Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Pottering along to Paddington

It was a bit of a noisy night, with the Tesco being open 24 hours. It’s amazing what people find they need at 2 am!

We had an early start. We’re wanting to get moored at Little Venice, which must rate as the busiest mooring spot on the whole network. The theory is that arriving just after lunch we’ll be able to occupy the spots left vacant by those boats that have recently moved on.

Dave, Barbara and crew set off, but we didn’t follow on for about half an hour, needing to fill with water before we got underway.
We turned right under the white bridge you can see behind Mags on the last picture of yesterday’s post.

The bridge from the other side.
We’ll see this again in a few days time. We’re planning to go through Regent’s Park, but turning back at Cumberland Basin, at the top of the 11 locks dropping back down to Limehouse. If we went down these, we’d only have to come back up again.

The canal is broad and deep, very reminiscent of the Bridgewater in Manchester. Similarly, it has semi-rural stretches, with wooded banks.

It was in one of these that we spotted this muntjac deer in the canal.
The banks along here are piled and impossible to climb out on. We pulled in and I ran back, but, obviously frightened, it kept ahead of me and on the opposite side of the channel. It finally got in between some houseboats. Luckily there were a couple of women on the moorings who, when I told them what was happening, were able to help it out.
It disappeared off into the undergrowth, not the worse for it’s adventure.

The ducks, of course, are more at home in the environment.

Home, sweet home.
The canal crosses the busy North Circular Road on an aqueduct….

North Circular Aqueduct
And passes another group of residential moorings. I don’t think there’s too many deer around here though.
At West Kilburn the houses are built right on the canal….

And the Westway is cantilevered out over it.

Approaching Little Venice both sides of the canal are lined with moored boats. Visitors on the right, residents on the left.
Liberty Bell managed to drop into a slot along here, but there were no more available.

At Little Venice, the Regent’s Canal goes off to the left, while the Paddington Arm terminates in about half a mile at the basin.

Little Venice.
We turned down to the basin, spotting a likely spot on the way down and another couple on floating pontoons further along. We turned and moored on the hard edge about half way back.

Paddington Basin

Over the adjacent wall is Paddington Station, so it’s a bit noisy here at the moment, but I expect it’ll quieten down later.

It’s been very much cooler today, hazy sunshine turning to grey clouds this afternoon. The wind has increased again, now from the north.

Locks 0, miles 12

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