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Archive for June 28th, 2013

Rewind Boat Blog: Mooching (back) along the Grand Union (15)

Posted by indigodream on 28 June, 2013

Monday 27th May

Paddington to Limehouse

Nice spot! Now this hire boat either know the owners of the Regent's Park mansion that they're moored in front of or they're not aware that there's no mooring off or on-side here :-)

Nice spot! Now this hire boat either know the owners of the Regent’s Park mansion that they’re moored in front of or they’re not aware that there’s no mooring off or on-side here πŸ™‚

I parked the car overnight in North Wharf Road, just behind Paddington Basin – there’s handy free parking there at weekends. I had some very grand plans to take the car down to Limehouse first thing in the morning i.e. at 7am and miss all the traffic – yes, well, early starts aren’t really me

Having said that, when I briefly woke up at 7am, the traffic noise was quite intense, so maybe there was a rush hour, even on a bank holiday πŸ™‚

We both overslept and I had barely started on a therapeutic coffee when we got a surprise phonecall – our friend Liam, who came cruising with us a few weekends ago, had been let down by their dog-sitter and asked if we’d look after Cassie the labradoodle for a few days. We said yes, though with some trepidation – we’re very used to having placid mature greyhounds on board; we weren’t sure how we’d take to a manic puppy type!

I psyched myself up for the drive across London – luckily the bank holiday traffic wasn’t too dreadful but I hate the city’s roads with a passion! In the meantime, Richard had a busy morning – Liam arrived with Cassie and helped Richard to finish rewiring the horn; Doug and James from nb Chance popped in to say hello and he filled up with fuel from service boat Archimedes, which was conveniently moored right opposite.

By the time I got back to Paddington, the boat was ready to go. We had a quick chat with nb Cherie moored in front of us – they were on their way to Limehouse too and would be joining the great Gravesend expedition next weekend.

Camden top lock at its busy best....

Camden top lock at its busy best….

It was a lovely day, though horribly windy – a situation that lasted all day. We had a lovely surprise at Camden locks – Doug and James from nb Chance (moored in Paddington) joined us for the cruise down to Limehouse. They were excellent crew – James got busy at all the locks and was very diligent when it came to leaping off with the rope and holding the boat firm against the wind. In the meantime, Doug stayed on deck where he kept me entertained with witty banter and took care of the hounds – especially when it came to walking little Cassie.

We shared Camden middle and bottom locks with a truly incompetent boat whose crew failed to grasp that you can’t turn a boat by holding both front and back ropes really tight and leaving the engine in neutral! But after that, the day got better and better – we had sunshine and good company – what more could you ask for.

We got to Limehouse in the late afternoon and had a warm welcome from our neighbours, which is amazing considering how much time we spend away. There have been some interesting changes – the “Olympic” pontoons are starting to be colonised by narrowboats, for a pretty penny no doubt. We were slightly envious as the new pontoons are easy to get in/out of; on the other hand, our berth, while very tricky to get in/out of (especially in the wind), is part of a dog-friendly colony at the end of our pontoon and is a sociable place to be – hmmm.

We finished a fine day’s cruising with a shared bottle of wine on the back deck before heading for home. We’ll be seeing Doug and James soon – they’re joining us for the Gravesend adventure – can’t wait πŸ™‚

Photoblog:

We were alarmed to see that the moorings by the little green in Paddington Basin are now private - reminded us of the privatisation of the towpath in Cosgrove - what is going on??

We were alarmed to see that the moorings by the little green in Paddington Basin are now private – reminded us of the privatisation of the towpath in Cosgrove – what is going on??

Cassie enjoying the view :-)

Cassie enjoying the view πŸ™‚

This is a curious new phenomenon - some of the bridges in Rome were festooned with padlocks bearing people's names - I hope it doesn't become a trend - these lock beams are working structures...

This is a curious new phenomenon – some of the bridges in Rome were festooned with padlocks bearing people’s names – I hope it doesn’t become a trend – these lock beams are working structures…

Wow, these developments below St Pancras lock have really opened up since we last passed this way...

Wow, these developments below St Pancras lock have really opened up since we last passed this way…

We remember this when it was petrol filling station!

We remember this when it was petrol filling station!

New cafe just below City Road lock - it's all changed to much in just two months!

New cafe just below City Road lock – it’s all changed so much in just two months!

Burnt out - what a sad sight - hope no-one was hurt...

Burnt out – what a sad sight – hope no-one was hurt…

Hell's angel mobility scooter - brilliant!

Hell’s angel mobility scooter – brilliant!

Look look, a mooring space, at Victoria Park! Haven't seen one there for years - shame we couldn't stay here, just for the sake of it :-)

Look look, a mooring space, at Victoria Park! Haven’t seen one there for years – shame we couldn’t stay here, just for the sake of it πŸ™‚

Rooftop concert at Mile End....

Rooftop concert at Mile End….

Patch...

That looks clever with a bit of foam behind the wood

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