We were on the move at ten past seven, that right. My son rang at about twenty past six to say he would be with us in twenty minutes to pick up our eldest grandson and take home after his week on the boat. We wanted to fill with water but there was a wide beam boat moored on the water point overnight and even I didn’t feel I couldn't climb all over his boat at this hour.
We ran back to the junction and then headed up the Padington arm stopping for water at Black Horse Bridge, when we arrived there was a boat already using the tap so we floated around until he had finished. There is a nice little notice by the water point , but not everyone understands what it means, or just don’t care. We met two chaps on bikes with backpack pumps, they were treating the edge of the towpath with weedkiller before the towpaths got busy with the weekend joggers. They obviously cover a much larger mileage on 2 wheels as opposed to walking. A little further on a couple of householders have carried out a land grab, extending their gardens by about a meter to the edge of the towpath and erecting a second fence.
There were quite a few places to moor this side of Little Venice and we spotted the odd place right up to the start of the official visitor mooring. There are some newish blocks of flats along the canal here which look as if they may have been built with Lego blocks. As little Venice was full we decided to have a look in Paddington Basin, like lots of other parts of London’s waterways it has a very good growth of duckweed. There was one mooring spot on the way into the basin but it was under the bridge beside the building site where they were using a concrete pecker. We did moor up but didn’t stay long, it was just to noisy and we had no idea what time they wood stop working. So we set off again to the end of the basin to wind and leave. As we approached the right angle left hand bend by the floating Chinese Restaurant I heard a horn, not car hooter blow so held back, a few seconds later a party boat came round the bend, what the skipper didn’t tell me as I was going round him was that there was a second one a boats length behind him, it made the turn slightly overshot but we still got round and through the bridge. We were soon passing the Pirate Club where some canoes were out enjoying themselves.
At Camden Lock there was a boat just entering and we shared with them for the rest of the day. This lock had 3 Volockies seeing boats through, but there were non at any of the other locks.
We were following two other boats all the way so progress was not fast, we did 7 locks together before I spotted what I thought was a boat leaving, but the girl said she had just moved it up so she could move her wide beam up, this would mean there would be room for us behind her so I dropped Diana at bridge 53 to investigate. It turned out that the end moorings were reserved tonight for a film crew so that was why she needed to move up and suggested we breasted up to the boat she had just moved along, which is what we did. We are a bit longer than them but there was room between their bow and the two boats ahead of them for us to fit in for the night.
One of the locks we passed through people were not only sunbathing but one group had actually had a BBQ going on the offside of the lock. The boat ahead suggested it may not be the best place and they put it out and moved.
London is saving some of its geometers and converting them to flats by building a round block of flats inside the frame, these are opposite St Pancras Boat Club. A one bed room studio will only set you back £810,000 leasehold.
21 miles, 7 Locks lots of junctions in 9½ hours.