Last Saturday was meant to be a wet day and the forecast was right. The day started with fine mist as we made our way from Black Jacks Mill Lock towards Denham and Uxbridge, but it wasn't until we reached Cowley Peachey that the rain really started and then it just got heavier and heavier.

Denham Deep Lock
Another Albert at Uxbridge

Bull's Bridge and the Paddington Arm

We stopped off at High Line Yatching, close to the Slough Arm, for some fuel. Unfortunately the pump-out at the marina was not working. The long pound to the Norwood Top Lock (Hanwell Flight) was negotiated quite quickly and by 2:00 PM we had started to drop down the flight. The collection of safety locks on the top lock made filling the lock slow and then in a repeat of Friday a boater moored nearby pointed out the pound below the lock was low! 

The pound was down over a couple of feet but it was no where near as bad as at Hunton Bridge. We proceeded to fill the pound in the pouring rain and after about 15 minutes noticed a working boat coming out of Norwood Bottom Lock. It was a NB Ash a working boat delivering fuel and gas. Drawing a good 3 ft they quickly ran aground in the middle of the pound. They were therefore relieved to find we were filling the pound and after 10 minutes they were able to float back into the lock where they unfortunately discovered their prop was fouled by a large towelling robe. It was safe to say they were not in a good humour. Without a weed-hatch it took some time to remove but it did eventually come free with a lot of pulling with the boat-hook and they were eventually able to make the top lock.

NB Ash

Finally, after almost an hour, it was our turn to go down to the lower lock. As we approached  the bottom lock, which from the start had been set in our favour, we found the gates had been closed, the water dropped and a boat was blocking the entrance to the lock. The crew of the boat blocking the lock were in fact down the weed-hatch trying to free their prop! All we could do was wait but it was frustrating. I think in total it took us 90 mins to go through the two locks!

The Hanwell Flight of seven locks then followed. Not pleasant in the rain and passage was made more difficult by the crew of a  cruiser coming up the flight who proceeded to close a set of gates just as we reached a lock. They appeared to be group of students and were quite clearly complete novices. We also came across a single-handed boat whose crew had lost a windlass and was using an adjustable spanner. 

Brentford Mooring

Cold and wet we finally made Brentford Basin around 4:30 PM and claimed the last visitor mooring which was just under the remains of the warehouse canopy that extends over the cut. We both found out just how leaky our "waterproof" clothing was.