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Boat Blog: Back to the East London Ring….

Posted by indigodream on 2 October, 2011

Thursday 15th September

New Waterbus pontoon at Three Mills....

When the hounds return home after a cruise, they spend lots of time running round the garden sniffing and checking who’s done what while they’ve been away. It’s no different for us – we’ve been away from London for the whole Summer so we need to have a sniff around and see what’s been happening. The photos show that there’s been quite a few changes as the Lee Navigation is tarted up for the games…..

I mentioned that we’d been to a wedding party a few weeks ago – the groom, Chris, is from Australia and his parents had come over for the celebration. Knowing that our other Australian friends have been thrilled with the whole canal experience we offered them a cruise (if they could fit it into their schedule). We were delighted when Chris said they could manage a weekday cruise with parents and new bride Helena. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it so Karolina, from Richard’s office, stepped in as hostess and relief helmswoman. Chris is an Electrical Engineer and both Richard and Karolina had worked with him for some years.

They had a great cruise around the East London ring, with a stop off at Viewtube to have a look at progress on the Olympics.

I was very pleased that they managed to get around the ring – the planned Olympic waterway closures seem quite draconian to us – if the planning permission is to be believed, the waterway flanking the Olympic Park will be closed from November this year, with little or no access to the Lee and Stort or Hertfordshire Union. So, we have to enjoy these waterways while we can – sounds as if London will be locked down by next August!

And of course as the Grapes had just been sold, the crew had to visit and check that the Grapes is still ok. It is, thank goodness!

Photoblog:

Some smart new fencing....

Very whizzy new towpath under the Bow Flyover - this is what they were installing during the Spring stoppage....

The new footbridge is quite a feature....

That wall looks so much better without the graffiti, but it's blank canvas now so no doubt the vandals will be back....

New chains and ladder on the approach to the northern outfall - all very spiffy but Richard says it makes mooring for Viewtube a little more tricky....

The orbital now has its central lift structure - we think it takes away from the aesthetic but then again I wouldn't want to walk all the way to the top!

The Olympic Stadium - there were lots of tours going on but apparently some of the groups preferred Richard's engineering commentary.....

Karolina looking very competent on the helm.....

The new Olympic waterbus.....

The boats have been turfed off the towpath moorings above Old Ford Lock....

The relatively 'pastoral' Hertfordshire Union canal...

Coming down the Regent's Canal....

Chris' dad on the helm - he used to work on proper boats in Australia and showed his skills - once he got used to a narrowboat - nothing like that in Australia apparently...

And of course Chris's Dad would not have managed such skillful lock entries without clear signals from the Lock Crew.

Chris skillfully demonstrating the pirouette method of working locks

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