Tuesday, 19 September 2017
12-15 Sept the Bow Back Rivers
12-13 September in London
Tuesday we visited the Victoria and Albert Museum, then wandered backt o Paddington Basin via Hyde park, where we enjoyed the parakeets.
Wednesday we trekked to the London Canal Museum and acquired a new Nicholson's Guide for the Lee and Stort, etc.
Thursday 14 September Bilge cleaning and down the Regents Canal to Victoria Park (6 miles, 7 locks)
John discovered the bilge under the engine full of oily water, so we got to work with nappies and double heavy duty bin liners, and later tin can and plastic containers, once the oil was removed. Liana got down and dirty! Good team work, but it took all morning. We ambled through Little Venice, Maida Vale Tunnel and past the millionaire's mansions and zoo in Regents Park, enjoying the sun. We moored just before Camden Locks and had an interesting ramble around the arches and tunnels of Camden Market, now squeezed in because of the building all around. We shared a Thai lunch from a stall before continuing down the locks, helped by volunteers. They could not reach the middle lock because of the building, so we did that one ourselves. Over the seven locks, we shared with two trip boats and two local residential boats changing location. Above St Pancras Lock we used the Elsan facility at the St Pancras Boat Club. The tunnels are single way, so we were lucky to arrive at Islington Tunnel just as boats emerged, and we followed a trip boat through. Feeling tired, we moored at the nearest end of the Victoria Park moorings and John watched Arsenal on TV. A boat arrived in the dark looking to moor abreast, but moved later when she found a better place! Be prepared for folk expecting to breast up and walk across your boat in London.
Friday 15 September Hertford Union Canal , Bow Back River, Limehouse Cut and back to Three Mills (8 miles, 5 locks)
After emptying bin bags in the overfull skips (Veolia, they need emptying!) at Old Ford Lock, we turned sharp left onto the Hertford Union Canal, dropping down three rather stiff wide locks with unique paddle mechanisms. At the far end we turned South on the wide River Lee Navigation and passed down the other Old Ford Lock (!), which is powered, thankfully, chatting with CRT men coming up on their workboat. Turning very sharp left after sounding our horn as directed, we motored towards Carpenters Road Lock, along the cut with concrete sides threatening £150 a day charges for mooring by the Olympic Stadium, now West Ham FC's ground. We found that this lock, City Road Lock/sluice and Bow Locks all lock down onto the tidal Bow Creek, so this simplified things: Nicholson's 2016 Guide was not too clear. We turned right on the City Mill River at Carpenters Road Lock, keeping the Stadium and the corkscrew-like Orbit on our right. Past City Road Lock, with a wasteland being redeveloped on our right, we emerged back along the Bow Back River onto the main navigation near Three Mills, turned left to see Bow Locks in front of us, with the surface covered in green pondweed. Continuing down the Limehouse Cut, we stopped for lunch on the 24 hour moorings in Limehouse Basin. Later, we returned to Three Mills, where John moored on bollards by the studios and bridge, as he had spotted Tescos! As it was a quiet fairly scenic mooring by the tidal Bow Creek and Three Mills, we stayed the night.