cribBlog is meant to complement the handwritten account of Cribbit's travels which we keep
on board and rather euphemistically call 'the ship's log'. This will have a briefer
narrative and will include more photographs than will make their way into the paper log.
After I dropped off my crew members last time, I got to thinking about what would improve my boating life. To my surprise the answer came back to see if I could get a mooring at Hi-Line and so move closer to Greenford Station and my route to the Cheshire Cheese. The short of it was that there was a mooring available so I moved Cribbit to her new spot in mid December.
This trip was my first from my new mooring. It is less than 15 minutes to the Black Horse so I can manage a quick trip there should I wish, but as it was a nice day, decided that I would carry on to my 'next station stop' at Perivale.
Decided that I could wind just before the bridge which is what I did. Moving nicely astern to give myself room for the turn, decided that that was enough so put her ahead. Nothing happened except lots of wash and then a gentle little bump as the rudder touched the cill. Then I couldn't move the rudder either. Managed to get her tied up to investigate. Sure enough, there were kevlar bands and a polythene bag wrapped round the prop, which once removed left it beautifully polished.
The rudder was more of a problem, it had been pushed right under the swim and no amount of pushing or pulling could free it. Tried levering it with my big mooring pin and pulling with a warp attached to it all to no avail. Decided that the job would have to wait for the morning.
I thought at first that I would be able to release the rudder by undoing the bolts that secure it. Then I remembered that when I had the prop shaft moved in line with the engine, the yard had had to cut a hole in the rudder to extract the shaft as they could not remove the it.
Clearly, the rudder was going to have to come out the way that it had gone in...by brute force. That meant getting into the canal, where I had better leverage, and doing the job from below. Luckily, the cill that had caused the problem in the first place meant that the water was not that deep, though still well over my knees. A good half hour of levering with the mooring pin finally freed it. The top bit of the rudder that is supposed to stop it from going under the swim, and sticks up at least 15 cm above it, is a bit bent now.
Terry joined me at Willowtree and we moved down to Limehouse where Jim joined us. The return journey took us along
the Limehouse cut to Bow, the Lea Navigation to Ford's Lock and then Duckett's cut back to the mainline, past the
Dropped Terry at King's Cross Station, with Jim staying for a further night before abandoning ship at Perivale.
Early to Willowtree to move the boat off her mooring, through the bridge, to the bistro moorings. This was to give us sufficient time to move down to Greenford in daylight after lunch.
Margaret and Terry were joining me for lunch so set to, to get that ready.
I had already decided that we should have a 'proper' lunch for which a suitable pheasant had been bought from
Clay's of Thame.
Pot roasted the pheasant using Mackeson instead of red wine but otherwise following my Cooking on Cribbit pheasant recipe.
Then off for our first night by the Black Horse at Greenford.
Next day we head East, crossing the North Circular Road.
Met up with Zoe, Peter, Oscar and Eve on the towpath by the zoo and moored for the night by the Constitution pub, above St Pancras Cruising Club. This is practically on Camden High Street but turned out to be a quiet mooring until the early morning commuters rattled their bikes over the wobbly and noisy concrete covers to the towpath fibre optics ducts.
The plan for the next day was to meet up with Jim at Limehouse Basin, but first.....
Sj is a big 'puzzle event' fan and has recently taken part in The World Henchmen Organization game in Seattle, aka 'The Game'. The competition involves driving all around Seattle finding clues and solving [difficult] puzzles [with style and panache]. Her team had a small bus and their team logo was affixed to its door.
Not far past Zoe's flat is a wall covered with graffiti. Look the World Henchmen Organisation has been here too.
Met Jim just as it was getting dark and soon put him to work lighting the fire.
The evening spent in the
Prospect of Whitby
Both Terry and Jim being habituees of the Prospect in the late 50s and early 60s,
Terry going there on Sundays with Margaret and Jim whenever he could after his ship had been berthed in London Dock just behind it. The Captain Kidd being the goal for one of my short long walks.
An early start the next day to enable us to visit the Olympic site via the Limehouse Cut, returning to Victoria Park and the Grand Union Main line via Duckett's cut.
Soon we are back on the main line heading north but still with hazards to negotiate. This filming crew had just picked up the girl in black, sitting in the bow, who appeared to be wearing spray on leather trousers. Crew probably justifyably distracted.
Jim and I managed to get a mooring on the Camden visitor moorings which was very unusual as they are nearly always full.
An advantage is that the towpath gate is locked at night so you must remember your key. We had a beer in the Lock Tavern before going for a Caribbean meal at Cotton's in Camden. And very good it was too.
Next day we took a little detour at Padington Basin to see the classroom barge that Jim built. This time I got a photo of it.
We carried on to Denham Deep Lock where we stocked up on gas and diesel before moving up the lock for the night. In the morning we winded and headed back down the cut.