Tuesday 29th August 2017 The earliest arising of Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!! & his (mostly) (sumthymes) Merry Cru Aye ! Aye !! Cap’n !!! is be indicated bye the ty-red-ness of eyes. A real, Proper crews is this day, to be travelled. Up & swimming bye 6.30am. Yes !! MAD !!! A vessel of spin points us downstream agin & the magnificently shinny brass gates of old Hampton Court Palace ‘av disappeared wey behind. Craft & cru’s arrival at Teddington be a very smooth 7.45am glide through open upper lock gates behind three cruisers. nb:Black Bart being closely followed in bye the second (& last) of our narrowboat convoy nb:Green Buoys.
We is all safely floating in Teddington ‘Launch Lock’. A comfortably Large Watery stair this Beast. The ‘Barge Lock’ starboard of our current position is be the ‘Monster’, at nearly fore thymes the length of this mear midget of an aqua-lift. The Baby ‘Skiff Lock’ to port, is a wee bit tight on length & width for our Bart, but still be quite a sizeable boaty container. Tis hardly a thyme of vertical travel be-fore the bottom (titter ! titter !!) gates are Swung Wide Open & Weir Off……. Three cruisers is be whizzing a’whey, leaving us slow ‘coaches’ (slow boats to Brentford) in their wake. Narrowboat convoy chuggens oat into the Deep Deep Wide Tideway, waiving a cheery goodbye to the lock keeper. High tide be due at aboat 8.30am so we is against the final ‘up-hill’ ebb, but will be swishing with it, ‘down-hill’ before the delights of the River Brent be ready to welcome us back agin.
We stay in formation as we is swishing along, passed the home of England Rugby
& the interestingly colourful Eel Pie Island with it’s array of inventors, artists, craftsmen and boat builders, who decorate their houses, studios and little alley-weys in all wheys unimaginable. Downly we swim through
Horses Reach, racing us to Glover’s Ait, swinging ones Fine Craft roand, lining up our course towards the next thoroughly enjoyable bend of the Big water’s ‘S’ & two thow’s
tittler Richmond Ait. Soonish aft, it’s larger namesake, be there on the ‘main land’. Just there, on the horizon, oat yonder North. The steam engines roar across our path, floating int’ sky above (unsurprisingly) (the ‘above’ bit), followed bye those udder strange wheeled vehiculars. As we is swimming under rail & road there be a Magnificent structure to the fore, that be
Richmond Lock, barrage & foot bridge. Just a tittle downstream. The barrage be raised/lowered to maintain a navigable depth of water upstream of Richmond eiver side of high tide. Tis ensuring there all-weys be sufficient depth of the rivery wet stuff all the whey from Richmond to Teddington. & back. We is knot required to be negotiating the ‘half-tide’ lock, so swim straight through the ‘cleared’ barrages.
The lock be just over there, now we is passed the architectural/engineering masterpiece. The long natural tree covered haven that be
Isleworth Ait/Eyot is knot long aft. Muchly non-human life enjoys sanctuary ‘ere maties. Aaaarrrggh !!! Aye ! Aye !! Cap’n !!! It sure be do that !!! Aaaarrrggh !!! !!! (Bonkers !) (Yes !!) Bart tacks to starboard as the isle’s Northerly tip marks our final tidal ‘run’, flanked bye Sion House to the West & Kew Gardens to the East. Be-fore Bart makes Lot’s Ait or Kew Palace
Cap’n hath swung our Marvellous Vessel to port, through quite a sharp angle, crossing the current barrelling it’s ripples towards London & chugged the watery arm to Brentford Locks. It be 9.00am. That were Great. The lock keeper duly opens the gates & our tittle convoy of two is safely raised & gurgled int’ path of the River Brent. A slow careful twisty course passed many a (slightly strange) houseboat & the gauging locks have leaped our narrow boats up yet further. Brentford don’t hold us fore long. Soonest we two (of convoy) is through & be-fore we hardly knowing it, upping we Aaaarrrggh !!! using the magic of climbing water in Clitheroe’s chamber. Pleasantness of water climbing aside, the River Brent’s horizontals be dark, silted, gloopy & difficult-ness of traversings. Knot easy wading this bog. Very Slowly does it. Osterley whips our boaty cavalcade yet higher into the upper reaches of our brief Brent experience. Good to be gliding moor pleasant flows up ‘ere. Hanwell’s plethora of magic water climbs is stair-ing down at us be-fore knot very muchly of those rivery furlongs. Old Brent is off to starboard, heading North while we is joining the Grand Union Canal, climbing West.
