We woke up to our first frost of the winter on Thursday and also to the sound of swans tapping their bills on the side of the boat.
Lauren (my middle daughter) was coming round for dinner and a sleep over so we had to get to Slough where she works for Amazon. This was an easy cruise of one lock and about seven miles from Uxbridge. The Slough arm heads west off the Grand Union at Cowley, has no locks and is almost dead straight. It is often silted up as it is not used much which is a bit of a catch 22 in that people are less likely to use it when it gets silted up. Anyway we wanted an adventure so off we went.
I headed for Cowley Peachey junction where the arm starts whilst Karen walked ahead with Buddy. The Grand Union in the Uxbridge area is packed with liveaboards on both sides of the canal.
Karen was waiting for me at the junction as she had spotted a shopping trolley in the water right where the canal is at its narrowest and where I needed to turn.
The arm itself is very pretty and not much in the way of industry or housing in evidence.
It passes under the M25 just north of its junction with the M4. I must admit that I have never seen this canal from the M25 but will be more observant in the future.
There are three aqueducts on the arm which is a lot for such a short stretch.
We reached the basin late afternoon and it was a rather nondescript place but is hidden from Slough by a handy Travis Perkins.
There was heavy rain overnight and Lauren woke me up at one point as there was water dripping in next to her pillow. The morning dawned fine though and after fixing the leak we made our way back down the arm. It was hard to believe we were in Slough.
On the way back we passed a heron perched in an unusual place.
We moored up in Cowley both feeling that we need to start getting back in the countryside so all being well we can now start heading north this weekend.