Saturday, August 23, 2008

But where are the Chinese opium dens?

Day 25, Little Venice to Limehouse Basin

I can hardly believe it. We're actually here in Limehouse Basin; Regents Canal Docks as was. The place that looked so enormous, so overwhelmingly full of yachts, and posh flats, when I saw it from the train. And here is Warrior, looking tiny, tucked away in a corner. Just one last ordinary lock, and here we were. Oh, if only I could see it as it was fifty; seventy-five years ago.

We were joined today by Vicky and Craig, from Eastbourne. They found us at Little Venice his morning, took a crash course in lock operation, and have just departed (ah, the wonders of the Tube) after a splendid few pints of Landlord and dinner at The Grapes, a pub with a balcony overlooking the Thames. The lumpy bit. There is a swing bridge here just like the Newhaven one, only bigger, and we saw it open to let a yacht in as we were on the way to the pub. OK, it had come from the sea end, but it still looked pretty hairy.

It was a brilliant day, coming through places I've walked, and past places I vaguely know, and seeing them from this new perspective. To look up from below a graffiti-ed bridge and see the Canary Wharf Tower.
To go through Camden Lock, and be part of the tourist attraction (but not get a photo of yourself), and not cock it up.

The weather was lovely too.

Also, we saw The Honourable Lady, one of the boats we went through Standedge with the year before last. At the time we first met, at the marina at Ashton under Lyne, the woman on it was upset because she'd just lost a kingfisher tiller pin given to her by a friend who had subsequently died. When we bought Warrior, it came with a kingfisher tiller pin, albeit one with rather a bent beak. So we had the sudden idea that (there being no one on board) we could leave it for her. So while Jim manoeuvred (leaving poor Vicky on the bank with no idea what was going on) I wrote a quick note and we were all set to leave it... only when we got close we saw that they had already found another one, so our good deed went undone. I like to think we still got the karma points though.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Doesn't Warrior look small! We're all frustrated by the lack of Duck news. Do you know if they're going again, and what the problem was?

The Moomins are currently upstream of Yarwell lock, moored on mudweights. One from a curiosity shop in Cockermouth, bought on our Lake-District hols, and one from the place in Ramsey. Just to do our bit for diversity, one is 56lb, and the other 25Kg.

S said...

The Duckies have updated now...

Craig Booth said...

Thanks to Sarah and Jim for a brilliant day out and uber-relaxed introduction to the world of narrow boating. I think we might be converts - Where's that Hoseasons brochure?
There are some photo's to see here

Craig Booth said...

Ah, it seems there is a word length restriction on the comment box.
That flickr website should be [cont.]

S said...

Thank you for coming - it really made the day, and I'm so glad you both enjoyed it. And thank you for the dinner!