Paddo Basin – 30th August 2022

Once breakfast was digested and we topped up with more water we turned right onto the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal.

We are approaching London from a westerly direction. It is hardly an inspiring section of canal as it is bordered by many industrial sites, rail yards and low brow housing estates.

We were anticipating a lot of rubbish in the canal as when we have done this section previously, we have been in and out of the weed hatch pulling urban jellyfish (plastic bags) from around the prop.

This time we did not have to go into the weed hatch once.

We did strike large amounts of duckweed though. It does not foul up the prop as it sits just on the surface of the water.

It is never nice to see animal life trying to exist in these conditions though. These are your average Coots who had just had their second batch of chicks this summer so they must be doing ok under the circumstances.

It will be the fish who are struggling as the duck weed reduces the light that gets into the water and the oxygen levels.

When you see this photo it is very surprising we did not have to get into the weed hatch but the reason being is that the rubbish floated on top of the duck weed. It stunned us all why people just discard their rubbish into the canals. This was by far the worse section.

They are continually trying to remove the duckweed but within 24 hours it is back again. All the warm weather we have had makes it proliferate even quicker. You do see small sections of duckweed in other canals but nothing like around the London ones.

It was great being able to sit and cruise on the boat and have a good catchup as there are no locks on the route we are doing today.

We had excellent weather yet again with lots of blue sky. Coming into London on a gloomy wet day through some of the rather unpleasant areas of the canal would make for a very depressing entrance.

This photo is taken as you approach Little Venice which is near the center of the canal system in London. There are a lot of moored boats here that are on 14 day moorings but keep switching with one another to beat the system. This makes it difficult for visiting boater to be able to get a mooring which is unfair.

Wolfgang took the opportunity to get off the boat and do a lot of filming for his vlog. It has shown us just how much work he has to do to create his vlog.

This is the entrance into Paddington Railway Station from the Paddington Basin area where we will be moored.

We cruised just a little further and then turned around to come back to our mooring.

The reason to turn around was so that when we ran the engine to charge up the domestic batteries, we did not annoy other boaters. You need to run the engine for a minimum of two hours a day so you can understand how annoying it can be for others.

We are moored right outside St Mary’s Hospital which is famous for where Penicillin was discovered and also the hospital of choice where the Royal Family have their babies.

Once we were moored off, we sat back and enjoyed a long relaxing lunch. Fraser headed out for a run where he went down to Hyde Park and circumnavigated it before returning back to Paddington Basin. Pretty cool to be able to say you have been for a run through such a beautiful park. Once he had a rest, we headed out for a bit of a wander around our immediate surroundings.

We went to Paddington Station as we wanted to see the new Elizabeth Line which the Queen opened on the 17th May 2022.  Paddington Station is a very important place for Paddington Bear. It is where he was first found by Mr. and Mrs. Brown when he arrived in London and of course it is also the reason he got his name.

The Elizabeth Line trains are quite different to the tube trains in that they are much roomier and white in colour. We will hopefully get the chance to have a ride in one a little later on.

We came across what we thought was a pretty cool art installation on the pavement in Paddington Basin. It is simply a very large plug and almost everyone can’t help themselves not to try to pull up the chain.

We didn’t go that far from the Basin as it was getting late and already it is dark now by 8.30pm. We returned to the boat and finished off the evening with a game of cards. Being out in the fresh air again has made us all very tired and keen to hit the sack.

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