It did feel a bit like that; getting past the weed on the mooring stretch of the Slough arm is a bit like reaching escape velocity, only you have to stop and clear the weed hatch every so often. Once I'd got passed Mansion Lane Bridge, of course, a boat in the distance seemed to be taking a very long time reaching the next, archless, bridge. It turned out to be Minerva of this parish, with a failed engine - so I turned around (because I can) and towed them back to the boatyard, and started again. I also discovered the weed had got into my blessed seacock cooling water inlets, so the engine would have overheated even if I hadn't been towing a 50' boat... ;-)
Anyway, the idea was to have a night away from the moorings, with the excuse of discussing stove work with boatyards as I passed. It's funny, Neil on Herbie has just blogged a very similar thought I was having - that some people with boats will just pop out for a couple of hours, to enjoy being out there, whereas others it's a three month cruise or nothing. I have a small boat I can turn almost anywhere, and may not manage a long trip this year - so yes, small wanders are the way forward, with possibly a quiet night on the water with a book for company. Of course the quiet night thing went straight out of the window when I passed NB Cossette and spotted Helen, so we arranged to meet in the General Elliot later. I've mentioned her before as a signwriter - she now has a website - http://www.handwrittensigns.com. Get in touch while she's still starting up and you'll get a great job at a bargain price. ;-)
Despite the pub, I made a relatively early start home in the showers of Tuesday morning, and was back at my home moorings by eleven. It was good to get away, and good to use the boat for what it is - access to green space and a little bit of peace & quiet. I may well have sussed out a quiet little spot on the arm itself for overnight escapes, I'll just have to see how shallow it is there... ;-)
A few more 1970s boating pics - We've realised that the dates on the back of the photos in my parents' album are probably wrong. Our first canal holiday, we think, was not in 1978 but 197...
5 hours ago