Wed 29th April
Limehouse to Victoria Park
A wet morning in Limehouse
As forecast, we had rain in the morning, heavy at times. We decided not to move until around 2pm, when we moved the boat over to the facilities area. Since our last visit, they have installed a new pontoon for the facilities. Sadly it is not long enough for our boat. So the stern stuck out and James had to walk along the gunwale with the stern rope. The shiny new elsan point has walls, which make it difficult to get the cassette pointing at the right angle. The rubbish bins can’t be reached unless you have a marina key. All in all, it would have been helpful to consult a boater before doing all this work.
A short pontoon
We decided to go up the Limehouse Cut instead of the Regents Canal, and were amazed at the number of boats moored and double moored in places we would not have considered before, such as on the first bend which is fairly blind.
Moored boats in Limehouse Cut
Double moored just round the bend
We were disappointed to see that the backwaters were still closed for the Olympic Park site “construction”. They were closed first just after Cavalcade in 2008, four years before the Olympics, and they are still closed seven years later.
Still closed after all this time
The other end still closed
Old Ford Lock had two boats coming down before we could go in. There was another boat on the water point above, resting across the top gates.
What a place to put a water point
There were moored boats everywhere. We turned into the Hertford Union Canal and went up the three locks, all of which were in our favour, with the gates left open. There were lots of boats above the lock, and we noticed rings had been installed. We have previously moored on our own here, using mooring pins.
Hertford Union Canal
Moored by Victoria Park
Thankfully there was a space available for us, just long enough, just where we had planned to be, by Victoria Park. Sadly the railings were just too narrow for Hugo to squeeze through.
The forecast was for no rain, so we left the hood down.
4 locks, 3 miles
Thu 30th April
Victoria Park to Camden
We had a peaceful and dry night. We continued to the end of the Hertford Union Canal, and turned right onto the Regents Canal, where we came to the other “Old Ford Lock”. This was one of the ones which have self opening bottom gates, so you have to open a top paddle to keep the gates closed.
Removing rubbish from the propeller
We disposed of the rubbish, and continued our journey past long lines of moored boats. At City Road Lock, James was not concentrating, and he opened the bottom paddles without closing the top gates. A bit silly.
Islington Tunnel followed. At Camden, there was no room on the shopping moorings, so we moved on to the Camden visitor moorings, where miraculously we found one space where we could moor, although we stuck out at the back.
We went to the market and amazingly (in all the crowds) met Pat Barton, who said we could probably order chicken and chips for tomorrow evening after all. It was the fish that was causing a problem to the supplier. We gave her some money and said we would see her the next day. We had a good value Thai meal in a foil tray from one of the many stalls. We also met Chris who we met first on the Wey 12 years ago, and who now steers one of the trip boats. We also saw Jan who steers another, and sings and plays guitar. Hazel bought a hat and some scarves, and we had a coffee and a cake in a café. We returned via Morrison's for some provisions.
Back at the boat, a small cruiser had left and we were able to move along a few feet so we didn’t stick out. Last time we were here there was a mooring warden who locked the towpath gates to make the moorings secure. This time the gates looked as though they had been unused for some time.
Once the pub goers had gone home, it was fairly quiet on the moorings.
Camden visitor moorings
8 locks, 6 miles
Fri 1st May
Camden to Little Venice
We set off fairly early, making sure we both had showers, so that when we filled the water tank at Little Venice we could take on as much water as possible.
The route took us through Regents Park by the zoo, and past the huge embassy buildings and the Maida Hill Tunnel before we arrived at Little Venice. We saw Pat Barton who said that our chicken order was OK. At the water point we met Henry from Trinity, who was walking Bess.
Regents Park Zoo
Maida Hill Tunnel
With a full water tank, empty cassettes, and no rubbish, we set off once more, past our allocated mooring place to go to Kensal Green Sainsbury’s where we could turn round. The lines of moored boats continued, in unbelievable numbers.
At Sainsbury’s we stocked up with a few items, and we met Mike on Shiraz. Returning to our mooring on Delamere Terrace, we were able to moor half a boat length from our allocated slot, waiting for other boats to begin moving into the pool later on.
0 locks, 5 miles
Next: Little Venice Canalway Cavalcade.