What a day!! Reflecting back on how far we came yesterday, it was a great decision to come as far as we did. According to our Pearson’s guide it should take four hours to do the Paddington Arm of which we had already done an hour. Little did we know we would be significantly slowed down because of all the duck weed in the canal.
It was so thick the Moorhens were walking on top of the duck weed. The story on the weed is that because people are feeding the ducks bread they are not eating the weed. It can double in volume in three days and is exacerbated by warm weather.
They have this special machine that scoops it up but it seems hardly effective there is that much of the stuff. It was such slow going and five times we had to stop in four hours to clean out the weed hatch. It just wasn’t clogging up the propellor but also pushing through it was like pushing against carpet. So what should have been a three hour trip took four hours.
Remember us mentioning about the Moorhens making their nests out of rubbish in the canal. Well here is a prime example. A little fuzzy but you get the gist. The canal had a huge amount of rubbish floating or more like sitting on the duck weed and all along the canal towpath it was so disappointing to see all the rubbish.
We did cross over this significant road way on an aqueduct which was well elevated above the traffic – thankfully.
We met this large barge carrying rubbish from the city which we were surprised to see as we thought that probably it all went by road nowadays but it is good to see that the canals are still utilized this way. Not too sure where it was going but am sure this is only a portion of what must come out every day.
You come through the area of Little Venice first where you can moor up but there were no openings so we continued onto Rembrandt Gardens. You could moor up here for £10 per night but they were all full. The video above is of us as we came into Rembrandt Gardens. We had been told that if you get in early in the morning that there was a good chance you would get a free mooring.
After going through the Rembrandt Gardens area we were starting to get a little worried as we did not see any spare moorings or any boats we could breast up to until the very end. Sitting there just for us was another 57’ boat that had all its protective fenders down just waiting for a mate. It turns out that our kind neighbours are Janet and Dave who live in Worcester and have Toby their Cocapoo on board “Ella”.
We are moored right outside St Mary’s Hospital in the Merchant Square region of The Paddington Basin. Beside the hospital there are many flats as well as businesses and eateries. Across from the canal from us was a huge screen showing the tennis and there was a great crowd on the lawn and in deck chairs enjoying themselves.
We watched the Nadal/Federer game which was just excellent. Sunday here is going to be huge sport wise as there will be the cricket final and men’s Wimbledon final. Strange how they scheduled these two big finals for the same day.
Once we settled ourselves in we headed over to Paddington Station which is less than a five minute walk away and with the help of a very kind assistant, purchased our Oyster cards in preparation of travelling around the city.
It feels very surreal being here and especially on a canal boat. We did a reconnoiter of the area and checked out where the water, elsan and rubbish facilities were for the boaters. We then headed to a bistro across the canal and discovered that they had free wifi and allowed you to use you tube so we finally got to download our large file with the video that Kevin had given us. That will be on tomorrow’s blog.
Whilst there making the most of this opportunity we bumped into Janet, Dave and Toby so had a leisurely chat around a beer and compared boating stories. Guess you could call us boating tragics.
Earlier whilst mulling around the boat a gentleman and his wife came up to us and was curious as he knew Ange De L’Eau as being owned by Wolfgang and Marlene and who were we. They had shared time with W+M on the Thames and the Lancaster over the past few years so knew the boat well. Having reassured them that we hadn’t highjacked the boat and were caretakers for July and August it was time to share more tragic canal stories. The boating world is very small and a community in itself.