Lived onboard Hadar

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Limehouse Basin to the Herts Young Mariners Base.

Wednesday 7th May.

LimeHouse to Herts Young Mariners Base.......15.1 miles and 9 locks.

Phewwwwww it’s a hot morning and we have only opened the back cabin doors to look outside. The forecast is suggesting temperatures of 25 degrees and sunshine all the way.
Paddy enjoyed an early morning walk, in a park, just around the corner of the mooring up. If you ever moor in the basin and want to walk your dog, you only need to walk a short way up Limehouse Cut and there is a park on the right.
Keith and I paid Carol and David a visit before leaving to say our goodbyes and to wish them well on the Thames. We are sure we will meet up with them again sometime. We were finally ready to leave at 9.20am, so Keith fired Hadar into life, and her heart began to thump away as we left the mooring and turned into Limehouse Cut.The scenery was not that spectacular, so very little to show for it in photos. We left Limehouse Cut at Bow Locks and entered the River Lee Navigation.Like with most of our journey along the Grand Union and Regents Canal, there is a lot of redevelopment going on, so it is nice to see old building dating back to the 18th Century. The Three Mills at Bow has been modified somewhat, but the exterior still remains charming, as it did back in the 18th Century.
We passed under Bow Bridge, where they are beginning the transformation to house the 2012 Olympics.Let’s hope that the event brings something worthwhile to the Capital and the country. It should be an exciting time for Britain as a whole.
There are a number of Marshes, which include Hackney Marsh. These have been given over to many kinds of wildlife, including the otter.
Another thing that dominates the scenery is the Reservoirs, of which there are many, it is actually a shame because you cannot see the reservoirs from the canal, and you just see a bank of grass. To actually see the water itself you would need to moor up and walk to them, which is not easy as there are very few places to actually moor in the River Lee Navigation.
We did 9 locks today and they have different operating techniques. Three of them have push button mechanics, using your BW key.
Like at Old Ford Lock.Which makes it a doddle, well I say that until we came to Stonebridge Lock and the electrical lock was not working, so it was all by hand on paddles that you wound up for ever. One was not working at all and the others took ages to operate, you also have to wind the gates open and shut. In 25 degrees heat it was not a pleasant job believe me.
There were some really nice areas, with lots of greenery, and then you hit a built up area.
We passed by Springfield Marina and onward past Lee Rowing Club.We saw these two brand new Thames Sailing Barges, gosh they were beautiful. From looking through the hull windows they were not yet being lived in. We saw the South Island Marina, which Michael and Maureen Pinnock own, and is where they keep their working boats. It looked like no one was home, so we carried on up through Ponders End Lock, Keith caught me on camera walking across the lock gates, just as well I did not know as I may well have fell in ha ha ha.Now I will say, it is not something everyone should try. I have good balance other wise I would not have been contemplating walking across a lock gate with no hand rail. So please do not do it if you are not sure about your own footing.We passed under the M25, which was at a total stand still.We were told that earlier on in the day there had been a lorry fire; we suspect that this was a tail back from another accident. How lucky we are not to be caught up with any of that anymore. This is when I feel so privileged to be doing what we do.
Our day ended above Waltham Lock. We found a nice mooring over looking an outdoor climbing wall, sailing and canoeing park belonging to the Herts Young Mariners Base. It was now 4.50pm and both Keith and I had felt the heat, so it was nice to sit down to a coffee and relax. Marmite was put into her harness and allowed to sit on the counter, whilst I opened all the doors and windows to allow some air into the boat. We have had a long and hectic day; we shall see what tomorrow has to offer.

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