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cribBlog is meant to complement the handwritten account of Cribbit's travels which we keep on board and rather euphemistically call 'the ship's log'. This will have a briefer narrative but will include more photographs than make their way into the paper log.

 cribBLog 2013

 Greenford to Limehouse Basin and back

25 October 2013

No major excursions this year so only this measly entry. Just short hops down to Greenford or Alperton to catch the tube into central London for our Cheesists meetings. Also a little restricted as working on re-wiring the engine controls and replacing the stern back and door covering.

The plan was for Jim and Terry to join me on an excursion to see the Olympic park now that it has been decommisioned. The attraction of a new bit of waterway being too much to resist. Unfortunately, this little excursion will have to wait until 2016 at the earliest as it will be closed off until then. We like the Limehouse trip so decided to go down there anyway.

Terry joined me on Friday at Greenford and we headed off with Paddington planned as our first station stop.

Moored for supplies at Sainsbury's, Kensal Green

Terry at the helm with the
Trellick Tower in the background

Even at this time of year Paddington Basin was pretty full. Wondered why a prime spot was left empty though and moored up. Then we discovered that the innocent loooking stream of bubbles rising across the cut, and which we were moored on top of, sounded something like a badly designed jaccuzi inside the boat and would not be conducive to a quiet night's sleep. Terry walked forward again and negotiated a double breasting with nb Mary. The advantage of this was that owner Joe was able to recommend a pub in the area suitable for the likes of us.

The pub was the Prince Alfred, at the junction of Formosa and Castellain Streets, not far from Warwick Avenue.

Prince Alfred

Inside gleaming with mirrors, plate glass and mahogany

Saturday, 26 October 2013

A short day's boating for us as we had a busy day in London town planned. We moved down from Paddington Station to King's Cross station, or more properly to King's Place, the Guardian offices and entertainment centre on the canalside.

At Camden locks with the crew of nb Skylark

With nb Skylark

We headed to the Barbican to see the Pop Art design exhibition but as I thought that this was in the Museum of London, went there first. The museum proved very seductive so it was a reluctant pair who abandoned it to go in search of the Pop art exhibition at the Barbican Centre.

The exhibition was excellent as well with a good mix of furniture, art and design.

Then a quick rush to Compton Street in Soho to get pepper salsicci sausages at I.Camisa before they closed. By now we were ready for something to eat so prowled Wardour Street in search of dim sum, alas we were too late but our hunger was easily remedied from the a la carte menu.

Off to the South Bank Centre for our evening's concert but just time to take in the Strength and vulnerability bunker in the basement. This was organised by the Koestler Trust and displayed art by prisoners, offenders on community sentences, secure psychiatric patients and immigration detainees. This was amazing but very disturbing.

Took our seats for 'Now is the time .... let freedom ring!'. A tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King. This was amazing too, a jazz evening based on he rhythms of Dr. King's speeches illustrated with contemporary news film of happy people and grim [and violent] police. Interspersed with contemporary poems performed on video by their authors. The music was great too and I had no idea that such sounds could be produced by a violin as done by Omar Puente.

After the concert we met up with the Cheesists, Tom, Elaine and Allan as well as my ex-colleague Richard who was singing in the choir and shook hands in awe with Omar. Hope I didn't squeeze too hard.

Fiished off the evening with draught Badger ales at the Ship and Shovel near Villiers Street.

Let freedom ring! With solo from Omar Puente

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Left our moorings at King's Place heading for Old Ford locks and a rendezvous with Margaret somewhere near Victoria Park.

Moored at King's Place

Islington tunnel prepared for halloween ghostly cruises


Skellington again

Into Duckett's cut

Tied up for the night

Decided that Duckett's cut would be a good place for Margaret to join us and was pleased to find rings just before Gunmaker's Bridge. Margaret soon arrived and we settled into a roast pheasant for or lunch.

Margaret headed off for her visit with the grandchildren and Terry and I took a turn around the park before heading to the Crown at the Crown gates of the park.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Left Gunmakers bridge where we had overnighted, oblivious to the storms battering the rest of the country and headed down the rest of Duckett's cut.

Heading down Duckett's cut

Topiary wave

With Archimedes

Olympic site at the end of the cut

Moored up at Three Mills and after a trip to Tesco, a walk round the mills and lunch, Terry left by way of Bromly by Bow station.

We had hoped that Tery and Jim would overlap for lunch but this was not to be as Jim had been multiple delayed by storm damage. So settled down to wait for Jim's arrival and decided to stay put for the night. Had moored at low water so we were on slack warps by now so no need to adjust for a low tide in the night.

Jim and Ann had spent the night in the Treehouse at Harptree Court...'Didn't move a bit' said Jim

Their journey home was blocked by a large tree and a detour was needed

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Started the day with yet another trip to Tesco, this to acquire the ingredients needed to make spaghetti sauce with the sausages. Terry insists that they be simmering for at least four hours so rigged a fiddle rail [using the egg whisk] to protect the boiling pan from being pitched off the stove should we hit stormy waters as we progressed.

Improvised fiddle rail made with the egg whisk

Thames barge in Limehouse Basin

Working our way back up, that is a new apartment block to the left not a derelict factory building

Workers busy with pneumatic hammers on the blocked up second lock. Heavy going as the concrete was very hard. Had high hopes that the lock was about to be re-commisioned, no such luck it is to improve water flow.

And here is one that they prepared earlier. The fingers increase the sluice length three times

A dog is not just for Christmas

Thought this looked like a good idea for a cratch cover

City Road lock just before Islington tunnel

Nb Baron re-fuelling boats in the pound above

Using a cherry picker to paint the Victorian gasometer at St Pancras cruising club. A listed structure, I think

This dog was leaping in the air, biting the leaves of the tree

We worked up the Camden flight with nb Walt

Finished off in the dark at about 1830 so as to put us in a good place to get home at a reasonable time tomorrow. Decided against mooring in Paddington basin as nb Walt had gone down there and would likely have taken any available mooring. No luck on the external Paddington moorings either but was told that there were moorings to be had a bit further on. These turned out to be under the Great West Way flyover not the most attractive of spots, but hey, it was dark and we were moving on in the morning.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The moorings turned out to be quiet and the road does not intrude so a good night's sleep. Dropped Jim at Bridge 6, Old Oak Lane, heading for Willesdon Junction tube station. A clear autumn day, perfect boating weather, got me home to Northolt at about 1200. Lots of storm damage to be seen on the way back too. We had certainly been blaze about the wind as there were several places where it would have been more than just a little uncomfortable to moor.


Moored under the Great West Way flyover

The garden shed

An uncomfortable place to moor

Wherever we went, the cranes were back