Monday, 1 August 2011

Day 10: The boat by platform 18 is the 19:48 service from Cambridge

Cassiobury Park- Paddington Basin

28 miles, 12 locks

The final push today saw us moored in Paddington Basin- or rather, on the arm leading to the basin in a convenient gap- at just before 8pm. We had started at 9am on the dot, and met up with Larkwood to share the last 12 GU locks before Bull's Bridge junction, where we would turn off down the Paddington arm and they would head straight to Brentford.

The sun was out and the day got hotter and hotter. With the fridge on maximum, a we would put a drinks bottle in the freezer compartment and then swap for another bottle when frozen to have a continuous supply of cold water. Lyra was placidly flopped out for most of the day, but she too enjoyed some water which had been in the freezer compartment to be cooled down. Unfortunately, because of the risk of her making an unscheduled trip ashore to explore at a lock or bridgehole, we had to keep the doors shut and the side-hatch closed, but we did remove the glass from the top hopper opening of a few of the windows to get some airflow through the boat.

We made good progress and reached the junction at 4pm, where we turned and headed off along the arm. There was a fair bit of weed around- the scum floating on the surface hiding the blanket weed underneath. However the Nene is far worse, and a few spins of the prop into astern cleared the 4 or 5 tangles that we had.

We headed nicely into the centre of London, enjoying the differing surroundings- factories smelling of delicious curry, run-down and abandoned industrial units, manicured parks and open space and particularly grand houses. Although there was a fair amount of space around Little Venice, we pushed on slightly more to the arm towards Paddington Basin, where we found a space in the shadow of a tower crane and the plant that's working on the station.

Lyra was not particularly impressed with London at first- it's particularly busy here, but having taken her out just now, she's much happier and managed to find- but luckily not catch!- a mouse.

The late evening was spent with Simon of NB Tortoise in the local Warwick Castle pub, which is particularly fine; dark panelling, mirrors, open doors to the street and frosted glass with high-backed leather-covered chairs. Brilliant! We talked about boating and many related topics until last orders, when we headed home in the cool of the evening. When we returned home, we found a friend had left two small gifts on the boat- some cat treats for Lyra, and a wooden duck that quacks when blown.

We're planning on staying stationary tomorrow, before having a gentle cruise to Battlebridge Basin by St. Pancras down the Regents on Wednesday, and then a short trip to Limehouse to see Amy's sister before heading back in a more leisurely fashion.

1 comment:

  1. The north circular acquaduct is cool isn't it? Gliding quietly across the traffic below: two worlds collide. The Warwick Castle is lovely & cosy, a proper pub. On the way back try to catch the News Revue comedy show at The Canal Cafe Theatre, Bridge House, Little Venice.