A lovely memorial to a young loss, bye the side Hanwell Lock, second up.
Our Beautiful Roxy (utherwise called ‘1st mate’ when duties need to be carried oat)
Sumthymes Piglet or Gizmo.
Specially if those spotty ‘ears Aaaarrrggh !!! standing to Attention !!
Which they is definitely knot doing so like today.
The former county asylum’s dock were up ‘ear. Listen carefully and one might catch the occasional cry in the ‘istorical wind blowing through. Opened in 1831 the 1st Middlesex County Asylum (also known as Hanwell Insane Asylum, and Hanwell Pauper & Lunatic Asylum) were highly regarded, providing a haven of benevolence fore many a poor soul. A well earnt reputation being gained fore treating those in Great need with therapy & kindness. Knot the practices ‘offered’ bye some such establishments.
The slow aqua-stair climb continues fore our Bart and small(er) companion.
Don’t know wot on earth to do aboat this lot of darned confusing uply downlies.
Cap’n Bart & cru (of eight legs & counting) is enjoying our hexagon of ascension, finished off beautifully with the glide through Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s 1859 ‘Three Bridges’. Road over canal aqueduct over railway. An unusually marvellous bye-gone combo. Aft our hexagonal set of very wide, deep, wet steps & this triple ‘event’ we is into the final scramble, scaling Hanwell & Norwood aquelevators. Now on the level fore the forthcoming, windlasses is in storage agin And with old Lister chuggen slowly & maties propulsing Bart we is all flowing through the wetter delights of Southall. Many furlongs & many ‘ers pass as we troggen through the heat of the day. Mad Englishmen & all that. Although Cap’n Black Bart be from those Welsh lands be-fore he became a ‘slave’ to the sea.
Finally. We make it. The Paddington Arm (of the GU Canal). We got to get old Bart turned & through that titchy tittle aperture under that white thing to starboard. You’re ‘aving a laugh maties. It’s OK. That tittle semi-circle of blackness got bigger & bigger as we approached & Bart swung into position. It grew into a Bart sized blackness. Thankfully. And through, back into the light we came, now on the watery jaunt into Old London Town. We the merry(ish) cry & our (un-legged) but still steady steed glide on passed a few ‘dotted’ craft. Tis Northolt (4.30pm) wear Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!! spies the ideal berthing pool in which to drop anchor for a very well earnt rest through the darkness ‘ers of the coming night. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………..
Wednesday 30th August We enjoyed pretty good river cruising weather yesterday. Today the rains ‘av arrived. That’s OK. Knot a problem. Stern umbrella up. (Yes !! We do ‘av one of them matey bloggets). Swim the dark waters of the canal we shall. Onward !! Aye ! Aye !! Cap’n !!! Aaaarrrggh !!! !!! Tis a pleasant if slow (& if soggy) wander down this wettery path to Paddington.
The number of anchored craft adorning the Paddington Arm has noticeably increased since past visitations. In areas where there used to be either none or just the occasional boat, now there be continuous lines of floating homes. Many an anchored vessels.
All manor of shapes & sizes. A-Mai-Zing !!!
Noting to worry aboat ‘ear maties !!! Anyone seen the medic ??
Tis a slowly tick-overy sort of chuggen we is enjoying. Many ‘ers of thyme & furlongs of distance Aaaarrrggh !!! is be traversed in wetly (above & below) conditions, taken nb:Black Bart & crew finally passed Tittle Venice, into Paddington Basin. We Cannee git in Cap’n !! Aboat turn. Back oat we must go. London where Nice. Off to Birmingham we shall go……. Knot really. Back to the knot so large Venezia (of Old London Town) where 1st mate had spied a likely Barty sized lagoon just a few ‘ers back. Luckily fore us it still be lagooning.
Rafted up abreast (naughty) like. Aft a few deep breaths & a very long drip drying process (no air drying possible in these continuing wetnesses)
Cru is off to find our boaty buddy of the Extremely Good ship ‘Venezia de Renaissance’. Rich Fruity Broan Sauce be Far too Muchly Enjoyed bye both crews. That is all you is going to be knowing aboat that.
