Waving Goodbye, 31st July

Eco-Moorings to Ballot Box Bridge, Paddington Arm

Mick was off with a shopping list to keep us going for the next few days until we can get a click and collect somewhere. Then it was time to sit down with the Geraghtys. Todays topics, Olympics, Toddler stage school and Trampolines.

Time for us to head off. We unplugged (once the dishwasher had finished), turned on our tunnel light and followed the trip boats through Islington Tunnel. On the other side a boat was showing off it’s tyre sculptures. A curvy lady and a lizard, all very clever, have to say I preferred the lizard.

Below St Pancras Lock

Many of the same boats were moored up in the same spots as when we first came past a month ago, tyre fenders touching the water an ideal place for a moorhen or coot to build a nest. Have to say one boat almost certainly had done a diy nest on their back deck, the predominance of organic material a sheer give away, London coots and moorhens like a bit of plastic bling added to their nests!

Back up at St Pancras

St Pancras Lock sat full, full of duck weed, in the last two weeks the bloom has taken over.

NB Chance

As we worked our way up Richard and Victoria from NB Chance stopped for a bit of a chat, they are currently staying at the Cruising Club before heading onwards, we also spotted NB Misty Blue pulled in against NB Flora Dora. Today we wouldn’t be stopping, not even for water as planned, someone else had got to the tap before us.

Under the railway tracks

We waved goodbye to the gas holders as we ducked under the railway bridges and carried on our way westwards.

Safe behind the railings

Below Kentish Town Lock Christine was waiting behind the railings to watch our ascent up the three locks, the last on the Regents Canal. She stayed a good distance away from the waters edge at all times, just as well as she still had her shopping to do.

Moondance and Oleanna swap

The pretty NB Moondance was coming down in the middle lock, so we swapped over in the pound below and carried on upwards. The boat that had been on the water point at St Pancras appeared below the locks, but we were well on our way up and there was plenty of water coming down.

Keeping the tourists happy

Hampstead Road Lock was full and needed the gates closing so we had a pause whilst I set the lock, no volunteers on duty today, although Mick said an off duty lockie stopped to say hello.

Hampstead Road Lock, gongoozler central

Now which gate was the b**ger to close? I called Mick to see if he could remember, he couldn’t, don’t know why I asked really! Foolishly I chose to open the gate on the island which opens over the steps, this was the wrong gate and did take quite a lot of effort to close. A lady appeared at the other gate and said as much, wound down a paddle then stood keeping an eye on the bottom gate. I half expected the lock to immediately be emptied as soon as I closed the top gate, but it wasn’t.

Bye bye Christine

Christine had headed up onto the bridge above for one final wave goodbye. It’s been lovely to be able to catch up with family whilst we’ve been in London, spending some quality time with them. There were plenty more people we could have seen, but family were the most important for this visit.

Now back into the mayhem that is trip boats, paddle boarders and Goboats. The paddle boarders held back as we passed following NB Black Pearl who stayed in tick over for most of the way through Regents Park.

Piling going on

Big piling has been going in where we’d seen the sunken workboats two weeks ago. All boats now above water, a busy site.

By the time we reached Park Road Bridge we had another trip boat behind us, three Goboats at least coming through the not quite tunnel ahead. Then came another trip boat. With three boats waiting to go through, Goboats dawdling, some having pulled in right where the new trip boat had to go as there was nowhere else for it, it slammed into reverse! Quite surprised there wasn’t an incident!

Once through Maida Hill Tunnel we were away from any possible collisions. Rembrandt Garden moorings were awaiting it’s next lot of moorers and luckily for us the water point through Westbourne Terrace Bridge was empty, we pulled in, hooked up the hose and started to fill up. The tap being slow we knew we’d have chance to have something to eat before carrying on.

Blimey those fish down there blow big bubbles! I waited to see if one would surface in amongst the grass but it didn’t.

Slowly we cruised out west, we passed the widebeam we’d rescued a few weeks ago. Where scaffolding has been used to tie up to forever the hording boards have been removed, maybe the scaff will follow and people will have to drive mooring spikes in again. A wall we’d seen being cleaned of graffit tags as we came in last time already has a collection forming again.

Just where we’d rescued the widebeam a couple of weeks ago

Our progress slowed to the point where we needed to stop to clear the prop. Urban Jellyfish, as Tom used to call them, had been caught on our prop.

In Alperton we noticed a mural under a bridge. Had this been here before? A plaque at the end mentioned the artists name Gianpaolo Buccheri and that the piece was a commission from C&RT. It turns out it was created only a couple of weeks ago.

I also like the cat and sofa that must have been there longer.

Might have to start carrying a container with me soon

Soon we arrived at our destination, now our usual stop in and out of London, Ballot Box Bridge. We pulled in where there was plenty of space and despite it being very nearly Tilly’s dingding time she was given an hour of shore leave. I put a chicken in the oven to roast and Mick cleared the prop again.

4 locks, 1 tunnel, 11.63 miles, 1 right, 1 full water tank, 1 dry Christine, 1 empty wee tank, 2 trips down the weed hatch, 1 near miss, 2 many Goboats, 2 boaters and 1 cat waving goodbye to London.