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

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Returned to Limehouse Basin (Regents Canal) – Saturday 6th September

Now this morning we really were up early – 6.15am!  We were due to slip our lines at 7.30am to go onto the Thames and see the Tall Ships.  We had an order to leave Limehouse in and we were second from the end.  We headed up the Lee Navigation, passed Bow Locks (they would have been too slow for 16 boats to go through) and up to entrance to the Olympic Park.  It usually has a barrier across it but that had been removed especially for us.  Lenny, tidal lock keeper extraordinaire, had managed to achieve free flow on City Mill Lock so that both sets of gates were open for our convoy to pass through.  It was then a tight right hand turn after the lock and the under a very low bridge – we just managed it with the chimney up.  We then cruised down to Three Mills Lock were we had a strict locking order to adhere to but it still seemed rather chaotic!  

We were being watched
Three Mills
Once through Three Mills Lock we were onto Bow Creek.  This had the opportunity to either be a grotty or a lovely creek – grotty won!!  I didn’t take any photos as it really didn’t warrant any.  However we were soon at the end and there was the O2 in front of us and the Trinity Light Ship beside us.  Sadly it was quite misty and grey and the moored tall ships were on the other side of the river which meant that we couldn’t really see them that well – also their masts disappeared into a haze of a gasometer and cranes! 

Trinity Lightship
We made our way down the east side of the Isle of Dogs and Canary Wharf came into view with just a hint of sun on all the buildings.  I remember when the NatWest tower was the first and highest building – it is almost dwarfed now!

Canary Wharf from the east side
We passed the Old Royal Naval College, the Cutty Sark and the MS Europa (a very expensive cruise ship!).  We then turned down Deptford Creek – what can I say!!!  If we thought Bow Creek was grotty then what was this!  Still it is another one crossed off the list – I wonder where I can get the bridge plate from! 

Deptford Creek
It was then back out onto the Thames and up the west side of the Isle of Dogs and a different perspective of Canary Wharf.  Quite a few of the Tall Ships that are moored at Woolwich were out which was great though only a token sail up as there was no wind.

When we got to Limehouse we had to wait, stemming the tide, for our turn to get through the lock and into the basin.  The lock isn’t that big and as there were 17 narrow boats to go through it took 5 lockings – we were number 4.  It was very lumpy out on the river – the ribs that give thrill rides are a pain in the a**e as they make so much wash and make it even more lumpy.  The huge and fast Clipper ferries hardly make any wash at all.  After 45 minutes it was our turn and we took refuge in the lock!

Tugboat Portwey
The Cutty Sark
After tying up we all adjourned to the Cruising Association for a very nice buffet lunch.

We would do the trip again?  To see the Tall Ships - probably not in Mary H as we couldn’t get near enough to them but as an experience and to see waterways that not many other boaters have seen then a definite yes.

We had a very quiet afternoon as we were both shattered.  After dinner we, once again, adjourned to the Cruising Association and met up with Mimi and Richard with their daughter, Lisa, to hear all about their trip to see the Tall Ships.

Antony Gormley's Old Father Thames
Canary Wharf from the west side
When we got back to the boat Muffin had been barking again and disturbing the neighbours.  We can’t leave him again – so once again he wins.  Hmm.

Approximately 9.23 miles
3 locks

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