And Looking through the Round Window. Good Night ! Sleep Tight !! Dry Oat !!!
Thursday 31st August The last day of the year. Sorry !! Start agin. The last day of the month. Wot a Wonderful month of Bartyness is certainly hath bean. We’re All Going On A Bear Hunt !!! Don’t Be Silly ! To be moor exacting, we crews of two is off jaunting in the Big Red noisy jiggerly tings. Wot FUN !!! We is travelling all aboat the houses. Thyme just wanders aboat us. One day, many moons later our destination hath arrived.
The wonderfully green, grassy, woody, hilly Hemstede is where we is at.
Hampstead Heath to you lesser mortals. Magnificent views over the Big City
Tis dizzyingly high up ‘ere & quite a few strange peoples walking aboat too.
The Magnificently Grand ‘Iveagh Bequest’ (Kenwood House to sum) casts it’s eye over the local from the pinnacle of the heath. Dating back aboat three centuries.
Interesting wall decorations
& the old Galley (kitchen if one doesnee understand)
Great this hath been saved for posterity.
In addition to the fine architecture & interior delights, aspecially the library, there be an extensive gallery of fine art (Sorry !! No pics available at thyme of ‘going to press’) assembled by Lord Iveagh (he of the Guinness lot) who bought the house from the long standing Mansfield family in 1925 and left it to the nation upon his death in 1927. If you is ever in the area then Yes !! You Must !! We the crews on foot stop for a delightfully flavoursome honeycomb ice cream. Muchly yummies in our tummies !! Refreshed, we is off on a long walk continuation, working our whey to Hampstead village,
a dizzifying place of heady heights, fine brickwork, splendid tiles, chimneys, towers (& much much moor), passing through old haunts of our companion-la-Renaisance-de-Cap’n. Many minutes further in thyme we almost trip over (could of hurt ourselves there) the holly Bush. Knot of the prickly green variety. moor of the watering hole variety.
General consensus being to sit for a well earnt rest & relax. Wot a Fine selection. Knot sure wot to do now. Aft an unknown period of seconds followed by leg stretching a’plenty, those wheels go round & roand on that Big Red Vehicular as we descend this very mountainous area of Ye olde’ London Town, rolling back down to sea (canal) level.
Friday 1st September One departs. The next arrives. Welcome September to 2017 we do. Welcome !! A Barty jobs day of t’is & t’at. Nothing too exciting, fortunately for cru. Even moor so, 1st mate.
Saturday 2nd September We is expecting guests today so following frantic boat work (similar to your house worky type tings) (if you is living in one of those brick/wood/cob/wot-ever constructions) we can perch carefully on the plumped cushions for the few minutes we have free. Cap’ns Croft & Croft from the Good Ship ‘Jammie’ appear roand the headland aft a tiring voyage. The cannons fire. Boom !! Boom !!! Just a welcome ‘salute’. Pirate vessel safely anchored. You will knot be surprised to learn the fruity broan sauce is plentiful in abundance. A few days later we is off to William the Conqueror’s 1068 delightfully constructed Warwick Castle where a
Feast fit for Kings & Queens (Pirates two) is munched, chumbled & mandicated through. Most Scrumptiousness !! Our Pirate Cap’ns Aaaarrrggh !!! on their whey. Anchor raised, sails open & a fair wind wafts them on their next bon voyage. Sea you agin soon ‘chums’.
Sunday 3rd September Skip Skippet & 1st mate is off fore a foot troggen this morn. A good seventy odd minutes of positive leg striding takes our cru from Tittle Venezia to Battersea Park Just a quick swim across the Thames fishes off the journey.
Battersea Doggies annual reunion day it be. First one Roxy managed to come to since joining us ‘ear in Bart World three years ago. Three years. Incredible. 1st mate be easily distracted as usual, forgetting to wag that normally Very Waggy Tail in the waggy-est tail competition. Silly girl. Aft a Fine day with lots of doggies & doggy things cru decide to commence the foot race back home to our Bart.
