This morning we came across some interesting boats on our way down the Lee. These modern Thames barges used as offices, this houseboat with an outboard steered from a high seat and model car wheel and dashboard.
I did like the ingenuity of this cratch cover made of Perspex. The lifeboat is the one we passed the other day and which is heading for Paris, believe it or not.
We soon reached Tottenham Lock with the automatic version on the left and then down onto a very weedy stretch, thought it would stop the boat but managed to free the weed after a lot of effort. We then passed the Anchor and Hope Pub and into view came the Olympic Stadium.
Looking up the Hertford Canal Junction with its many moored boats we could see the Gherkin in the distance.
Just before Old Ford Lock we came across the Diesel Boat so stopped to fill up, unfortunately they had run out of gas but told us that we could buy some at the Calor yard a little further down the river, where they would be heading to restock. They told us that there had been an explosion of boats on the Lee over the last year to such an extent that they had had to reduce their operating area to cope with demand. The Old Ford Lock was operated for us by a Lockie which was a nice treat and if we had wanted to we could have had breakfast at the lock side Cafe as we went down.
Below the lock we passed the two entrances to the Bow Back Waters which would give access to the Olympic Park but which have been blocked off until the Crossrail system is finished and now only opened for special organised cruises. Immediately after Bridge 5 we found the Calor Yard on the left and the Red Diesel Supplier on the right which Adam had told us about, could not see the price but I guess that is where the Diesel Boat would replenish. Next came the 18th Century Three Mills where Alan (Junes friend) is rehearsing the show he is taking to the Japan, China, and Australia in the next few weeks.
Passing Bow Locks which would take you down Bow Creek to the Thames we turned down the Limehouse Cut heading for the basin and were lucky enough to moor up on the pontoon so we were able to get Jimmy off with out too much trouble.
Deciding to eat out for lunch we headed for the Grapes a 16th century pub where Dickens lived, and based the Three Jolly Fellowship Porters. We had a lovely welcome from the barmaid and enjoyed a great plate of Fish and Chips with stunning views out onto the Thames.
After lunch Graham and I went for a walk to St Katherine’s Dock stopping off at The Prospect of Whitby, said to be one of the oldest pubs in London dating back to 1520, and then passing the Met. Police Marine Division river headquarters founded in 1798.
We had a nice stroll through the quiet streets of Wapping and along as much of the Thames path as we were able to walk and eventually reached the Dock with its fine array of boats.
In pride of place was the Queens Rowbarge still looking immaculate and obviously a big tourist attraction.
Walking under the Tower Bridge roadway tunnel we immerged into hoards of Tourists, a far cry from the quiet streets we had just left. They had come to Tower of London to see it and the river of Red handmade Poppies to commemorate the fallen of the First World War. It is certainly something special and a very moving sight although it will not be completed until November.
Time was getting on and fortunately we had looked at the bus stop time tables as we walked along and were able to get two buses back to Limehouse. The No. 100 and the D3 both of which seem to run at 5-9 minute intervals so we were back on the boat in a flash.
Later that evening Alan, a dear friend of June, who lives 10 minutes walk away in Wapping came to visit and catch up with life over the last 40 years and share a bottle of wine.