The Final Leg. 23rd September

Colebrooke Eco-moorings to Limehouse Basin

The first of the flotilla boats came past a little after 8am in the rain. We were on the move up to the water point a bit after 9 to fill up and to empty as needed. Cheryl from Firecrest came to wish us luck and Tilly watched Tracy Ullman walk her dog.

It’s that woman off the tele!

Heather and NB Bleasdale arrived, our locking partner, soon followed by Sally on NB Mobius. We’d all fit in the locks together, Oleanna on one side and Bleasdale and Mobius one behind the other on the other side.

Sally had extra crew on board so it made for light work. The eight locks down to Limehouse were completed in just under three hours. Care was needed fitting all three boats in the locks not only at the stern to miss the cill but also at the bow so as not to get hung up on the gates.

A stretch of towpath was cordoned off which necessitated getting back on board to do the next lock.

We wondered what the giant pear was growing over an archway, was it a butternut squash? And the Hackney sharks now sing from the canal and roof tops with a giant butternut squash over the top of the barge.

We arrived at Limehouse and claimed a stretch of the lower wall, still quite a height to get up to. The pontoon was reserved by the advance boats for those who don’t do climbing up and down walls.

Albert Victor alongside

After lunch the boats were a hive of activity another two boats arriving and breasting up. White lights were being draped over cabin sides, down to bows. We put up our extended mast and then checked with others about it’s height. In the back of our heads we’d been wondering if it might be too high and cause a sight line issue, keeping good watch will be all important out on the river with so many boats about in close proximity to each other. So we reduced it’s height and set about rearranging the lights.

Boats all waiting

Our new length of lights covered most of the boat, a second length cable tied around the stern, attached in several places or safety. We couldn’t decide whether to add any more or just to leave them be, final decision will be made in the morning. Other boats have a lot more lights than us.


At 7pm it was time to meet up with everyone at the Cruising Association for the safety briefing. We were handed two glow sticks for use in emergencies, a flotilla flag and number which must be displayed so that we can be seen to be part of the flotilla. Sheets of information were given out, which arch of which bridge the white section should use etc. This was followed by a meal and a couple of glasses of wine chatting amongst the crew.

Checking they all work

Back at Oleanna Mick turned the lights on as did David on NB Albert Victor, very pretty.

Trying out settings on the camera

Just a few things left to do tomorrow.

8 locks, 4.3 miles, 3/4 full water tank, 1 empty wee tank, 3 in a lock, 2 abreast, 80m, 15m of lights, 1 flotilla flag, 2 red glow sticks, 71st boat, 2 boaters just about ready, 1 cat who has no idea!