August 18, 2010

Captain’s log day 11: London at last

Filed under: Canal,misc — Duchess @ 12:45 pm

The new boaty friends we met on the Grand Union canal were adamant that if we arrived late in the day we would never get a mooring in the city centre.  They advised stopping short (but not too close, they said, because it gets very dodgy); the best plan would be to cruise into London by about 10am.

We ignored the first part of their advice, but luckily awoke none the worse for our dodgy mooring in Alperton.  At least we would follow their counsel and get to the centre bright and early to catch any moorings going, though not so early that no one had yet moved on.

It was only two hours’ cruise, with no locks.  All of England was gripped with World Cup fever.  We had drawn our opening match with the USA a couple of days earlier – but hopes, and flags (not all of them English) still ran high.  I was more excited by this new (to me) approach to London. 

Just before Paddington is an area called “Little Venice”.  Even at 10am there was only one mooring (or perhaps the lazy bones hadn’t yet finished their breakfasts).  I was pretty sure my boat would have slotted into that mooring, but the crew disagreed, so we went on.   I didn’t argue because I always thought Paddington would be a better place to stop – ahead there were seven-day free (of charge) moorings in the middle of the London.

A sharp right turn brought us into Paddington Basin.  The first mooring slot we encountered was tight, but I thought we would fit, and we did, not without a great deal more shouting from Mr Crew; h I thought I had got used to it, the shouting still upset me, thoug, probably because I was more than usually tense: Paddington was where I agreed would leave the crew with the boat.  Before noon I was on the fast train to Oxford.

It had taken us ten days to get from Oxford to London on Pangolin, and I was back in Oxford within the hour.

Day 11 statistics: Alperton to Paddington Basin, 6 miles of broad canals.

Approaching London

Approaching London


Little Venice

Little Venice


The turn into Paddington Basin

The turn into Paddington Basin


Paddington Railway Station

Paddington Railway Station


  1. Oh, I have LOVED following your adventure, cranky crew and all. I plan to visit Little Venice next time I’m in London. Thanks for posting it all.

    (And thanks for your encouragement. I am rethinking my blog…)

    Comment by msmeta — August 18, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

  2. What a fun day to catch up on some blog reading. I do hope I get to London some day, meanwhile, these travel posts help make me feel like I am almost there.

    Comment by Pseudo — August 18, 2010 @ 10:46 pm

  3. I admire your grit in leaving your beloved Pangolin to the ministrations of the shouty Mr Crew. I hope he took very good care of her.

    Comment by Tessa — August 19, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

  4. I look forward to hearing the unexpurgated story of the Crews; believe me, I *know* the best stories don’t get blogged about.

    Comment by Ruth Pennebaker — August 20, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

  5. Oh, yes….the Crews, please–the full story. This was a wonderful series. You could write a whole book…hint hint.

    Comment by M.E. — August 21, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

  6. So, was that the end of the journey for you?
    What happened to Pangolin afterwards?

    Comment by friko — August 29, 2010 @ 11:50 am

  7. Ah, Ms Meta, how nice to hear from you! I hope if you come to England you will visit me, as well as Little Venice.

    Pseudo, I hope you get to London too.

    M.E. – Thank you for your encouragement! If only I weren’t so slow…

    Tessa, the Crew were competent sailors and I trusted them with Pangolin.

    Friko, I am still limping through this story, and I fear you won’t be spared further detail.

    Comment by Duchess — September 3, 2010 @ 3:02 pm

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