About Me

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After thirty years of hiring, I finally bought my own 50ft boat in 2005, which was built in 2001 by Andicraft at Debdale Wharf. I mostly cruise single handed and have no problem with that, although it does take a little longer than with a crew. My mooring is on the Wey Navigation, so I have a choice of routes on the Wey or the Thames.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Grand Canal Tour 2014. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

We were due to set off at 9am and assemble in numbered order, according to Andrew’s schedule, on the way up the Limehouse Cut. It appeared to work out OK, with some boats overtaking and others hanging back. After that it was just a case of follow my leader, except that I mistakenly went into Old Ford Lock, instead of turning right after losing sight of the boat in front of me, who had already turned the corner before I got there. There were CRT guys in a dinghy there, supposedly to direct us, but they seemed happy enough to just watch our antics. Eventually, we set off in the right direction, with the giant stadium to the right and with views of the ArcelorMittal Orbit with its viewing tower. The water was exceptionally clean and the banks were pristine concrete, but as Barry remarked, “It’s very sterile.” 
Chaos at the start!

What is this, I wonder?
Mirror Bridge.
 ArcelorMittal Orbit. The tallest sculpture in the UK.
The Aquatics Centre.
The best saved till last! (photo by Roger Squires)

We continued past Carpenters Road Lock and turned south until we came to the Crossrail temporary blockage to navigation, were all the boats winded and returned to the boom across Bow Back River. It was here that we turned north again, but now on the Bow Back River and then on Waterworks River  until we winded at the end and returned to the moorings above Bow Locks, where we all stayed for the night. Although there were BBQ facilities laid on by SPCC, which we visited briefly, it was too far away to carry all the food etc., so we barbequed on my Cobb BBQ, which was safely located on the aft deck.

Barry then suggested that we paid a visit to The Widow’s Son, aka The Bun House in Bow http://www.pubs.com/main_site/pub_details.php?pub_id=793

Barry used to enjoy this pub when he was working in the area, some years ago and knew the landlord, as they used to work together, so he was rather hoping to meet up again after all the years apart. When we walked in, all our faces dropped a mile. It was one of the worst pubs any of us had ever been in and Barry was obviously very disappointed. There was no real ale on tap, so we had Euro-fizz and Barry drank bottled cider. The din from the so called music was dreadful and the place was filled with yobbos and tarts, mostly on drugs, by the way they behaved. Barry lapsed into a state of extreme despondency and was speechless for at least half an hour - most unusual! In that time, Terry and I voiced our opinions of the place. Barry will never be allowed to forget this! Unfortunately, there was nowhere else to go in Bow, so after one drink we all left. I recently read a review of the pub, which said, “I will never set foot in this place again!” I think we all said hallelujah to that!

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