Cruising Notes

We are at Teddington on the Thames as I write this. It is raining and it seems a better use of my time than steering a boat in the rain, which is my only other reasonable and productive alternative.

We went to the United states, well four of them anyway. We went to Canada as it was close by and we knew people who lived there. All in all we had a fantastic time meeting old friends, seeing Debbie and spending a lot of time driving through the Rocky Mountains to do it. Wildlife highlight was seeing a black bear doing it's thing (whatever that may be) close to the highway. However there were not many canals.

So back to reality. After spending a couple of years (or so it seems) chugging on the Grand Union and London canals we are currently heading up the Thames towards Oxford.

This may not be the smartest move we have made recently as the South Oxford canal tends to run out of water during the summer, and we have been having a drought.

However we took one last look at London before leaving the area as it is probably the most interesting place we visit. For instance this is the centre of the Little Venice complex, hardly what you would expect so close to the centre of a seething city.

Even I can turn the boat round here

Where there were once wharves, there are now dwellings. Sometimes apartment blocks but also little havens for live-aboard boaters.

I just love their garden sheds, probably stops the local cherubs nicking stuff off the boat roofs.

Like a lot of big city's London has a lot of dwellings which are effectively houseboats, in London there are also floating offices. Some are simply superannuated boats, with or without conversions. Some are purpose built, and some just show their age.

You take a boat, and moor it up. What could be simpler. Probably more room than a town centre apartment and no noisy neighbours.

Or you take an old Thames cargo barge and cut holes in the side of it.

Or you build the accommodation you want on top

Or you build a purpose built houseboat (these are quite old)

Or your architect designs a nice modern looking houseboat for you.

Or even a fleet of futuristic homes or offices.

Or simply something pragmatic for the barbecue.

Mind you, some houseboat residents also have a real boat as well.

Naturally this is the time of year that nature chooses for it's takeover of the world by non-human species. You may have noticed, 6 photo's back the coot's nest behind the rudder of the houseboat. Well the little ones are all over the place at the moment.



more swans

Unfortunately the real baby moorhens are just too small to photograph with my phone but they really are the cutest little balls of pure black fluff.

Of course some boaters encourage the waterfowl.

We cruised through west London four times recently. The aromas coming from the food factories are divine, probably far better than the food they produce. Certainly a lot of curries are produced in the area, but then again it's local population is “into” curry.

Now the Grand Union canal is, as everyone knows, the direct route to the Ganges, the holy river of India. So when a native of the area dies the locals throw flowers and coconuts (sometimes beautifully decorated) into the canal in the belief that (as the two are connected) hopefully the poor soul will eventually reach the holy river. All very touching, but what I really want to know is how they get the souls into the coconuts.

Flowers in the canal.

Just one video from me this time


But this one is worth looking at twice. Once to see what happens to the boat, and once more to see what happens on the land.


Best wishes from both of us

Have fun