Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Slough and back

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the Slough Arm, it does tend to get a bad press.

Last night was well below freezing and we woke up to a heavy frost. When we started cruising we found some patches of ice but apart from one spot nothing that gave us any problems. The rural setting near the lakes and the aqueducts is quite pleasant and even when you start encountering some industry it is not initially intrusive. I had the feeling that in summer with the leaves on the trees you would barely notice much of it.

It certainly isn't the easiest canal to find spots to moor, I'm glad we stopped when we did last night. The last couple of miles are largely urban, housing, industrial units and a large chemical plant but the water is clean and for an urban waterway relatively clear of rubbish. The canal ends at a very uninspiring builders merchants, I feel that so much could be done to make this stretch more appealing and welcoming.

The end of the arm

Signs of Spring
We saw our first snowdrops of the year today and were also surprised to see a small deer in the narrow fringe of trees between the canal and some industrial units. We returned to last night's mooring for the night. I ca imagine coming back to this spot to get away from the Grand Union for an overnight mooring but nothing I've seen makes me think I would do the trip along the full length again. Having said that I have seen  worse stretches of canal.

Today's journey 9.1 miles

This year we have travelled 47.5 miles, 63 locks and 2 swing bridges

In 2012 we travelled 876.9 miles, 675 locks,  55 swing bridges, 23 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2011 we travelled 461.4 miles, 444 locks, 3 swing bridges, 34 lift bridges and 15 tunnels

During 2010 we travelled 740.3 miles, 642 locks, 53 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 25 tunnels

Since Ray retired we have travelled 2126 miles, 1823 locks, 111 swing bridges, 61 lift bridges and 71 tunnels

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