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Archive for March 22nd, 2014

Boat Blog: Almost the Olympic Rings Trial (3)

Posted by indigodream on 22 March, 2014

Wednesday 19th March

The cruise between City Mills Lock and Old Ford Lock covered some very familiar ground, though between the Olympic, Crossrail and sundry other construction projects in the area, there’s something  new in the landscape every time we cruise. Nonetheless, the familiar waters gave us a chance to concentrate on refuelling the crew (we had enough fuel for the boat, though the cheap diesel at New Era is always a draw).

We were very excited when we arrived at Old Ford Lock and turned right into the Bow Back Rivers. Now we have cruised this way before – many times – but the last time we came here, the Olympic Stadium was just a round earth embankment! Need less to say, the waterway was barely recognisable and it is now properly dredged, not just a shallow dish in the middle. Unfortunately, you can’t cruise right round the Bow Back Rivers at the moment, there’s a Crossrail Coffer Dam in the way. We can only hope that this ring will open again once they’re done – it will make a charming ring cruise 🙂

Before I move to the photos, I have to thank the St Pancras Cruising Club for allowing us to join them on this very special cruise – I can only hope that the convoy has persuaded the powers that be to allow boats back on the Bow Back Rivers…

Photoblog:

Turning into the Bow Bakc Rivers (well, the Old River Lea to be precise)..

Turning into the Bow Back Rivers (well, the Old River Lea to be precise)..

I'm not really a rebel but there was something deeply satisfying about cruising past these "no entry" signs :-)

I’m not really a rebel but there was something deeply satisfying about cruising past these “no entry” signs 🙂

The now diminished Olympic Stadium..

The now diminished Olympic Stadium, after the excitement of 2012 it is sad to see it unused….

The Stadium still looms though

The Stadium still looms though

The sheet piling here marks the entrance to the old Pudding Mill River - we remember it as a shallow channel filled with reeds and wildlife

The sheet piling here marks the entrance to the old Pudding Mill River – we remember it as a shallow channel filled with reeds and wildlife, we don’t think it was ever navigable, just a source of water for the Mill and later Bow Power Station

Now you see it...

Now you see it…

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

Now you don’t – the site in 2008

We remember this when it was just cranes...

We remember this when it was just cranes…

Flashback to 2008 - Stadium being built

There they are – back in 2008

This graceful bridge is original - though it used to have the traditional black/white paintwork

This graceful bridge is original – though did it once have the traditional black/white paintwork?  Must check our photos.

Carpenters Road Lock - now minus it's top gate and unlikely ever to be used as gateway to a ring with the Waterworks River...

Carpenters Road Lock – now minus one gate and minus what we think was the gas main over the top – it is unlikely ever to be used as gateway to a ring with the Waterworks River…

Flashback to 2008: Carpenters Road Lock as was

So maybe things haven’t changed substantially….

Great views - the red "steps" on the left are the piers of a footbridge that used to carry the crowds over to the Olympic Stadium

Great views – the red “steps” on the left are the piers of a footbridge that used to carry the crowds over to the Olympic Stadium

The last time we were here we were part of the excited crowds visiting the games - the closing ceremony in fact :-)

The last time we were here we were part of the excited crowds visiting the games – the closing ceremony in fact 🙂

The cruise gave a really intimate view of the Olympic Park - ok, you could say you'd get that from walking the park but any boater will tell you the difference :-D...

The cruise gave a really intimate view of the Olympic Park – ok, you could say you’d get that from walking the park, but any boater will tell you the difference 😀

nb Keture testing the turning width at the current limit of the navigation...

nb Ketura testing the turning width at the current limit of the navigation…

We did a few turns to check the "turning circle" available - 60' is not a problem and we reckon that you could turn a 70 footer using this notch...

We did a few turns to check the “turning circle” available – 60′ is not a problem and we reckon that you could turn a 70 footer using this notch…

The landscape looks very sere in its winter clothes...

The landscape looks very bare in its winter clothes…

This is an interesting structure..

This is an interesting structure..

Ohhh nooo, the boom's back in place - please let us back in sometime....

Ohhh nooo, the boom’s back in place – please let us back in sometime….

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