River Thames Vista, East from Albert Bridge. (Keeping dry this thyme)
Natural History Museum. Magnificent structure
Just one moor of the fine buildings adorning London’s streets
The Fabulous 1871 Royal Albert Hall
The Splendid 1872 Albert Memorial
Royal Park ice-cream Rolls Royce. Moor classy than Mr. Whippy & ‘is pals.
Monday 4th September Moor guests we ‘av ‘ere in Bart World. Ridiculous !! All is Big steamy choo choo-ing to Bart World. Cru of HMS Gloucester & Sea Mistress of the Orange Anchor. All cru of Bart can say it a Fine Fun day of no ketchup is ‘ad & the famous Castle in Warwick pulls it oat the bag (so to speak) agin !! ‘nough said.
Tuesday 5th September Thee need a slower start & recovery aft recent thymes. Once equilibrium is been resumed, int’ aft’noon, Skip & Skippet is tubing to & under the Thames to St. Thomas’ to visit our Queen of ‘the Gateway to the South’. A series of Most unfortunate events has dealt the card of misfortune. Luckily, corrective action has secured the situation Good & proper like, so that road of amelioration can be travelled very soon.
Wednesday 6th September We delayed moving on from the departure lagoon yesterday as moor important events needed our attention, but now Cap’n Black Bart needs to ready ‘is cru. All hands hoay ! Avast ye !! Aye ! Aye !! Cap’n !!! Yo-ho-ho !!! Cockswain ! Abaft !! Poop deck !!! Engage……..
‘Ship’ & all her cru is safely chuggen oat’ busy port o’Tittle Venezia.
Heading West, passed the life boats. Knot ‘All Steam Ahead’ though. A casual, calm approach. Don’t make any waives. This must be a stealth like glide away from
Ye olde London Town.
With all the bustling busy-ness.
And the Wonderful city wildlife.
It were a pleasure.
But go we must.
Cru don’t live ‘ear any moor.
The swathe of
taut anchor chains
Aaaarrrggh !!! carefully
negotiated bye our
skilful Cap’n Black Bart
Aaaarrrggh !!! !!!
(just cause we can)
(A few piratey calls is be
just fore FUN !!! )
(It’s wot pirates is
supposed to do. Init)
Quartermaster ‘as to be appeased enroute, then we is off agin, flying over the Big Aqueduct. An’udder staticness later on there be, as the foul smelly tanks need to be washed oat & refreshed, as is one of the many regular chores for the bilge rat you Swabber. Knot always ‘talked aboat as the old noses start to twitch uncontrollably. Tis a necessity y’no. Land Ho! We can rest easy lads. Maties !! A safe port for t’night.
Thursday 7th September The winds up today. Heave Ho ! so with gusto in them sails we is making storming thyme. Tis only a few darknesses before we is changing tack fore Yiewsley, a prized jewel of a port fore salty seadog pirates like we Aaaarrrggh !!! !!! Bart weathers the sudden squalls as we is roanding the Westerly tip of Drayton’s headland swishing through the last furlongs int’ calmer waters, suffering only a mild swell. Tis quite a fair few furlongs further be-fore Bart can be spun roand safely & head back to our chosen sheltered anchorage. Safely anchored we Aaaarrrggh !!! to end an interesting voyage. And there, appearing oat of the mist be Cap’n Murk & ‘is fear-sum raggedy bunch of (partly) kooky meshuggeners. Shiver Me Timbers !!! Luckily for Cap’n Black Bart & cru (& the udder lot) aft a few rufty tufty set-twos we is now all maties. Aaaarrrggh !!! Me Hearties !!! Aaaarrrggh !!! !!! With all that Funny stuff salted. We is relishing a Most Fine evening of salmagundi & grog. Cheers !!! Chink ! CHINK !! CHINK !!!
Friday 8th September Fore this reasonably fine day nb:Black Bart & cru shall knot be moving very far. Just the occasional movement created by watery ripples, the odd, passing boat & the spasmodic, (unfortunately) floating vessel, ignorantly moronically overly scutters passed. Sum is just so densely, empty-headed, egocentrically egotistical gits !!! It’s aboat thyme authorities of the wet stuff started to wheedle these tittle runts oat of the boaties world so the rest of us fair minded considerate skips, skippets & crews can get on with enjoying our Wonderful Water Worlds without suffering their selfish speeding passed udder boaty-nesses.
