I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Packet Boat Marina (Regents Canal / Paddington Arm / Grand Union / Slough Arm) – Saturday 16th August

I’d set the alarm for 6.30am but Richard was up and making tea at 6.15am.  We had to get to Packet Boat Marina before 4pm as that is the time they shut on a Saturday and Canalplan was saying that it would take us 7½ hours and that probably didn’t take into account being on tick-over most the way.

Astro turfed steps
"Viewpoint"
We were under way just after 7am (our first early start this summer) and the sun was shining.  We had 4 locks to do – St. Pancras and the 3 at Camden.  The steps overlooking the canal at Granary Square in Kings Cross have undertaken a makeover with 500 square metres of astro turf being laid, creating a luscious green seating area for the second year running.  Opposite the steps the Finnish studio AOR has installed an angular platform where visitors can make contact with some of the local wildlife.

It was all very quiet – no other silly b****r around at 7am!  Gradually London seemed to wake up with the joggers around first followed by dog walkers.  Camden Lock was deserted – so much for breakfast!




This guy was just drinking one can of lager after the other – see the box on the ground?
  

I did the most perfect entrance into the second Camden Lock from a difficult position and got applauded by four lads sitting beside it.  I was really pleased with myself!!
  

It was then along through Regents Park and I made the most of the concrete sides and no moored boats but speeding up – just a bit you understand!!  The Snowden aviary is looking a bit sad now but was full of big birds mostly asleep on one leg!  The aviary actually celebrates its 50th birthday this year!


Into the Regents Tunnel and then Little Venice.  We didn’t have time to explore the Paddington Arm to see the work that has been done there.
  



A quick stop to dump rubbish and then off again.  Richard took the tiller here and I went down to sort out yesterday’s blog and do some cooking.  I have found this part of the Paddington Arm rather boring in the past but Richard said that some of it was rather nice and quite rural.

Muffin was so fed up today – no walking opportunity :-(


We stopped for lunch at the end of the Paddington Arm and then headed off onto the Grand Union itself – it’s a long time since we cruised its waters.  We turned up the Slough Arm and into Packet Boat Marina where Mary H will rest her weary head for a couple of weeks.  

We have very noisy neighbours in the marina – excited children staying with Grandpa.  If it's noisy on Mary H it must be bedlam on their boat!

In the evening we had been invited to Still Rockin and to meet Carol and George.  I was really looking forward to it as not only is it lovely to meet fellow bloggers but I was going to see their lovely new boat – and it was going to be my first time on a wide beam!  We walked round to where they were moored and were made to feel really welcome though Molly (the dog) wasn’t too sure about Muffin (don’t blame her really!!).  We had the guided tour around the boat and it is absolutely gorgeous – so big and airy and much more like an apartment than a boat.  We chatted on and of course the subjects got round to toilets and batteries!!  Toilets was interesting though as they have a composting toilet on board and even though they told us all about it and how great it is – I’m not sure it would be for us!  The battery subject gave Richard something to think about to with traction batteries and he told me all about them before going to sleep!  Before we knew where we were it was 4 hours later and we hadn’t taken the blogger’s photo so once we had done that we said our goodbyes and wended our way back to Mary H about 12.15am!  It was a lovely evening and we hope to catch up with them again on the Thames next month.


20.33 miles
4 locks

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