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  1. To answer a question, no pets. I'm quite happy doing my own thing when boating and doing it single handed is good in that you can decide where you want to stop and go at your own pace. But I suppose there are times when it can be a bit lonely, more so when you go for a miles without seeing anyone, along with going for meals and drinks by yourself in the pub!
  2. Up until 18 months ago at least I think south through Harecastle tunnel had a later last passage than northbound. It was around 2-3pm going north but going south an hour or so later. I don't know if this is still the same or not. The ground paddles on the locks from Wheelock to Red Bull are not a problem if wound slowly and carefully; just wind a few turns and check how the boat is behaving. In the clockwise direction you also get the grotty bit of the Shropshire Union out of the way first; after the first couple of miles past Autherley Junction the canal is glorious right through to Nantwich.
  3. Yes. But the fierce by-washes mentioned are on the Shropshire Union locks and these will be downhill if going in the clockwise direction.
  4. Basically what the title says. I do a lot of single-handed boating and whilst there are many aspects of the canal scene that I continue to enjoy, it can get a little boring (and dare I say it lonely!) after a while; especially on long stretches between locks which I have done many times before. For people who do the same, do you find this? And for those who don't single-hand, could you imagine feeling a bit bored and fed up after a while?
  5. I find it the complete opposite; difficult going up especially if there's a lot of water, not a problem going downhill. From Middlewich clockwise is better; if you get delayed at Harecastle tunnel you can make up the time if going clockwise way round, if delayed doing anti-clockwise you could end up late getting back to Andersen.
  6. Not strictly related to the paddle gear, but I went through Gas No.1 lock on the Grand Union in Berkhamsted a couple of weeks ago and it had brand new top gates. The interesting thing was that no baffles had been fitted to the gate paddle sluices; the difference in water ferocity was noticeable compared to the others which had grilles over them and the lock filled up quicker.
  7. Thanks both, so considering this and the high tide time, perhaps arrange with the keepers for 12:30 through Teddington lock and then 13:45-14:00 for Brentford (to allow for the 5 mile cruise)?
  8. I'm planning to travel from Teddington lock to Brentford lock and into the Grand Union Canal next Monday 7th. I've just looked at the high tide time for this day and it says 13:00, so based on this can I ask please what time would be a good time to lock down into the tideway, and what time subsequently to book Brentford lock passage?
  9. Thanks. I was looking at the Danforth anchor as an option. If the Thames is 10ft deep or more then I doubt there will be room on the boat to store a 30-50ft chain!
  10. For a 25ft steel narrowboat, which anchor weight would you go for? And is 4m of chain ok for the Thames?
  11. Cowley has a bridge just above the lock, so these pictures must be elsewhere. The photo I posted is a mish mash of periods, but the cottages and the lock both look too 'real' for the entire scene to be fictional. The lockside steps look very 'Grand Unionesque'
  12. Does anyone have an idea which lock and canal scene this jigsaw picture depicts please, if a real place at all? I thought possibly Cowley lock on the Grand Union, but maybe not.
  13. I can see the point on how sitting on a stern rail or any kind of seat within the arc of the tiller, with no protection behind, is potentially a hazard. I can't understand why you think it is still dangerous even in the latter picture I showed, clearly there is no danger of the tiller knocking you overboard when you have a foot or so of protection behind you from the stern rail and supports up against your back whilst sat down. Where is the hazard here?
  14. I've seen some cruiser-stern boats with a bench/plank seat located a foot or so below the stern rail, fixed to the stern rail supports. Is this a safer option? Like this example:
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