Thursday 30th September 2010
Weather Fine and Sunny – Day 19
This was to be our last full day of kayaking and all the last locks – the end is in sight! But first a delivery of feed for Justin – this time accompanied by the lady
who made all the logistics happen Irene – Scotland’s answer to Eddie Stobart! It was so good for us all to put a name to a face – she turned up with a photographer who recorded the delivery and did lots of shots of the kayakers for BUPA’s house magazine. As we set off to follow the kayakers we gave her the chance to travel to the first lock on Pisces with the Hillingdon Crew who did the full “learned all about canal boats” in the that ten minutes!
We had scheduled an 11 mile target today with 11 locks to mean that Friday would give a lock free finish and give us a chance to get to the end by 2pm – if we do I will be “well happy” as they say as it means all the planning will have worked.
Some really nice parts on this stretch – long tree lined avenues and of course the fine day made everything look so English! Jane, Justins partner, was able to travel with us on Elysium and had a chance to really look at what this was all about from the canal perspective. She was a bit worried about going down in the locks, but soon relaxed – satisfied – in the boatmanship of the Hillingdon mob.
At one of the locks a large school party of 12 year olds arrived on afield trip and to do a bit of gongoozling and their teachers asked me to give them a run through of how a lock worked. A great bunch, very well behaved – hopefully they will understand the canals for the future and become good supporters.
We also stopped off at the Hillingdon Crews base and had a good sort out of topping up with water, pumping out and the like. They do great work in their local community with a great enthusiasm for the canal and its heritage.
We arrived, as usual some hour and a half behind the kayakers at our final overnight stop at Cowley Lock and the Malt Shovel. It seems all of Justins family turned up to wish him well and they pretty much cleared Pisces of the remaining food and bits as the boat has to turn round in the morning for use by a party of boy scouts tomorrow night.
We all then enjoyed a sort of farewell meal in the Shovel at Justins insistence and he thanked us all for our efforts on his and St Marks behalf.