Chip lunch which was to be washed down with a pint each of Bombardier. The service was excellent as was the food, so a must go to again pub.
We are off into dry dock tomorrow and so I have sorted out the paint, taken off the hold ropes that need washing and got everything together we are going to need to do our blacking.