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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Paddington Basin to Limehouse Basin.

Tuesday 6th May.

Paddington Basin to Limehouse Basin - 9miles......12 locks.

It was a bright morning, not just in the weather, but in our mood as we were looking forward to a good days cruising to Limehouse Basin. So 8am we left Paddington Basin and headed out into Little Venice Pool.It was a lot quieter than it had been all weekend, with many of the boats already on their way home. The wildlife now had the peace and quiet back to themselves.
We turned right onto the Regents Canal following Lost the Plot, heading for Maida Hill Tunnel, being over looked by Café Lavilla, the tunnel itself is only 272 yds long. We were then on the outskirts of Regents Park, which is very green and beautiful, with houses of fine architecture and of course is famous for Blow up bridge.From the canal you also get an excellent view of Snowdon Aviary at London Zoo, which we had walked through a few days previous.On one side was the aviary and on the other a pack of wild dogs, which is a bit of a contrast.
Heading around the bend through Cumberland basin, Keith pointed out the floating Chinese Restaurant Feng Shang. One day I would love to have a meal there. But I can well imagine it is not cheap. A girl can dream I guess.We were still following lost the Plot owned by Dave and Carol, sharing the locks as we carried on our way past the Pirate Club and Camden town market, which is another place we would love to visit at some point.
One thing that is very clear is the amount of building work going on along the regents Canal, lots of apartments, with huge price tags no doubt.
We cruised on past Battlebridge Basin where a boat museum can be found, you can also use the visitor moorings provided you have contacted them first. Onward through Islington Tunnel 960 yds long, so ear plugs were required.
I was saying about the new apartments going up, but it was also nice to see some of the old buildings being left, so people can see the history of this part of London.We had reached Old Ford Lock still with Dave and Carol on NB Lost the Plot, when alls we could see was a boat moored part way across the lock entrance.On reaching the lock, we could see that the gentleman onboard was filling up with water, with a short hose, so was making life very difficult for anyone who wanted to use the lock. Carol asked if he would move his boat back a little so we could bring a pair of boats down, and his reply was “I could move, but I am filling up with water”. So we carried on regardless. Carol and I filled the lock and Keith and David steered the boats around him. He was clearly trying to be obstructive, but it mattered not as he was not going to ruin our day.
Canary Wharf came into view and we were getting closer to Limehouse Basin.It really is quite stunning, where ever you look.
We descended down through Commercial Road Lock and into Lime House Basin, and I was completely blown away by the place. Even though it is surrounded by apartments it is stunning. Keith found us a mooring.We had some lunch as by the time we moored up it was 1.50pm, and then we were invited out for a drink with Carol and David, so went to the boat club house in the basin. After a well earned pint we walked all the way around the basin, and saw some of the beautiful expensive boats.This boat was the first thing we saw as we came out of the last lock of the day. Mega money and not my sort of thing.
Later we eat dinner and set about washing down the boat getting rid of the weekend’s dust, which had collected from Paddington basin, and last of all cleaned the brass.
We have seen lots of wildlife on the trip down, which included Canada Geese and their young, Coots and their young, swans and the first cygnets we’ve seen this year, and amazing enough Terrapins. Red Eared Terrapins, which were bought as pets when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were the craze, but as soon as the kids got board with them, they ended up dumped in the canal.This was one of six we saw, and they should not be handled as they give a nasty bit and salmonella into the bargain.
Another lovely sight was lots of pairs of Golden eye ducks, they are medium sized diving ducks, and you can see them on fresh and sea water, very sweet indeed.
Whilst walking around the basin, a shoal of Carp caught our eye, and these Carp were huge. Keith spotted a rather large Pike, it was at least 3ft long, and was sitting in wait for these Carp, probably thinking “Come to me, dinner, dinner, dinner”. The Carp swam straight past him and back again, not worried at all.So another fantastic day, and into the bargain we have met another lovely couple in Carol and David on NB Lost the Plot, we sincerely hope to see them again, they are heading off onto the Thames where as we are heading up Limehouse Cut.


Maureen said...

LOVE the turtle pic! How nice it is warm for you... we are still going from warm to cold days here... nothing steady.

Have a great weekend Jo and Keith!
(oh, and great photo of Jo, Keith! Very cool to see her up there!)

Anonymous said...

They are bream, not carp.
Great pictures - a much nicer side of LDN life.

Keith and Jo Lodge said...

Thank you for that. We were not entirely sure what they were. It is lovely around there and we will be coming back soon.