Friday 22 September 2023

Alchemy gets a tow

We had been asked to be ready for the tug to arrive at 8.30, so we set the alarm for 6.30. By 7.30, Mike set off for the first wheelbarrow trip to the wharf, this time for disposals.

There was no sign of the tug and then we had a text saying that he expected to be with us by 9.15. Time for another wheelbarrow trip, this time to the car with the frozen food.

Still nothing and later a phone call to ask if we were at the Swan and Bottle - this is a canalside pub in Uxbridge. This would be at least two hours away! There had been some communication error as the tug chap had been told to go to Denham!

Time the for a third wheelbarrow trip. We had already arranged that the tow could stop at the wharf for a short time just to allow us to offload stuff into the car, but we did not want to delay the to any more than necessary.

Mid day and we started to see movement in the distance which gradually turned into a distinct tug shape. After a brief discussion, Neil decided to tow us in reverse rather than go on to the next winding hole and back. The nearest point to turn in the Cowley direction is nearer but reversing is always harder. Also the water depth improves in that direction, whilst gradually becoming shallower towards Slough.

Progress was slow, principally because of weed and at least one stop was needed to clear the tug's prop. Eventually we arrived at the wharf (about third of a mile) and one of the boatyard staff quickly came out (probably from a lunch break!) to help pull us alongside. Luckily there was a good gap alongside (there often is none at all) and so the tug and boat could tie up together.

It took us only a short time to complete the offloading and the tug could continue its way to Watford (it was now expected to get there the next day rather than late today as had been planned) We could also leave and make our way back home by car.

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