Sunday, May 01, 2016

An unexpected diversion (cruise retrospective)

At Camden Lock, one of the Vollies (Volunteer Lockies, bless them!) warned us that the Hertford Union Canal had been closed for an unknown period. It had been closed since first thing this morning, when a boat knocked a lock gate off its hinge, for goodness' sake! How??

OK, no problem. There's an alternative route via Limehouse Basin and the Limehouse Cut. It'd be a longer journey. Not an issue. It'd mean we could moor at Limehouse Basin, and that would be cool! I don't know why we hadn't considered that route in the first place. Moving on from Camden, then, we went down Old Ford Lock, passed the entrance to Duckett's Lock (Hertford Union Canal) and made our way down the 5 lock/mile stretch to Limehouse and the Thames.

The very diverse architectures continued to fascinate.

We were bowled over by one development, in which cylindrical blocks of flats were being built inside the framework which used to support gas holders, or gasometers. This design is reflected in a house a bit further down the canal.

While Kantara was standing high in one lock, with me opening the bottom paddles to lower her, Grace was approached by a group of Japanese tourists, wanting to know where they should go to meet our "ship" (sic), board her and take a tour. It wasn't clear whether they were more embarrassed or surprised when Grace explained that this was, in fact, our home, and not for hire!

At another lock, I was the focus of attention of a group of four orthodox Jewish Rabbis, or perhaps one Rabbi with three disciples, trainees. And it wasn't so much me that interested them, but the lock itself. The amount of hilarity it caused was unusual, to say the least. They were speaking Hebrew, so I had no idea what was being said, but there was a lot of laughter and animation, much excitement about the rushing water, and a good deal of photography. They were still watching in amazement as we left.

Then came Limehouse Basin. It did not disappoint.


  1. Fabulous trip and a great basin! My Koos walked there while I was at the London Book Fair, so I missed it. Now I want to go and have a look. Ah well, next time round!

    1. It's a must-see, Val. We loved the huge variety of boats. I hope Koos took photos for you!