Visitor book

So far this year has seen a mix of regular and occasional visitors to Gentle Breeze. Of course the most frequent are the flying insects, from harmless months through to annoying midgies and gnats to the disease carrying horse flies. Many of the flies don’t stay long, because the short term lodgers, the spiders, get them. The spiders are only short term lodgers because once they get too big I remove them to the tow path, mostly!. The of course are the wasps that come looking for old wood. I see the occasional one fly in when I am cruising along and wander about but rarely see them leave. That leaves two questions in my mind. Firstly when they leave do they find their way back home. Secondly if they haven’t left will I find them in my bed clothes later!

On the top row below are pictures of Rebecca and Tim, Steve and Prisca in that order. They were all  winners of the promise auction lots for the Watford Town Centre Chaplaincy. I’ve no idea about the dog. It just came on board for a nose. On the lower row are the real musicians using the deck during the fizz at six jamming session at Ricky festival and mike’s wife Cat and Lynn having a knitting session also at Ricky.

I have missed a few out so sorry to anybody not mentioned. As far as visitors go the more the merrier with one caveat .. they have four legs or fewer please!



July was for day tripping and I was pleased to see quite a few old friends aboard. When I say “old” you realise that does not refer to their ages, you could not call Danielle old, could you? Or the others, I hasten to add. Anyway it was good to enjoy evening trips with these good friends. And they brought so many cakes! thank you ladies, a fun evening.

Enid, Pat, Danielle and Jackie enjoy cakes aboard

Enid, Pat, Danielle and Jackie enjoy cakes aboard

Yvette and Gwyn enjoying the mood

Yvette and Gwyn enjoying the mood

I’m happy in the galley and I’m happy on the tiller,

And I want my guests to just enjoy the mood,

But if it’s only me that steers past the many locks and weirs

Then it has to be the ladies make the food!

(no such thing as a free launch)

In the galley

In the galley

June 2013 In the quiet mid afternoon, as I slowly cruised down the cut, the scene was wonderful. As I came under an old stone bridge into a tunnel of willows, shafts of sun penetrated the green canopy. There was no wind to disturb the water. Gently falling all around was the fluffy white willow blossom. It hung in the air, lighter than snow flakes, and did not melt away when it alighted on the water. The water, moored boats and tow path were all covered. Laid on top of this vision were the scents of may flower, and cow parsley and the songs of blackbird and robin. No photograph or video can capture the moment, a moment that ones wishes to both share and enjoy alone. Then these four turned up for an evening cruise.Seriously, one of the great pleasures is sharing the boat with others, whether for a whole day or just “drinks at six” with a short cruise.Here we have four of the finest from BPL. The glue that holds the place together. Judging from the number of messages and calls they got maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to have that amount of glue removed from the place all at the same time!

Four of BPL's finest

Four of BPL’s finest

May 2013Last month I was pleased to be joined by Barbara and Paul for the afternoon. A planned trip last autumn was thwarted by failure of the marina bridge. No such problems this time and they made life really easy by sorting out all the locks for me from Hunton Bridge to Apsley. A really good afternoon.Paul and Barbara

November 2012At least I did not disappoint the two lads in November, Daniel and James, who seemed to enjoy the ride. They rarely stopped asking questions on all sorts of aspects of the boat and canal. They had been on other types of boats before and readily donned their bouancy aids as soon as we got on board.The talking only paused for lunch (pizzas and salad filled rolls). Thanks to Janet and Richard for taking care of the domestic chores whilst I helped the lads steer. They needed help as they were rather too short to see over the roof or around the side to see where we were heading. all in all a good day.

Paul and Barbara

setting out on the grand trip, across the marina!

Yes this was the day we had been waiting for and planning for a few months. A pretty straight forward birthday treat for Barbara. The whole day available and the weather was fairly promising, food on board, bubbly too. How far did we get. Not even out of Apsley marina. The hydraulic lift bridge had broken . At 9 am the engineers were expected any minute, at ten they were definitiely coming before mid day, at 1.30 they would be here within the next two hours, at four thirty they came, the bridge lifted at dusk.

Barbara, Paul and co

Never mind, we made the best and enjoyed all the lovely food that Barbara had brought. And it has given us the excuse for another day out (crising hopefully !)

Jackie lives life at such a pace that finding  a slot when she and her husband, Ian, could come out on the boat took over a year. Typical of her was that they turned up laden with supplies, cream cakes biscuits etc. However as soon as they arrived we changed the pace. There was to be no rushing to get off. No. It was definitely coffee and cream cakes before any thought of starting the engine. The morning soon passed at the usual canal leisurely speed and we ended up where we started, taking about 4 hours to cover the 4 miles and two locks. Topped off with soup, rolls and more cream cakes it was a lovely morning with dear friends.

Jackie and Ian Pickens taking a break before we set off

Ho and his young family were the first to ride on GB once she was painted. I was bringing her back from Hayes and Ho and co were disappointed to miss me operating the Lady Capel lock. So I told them to  jump on and took them along to Kings Langley where they got the train back to Watford.

Next were John, Carol, Mary and Barry who enjoyed morning coffee and biscuits as we cruised from Apsley to Abbots and back. It was a pleasure to take them, and the bottle of wine was an unexpected and appreciated suprise, thanks John.

Mornign outing for John, Barry, Carol and Mary

Megan over from Aus.

As I have said elsewhere, I realy want GB to benefit others in some way as well as enjoying her myself.

This is a page recording some of the enjoyable trips others have shared on the boat.

This is in brief for now, I t will be developed as I go along.

Anne’s sisters and inlaws have had times to relax, get away fro the rush of everyday affairs and enter a new environment where the loss is a little less keen for a little while.

Some of Anne’s dear friends have had chance to spend time with me, away from our houses, and watch the plethera of God’s creation drift past, enforced relaxation.Colegues from work have enjoyed a couple of hours in summer evenings gettign away from the hectic work, home work cycle. A chance at the locks to help, or help themselves to wild blackberrys growing near by.

A young family, the girls bright-eyed in the cold winter afternoon, then toasting themselves by the solid fuel stove whilst drinking mulled cranberry juice.

Finally having an early evening meal and almost falling asleep before climbing into their Dad’s car to be taken home.

Lynn crewed for me on 18 Feb. She did nearly all the locks for me between Ricky and Packet boat Marina (Slough arm). Phil joined us for the second half od lunch (it did include Stilton cheese!) and I was happy for him to take over the helm for the last part. Although the weathe varied from overcast to rainy they seemed totally at home and they made it very relaxing day.

5 thoughts on “Visitor book

  1. Boat looks nice – I recognise that boat is the foreground of your main photo… our boat Salar. We have booked for Cavalcade again this year so might see you there. Our next trip out is the last week of March – we hope to go up the Lea but need to be back at Limehouse Thursday late afternoon to join St Pancras CC for a trip down the tidal Thames Good Friday – back in at Brentford.

  2. I owned GB for about 4 years from about 2003 to 2007. Wonderful to see you’ve given her a new lease of life. We kept her on the River Wey at Farncombe in Surrey and we have very fond memories of our family weekends and holidays cruising. Love your blog.

    • Thanks ever so much for your comment. I know very little of her history other than I bought from a small live aboard family, and I guess she was once a Hoseasons boat. It is strangely warming to hear from a previous owner. Glad you like the blog. I’m retiring soon and hope to have more to write about. Off to London in April.

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