Friday 5th May
I was on a 24hr mooring, so I must move to be able to stay here longer. There were 14 day moorings further back and I could either wind the boat and moor, or reverse onto the mooring. As the next winding hole was below Cowley Lock, I decided to reverse. All went well through the bridge ‘ole, but trying to get onto the new mooring was a nightmare in the strong wind. I tried four times, but the wind kept blowing the bow off the bank and then the whole boat to the other side. Eventually, I gave up and moored 100 yds further down where it was more sheltered. Despite the cold wind, it was a sunny day for a change.
In the afternoon I walked along the towpath to Uxbridge Boat Centre for a look around their chandlery, even though I had no intention of buying anything. Having spent money there in the past, I knew the chandlery was exceptionally well stocked and worth looking around; sure enough I spent nothing. Walking back away from the water through the High Street, I stopped for a pint in Wetherspoon’s, if only to make some use of my 50p off a pint CAMRA tokens, ending the exercise in the Swan and Bottle before getting back to the boat.
Saturday 6th May
I was due to meet Richard in the car park of the pub at 09.30, where he had arrived 5 mins before me in his wife’s powder blue 5 litre Jaguar. After passing pleasantries, I was quizzed once again about the boat we were going to view.
After two hours of a very comfortable journey we arrived at the marina and had look at the boat along with the owner. Unfortunately it needed far more work than was envisaged both inside and out, so more expenditure than first thought or shown by the photographs. The engine was bigger than necessary for a 50 ft boat, both in size and performance and of less than usual provenance, so spares could be difficult to obtain. Never the less, it was good experience to see the boat and talk to the owner.
On the way back we went for a drink and light lunch in The Old Ferryboat at Holywell. It was many years since I stayed there and unfortunately it was now a Marstons house and had lost some of its original charm of open fires and stone flagged floor, but it served the purpose well. There was still a note on the bar about the ghost of Juliet Tewsley who committed suicide in 1050 and appeared on 17th March every year. See:- http://www.countryfile.com/countryside/spectred-isle-heartbroken-spirit-ferry-boat-inn
Back at Uxbridge, I showed Richard around Stronghold and once again I was bombarded with questions, which is not surprising for anyone about to buy a narrow boat for the first time. I realised during the day that purchasing a boat is far more complicated than buying a car.
It was a very enjoyable day for me in all aspects of the exercise and certainly different.