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Archive for March 20th, 2014

Boat Blog: Almost the Olymic Rings Trial (1)

Posted by indigodream on 20 March, 2014

Wednesday 19th March

Team photo - the combined crews of nb's Doris Katia (our esteemed leader), Ketura, Peace of Pearce, Salar, Galatea and us, of course :-)

Team photo – the combined crews of nb’s Doris Katia (our esteemed leader), Ketura, Peace of Pearce, Salar, Galatea and us, of course ๐Ÿ™‚

That splendid cruise title came from Andrew Phasey of the St Pancras Cruising Club. After endless months of negotiation, Andrew succeeded in getting permission for a trial convoy of boats to explore the “Olympic” waterways – the first leisure boats to cruise these waterways since they were closed for construction of the Olympic Park in, ooh, 2010?

Before that closure, we were avid explorers of the Bow Back Rivers – until they put the booms across the access points. Before that we used to be able to sneak round with Indigo Dream decked out as a work boat complete with yellow flashing light and crew in proper PPE!

We were very excited to be asked to participate in this landmark convoy, but there were some logistics – part of the route (Waterworks River) is semi-tidal and also carries a lot of “fresh” downstream after rainfall – this means that the headroom under some of the bridges can become prohibitive. Several dates were suggested then rejected, but today we had perfect cruising conditions. Naturally we had to be escorted,ย  by aย  team of cheerful “minders” in a bright orange rib who obligingly removed the booms to allow us to explore the navigations; of course they were also careful to close them again, once they’d made sure that none of us had taken up an illicit mooring in the park!

We were keen to share the cruise, but short notice meant that many of our cruising friends weren’t available; however we were delighted that Kath and Neil of nb Herbie (veterans of many an Indigo Dream adventure) and their good friend Rick (in turn a veteran of many adventures on nb Herbie) could join us. We were all assembled in Limehouse by 9.30am-ish – time for a round of coffees and a catch-up before we set off up Limehouse Cut to our rendezvous point.

Here’s the cruising plan (which makes more sense on the map!):

The Route

The Route

1. Limehouse to Three Mills Water Bus Stop – this is where we assembled the convoy, had our final briefing and took on guests from CRT and LLDC (London Legacy Development Corporation). This was a very important cruise – the future opening of these waterways might depend on the success of this trial – so no pressure ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Three Mills to City Mills Lock – familiar waterways as this has been an exit point for other tideway excursions.

3. City Mills Lock to Carpenters Road Lock and back – this is where it get exciting – we haven’t cruised this part of the Waterworks River before and it gives a great view of the Olympic Park (particularly the aquatic centre) and brought back many fond memories of our walking the park in the run up to the closing ceremony (and many more memories for Richard who was a Gamesmaker during the opening ceremony and in the stadium during the first week of the games).

4. City Mills Lock to Old Ford Lock – very familiar ground – this waterway was the main transit route for navigation before and during the Games.

5. Below Old Ford Lock along to Bow Back River to Crossrail’s Coffer Dam and back – we’ve cruised this stretch many times in the past, when it was all dereliction and/or a building site for the budding stadium. We’d hardly recognise it now!

6. Below Old Ford Lock to Limehouse – a waterway so familiar we could just mooch along and reminisce on what a great day we’d had – another coup for the St Pancreas Cruising Club and hopefully the start of many cruises along the Olympic Waterways – they were worth the wait ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s the overall plan – I think I’ll leave it there for now and post the photos of the more exciting stages over the next couple of days….

Flashback to 2008 - the Stadium was to be built just behind that temporary bridge

Flashback to 2008 – the Stadium was to be built just behind that temporary bridge

Flashback to 2008 - Stadium being built

Flashback to 2008 – Stadium being built

Flashback to 2008: Carpenters Road Lock as was

Flashback to 2008: Carpenters Road Lock as was

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