SLOW DOWN PROPERLY WHEN PASSING MOORED BOATS. PLEASE !!!
Mayhaps Cap’n Bart needs to start loading the cannons & blowing such selfish ‘things’ oat o’t’water. They won’t be able to float bye at any speed then Will They !!!
Saturday 9th September Splitting today. Cru, that is. Skippet has climbed int’one of them noisy multi-wheeled steamy (knot a single or plural camel involved) vehiculars, whizzing at almost incredible speeds all the whey to deepest darkest Kent. Wot a party !!! Very sophisticated apparently. None of that loud groggy led type soirees sum ‘people’ might like to partake of. Skip & 1st mate spend a mad frantic day visiting many a Yiewsley establishment to keep old (blooming) quartermaster ‘appy. It’s just plain difficult !!! keeping sum tittled personages content ‘ear in Bart World. I tell ya !!! Rea-dik-you-luss !!! !!!
Sunday 10th September Shall we go fore a tittle walk cru ?? Yes. Why knot. Why knot indeed. Back ‘up’ to Cowley Peachey Junction & West we go, trudging along the knot so wet bit of the Grand Union Slough Arm. It’s a Blooming long wey 1st mate! Woof !! Woof !!! is the only ‘printable’ response we receive. Many Many aches & pains later we finally, almost fall upon the Slough Canal Festival. A spellbinding plethora of floating craft is almost completely blocking the already busy waterway. The adjacent field has been transformed into a grassy Fun filled (open air) (of course) (did say it were a field, sillies !! ) auditorium !!! The displays & wears on view is be quite extraordinary. Aft muchly enjoyments we tye-red souls be plodding & slogging back East.
Luckily fore us
eight legged cru
the rolling, steamly
vehicular saves the day.
Langley be our saviour.
Leading us all the wey to
West Drayton & the
comforting relaxing Barticus.
Blooming ‘eck. That were Mad !!! Excitingly exhaustingly Mad !!!
Monday 11th September Mayhaps we is ‘aving Very Sadly Goodbyes with our Piratey Chums, but Cap’n Murk is taking ’em off on their next voyage & Cap’n Black Bart is taking us Quite Where We Do Knot Know !! Yet. Will find oat when we is getting there.
The local Canal Art & sculptures is most artistically talents like. Aft an admiring glance or too we continue our crews in the wind & rain. Chuggen all the whey to Norwood Lock, closely followed bye the ‘Seven’ Hanwell locks. Thyming were unfortunate as a wide beam boat pulled off a mooring above the first lock just ahead of our craft, so we end up following, own-sum like, as they descend the big wide stairwell ahead, at the fore. All the locks now being ‘against’ our craft & cru as we have to watery fill every chamber prior to being able to use them. ‘Cause they is emptying the chambers so they can get down & oat to the next one, each damp step at a thyme. A slow process. Eight large slimy stairs later & we ‘av ourselves a pleasant stretch of horizontal River Brent flow traversing our trusty steed of a vessel to Osterley Lock where a slow aqua-dive lowers we all gently to the next watery pound. Tis ‘ear Bart & cru duth find a certain wide beam boat in difficulty. Stuck !! Going no-where maties !!! ‘aving pulled over to allow ‘is cru back on board, half a furlong ‘below’ Osterley Lock, the silted-up & debris filed black liquid of these ‘ere parts had sucked ’em in & down to an un-required state of secured staticness. A previously berthed narrowboat be trying to help pull them back off the canal bed obstruction(s). Skippet leaps too with barge pole, trying to magic a solution to the stuck sticky-ness. Skip manages to anchor Bart bow-to & centre lined to hold the ‘old-girl’ safe. Returning along the towpath to offer additional assistance. Tis quite a while later, aft hopeful signs of limited movement, all concerned have to grudgingly admit defeat. Knot summit that be-coming of us boaty peoples. Cap’n Wide & cru will ‘av to beat the bongo drums & summon moor expertly rescue type peoples & muchly of heaving & hoiking type equipments. We wish them well, hopefully they knot be suctioned there for two many months. With ‘is own cru safely back on Board Cap’n Black Bart commands Lister & friends. Especially old gearbox. Engage !!
Soon(ish) aft these too fine fellows, Clitheroe’s Chamber of descention brings us down (unsurprisingly) to the ‘search fore a Brentford berthing pool’ problem. Luckily fore all we, a kindly nb:Ursula agrees to our request for safe haven, so we is rafted-up for a few ‘ers’.
Tuesday 12th September This is be a Great Shame but nb:Black Bart’s London 2017 experience is be coming to an end. Off on an’udder adventure though so don’t be too unsettled. You Aaaarrrggh !!! knot going to believe this !! We can ‘hardly believe it ourselves !! Aft an unrestful night for cru, we is awaking at aboat 5.00am. Hardly know such a thyme actually existed. Bonkers !!! Following personal & Bartly preparations all is ready for the off. Lister is chuggenly warming up. Bow & stern lines slipped free & neatly positioned, ready fore next ropely operations. Our nightly neighbours is be readied too. Fore our convoy’s voyage.
nb:Black Bart swims gently fore-ward a-whey from our overnight berthing pool. Our travel companions following quietly behind.
There we is. Old Francis on the bow, lighting our wey.
Gliding (almost) majestically towards the open lock gates
int’chamber. nb:Ursual be knot far behind. Safely in Brentford Gauging Lock the hydraulic sluices be opened bye our won & only Skippet (aft upper gates hath been swung closed) (of course) & the convoy of two calmly dribbles down the slimy black step. Bottom (naughty word agin) (Te !! He !!! ) (Very childish) gates open, with Bart bringing up the rear (naughty), oat we be, swimmingly through the ‘S’ bend of houseboats rippled by the River Brent. As our craft swings roand the last squiggle There They in Front Be. The Big Daddies of the River Brent. Thames Locks. Lock keeper all ready fore our early arrival (& departure) guides our small convoy int’ aquelevator & quite smartly ‘as us down and on our whey. Pleasant & efficient two.
The River Brent gives wey to the Masterly Tidal River Thames flowing enthusiastically past, upstream towards Isleworth Eyot. Having taken the lead, Skippet swings our Bart Beautifully int’ current heading fore that island. Tacking to Port, we keep that islet to starboard, soon leaving it aft. The current tidal flows us roand to Richmond where we sneakily avoid the lock & is making our merry chuggens through bridges a’plenty. Corporation Island appears in amongst the myriad of constructions swishing bye above our heads. Richmond waives us on through to Meadowbank where
Glover’s Ait slows us down, making it easy peasy for the speedy canoes to ketch(us)up (‘orrible red stuff), splitting & taking us form both sides. Shiver Me Timbers !! Aaaarrrggh !!! Ye won’t take our Booty alive !! Proper Swashbucklers Aaaarrrggh !! We !!! Fire in the Hole !! Cap’n Black Bart ain’t fore messing aboat. They is soon swimming scared. Scurvey Dogs they be. True they is !! Yo Ho Ho !!! Yo Ho Ho indeed. The convoy be saved. Yeh !!! Onwards & Upwards we crews, with tidal flows encouraging our swiftly manoeuvres.
Eel Pie Island’s colourful nature adds to the dawning sun & crisp blue sky welcoming all in Bart World to this glorious day. Knot a finer start to any boaty world can there be. Twickenham peers roand from behind the isle as convoy of Bart & t’uther
swirl our wheys along the now very high tide. Plush green lawns is swallowed by the river’s reflective gleam.
And there we ‘av it !! 7.45am. Teddington Launch Lock be already open. Lock Keepers at the ready. Be-fore we know it our return ticket has been used. Now expired. Wot a Wonderfully fulfilling return ticket it has been.
The Tidal River Thames from Teddington to Brentford Was Glorious. River Brent to Hanwell were interestingly dark & shallow. Grand Union Canal to Bulls Bridge simply delightful. Grand Union Canal Paddington Arm to Paddington Basin & Tittle Venezia be Wonderfully diverse. Paddington Arm to Bulls Bridge is quite heterogeneous. Grand Union Canal to Yiewsley, interestingly multifarious. Grand Union to Hanwell, congenial, River Brent to Brentford darkly strenuous & the Tidal River Thames to Teddington is Magnificently Beautiful on a most delightfully clear crisp of autumn morns.
And there you have it !
One of The Best 14 day return tickets
a narrowboat & cru can possibly acquire !!
Money Very Well Spent !!!
Chink ! Chink !! CHINK !!!