I Drove Das Boat!

Yesterday I drove Martyn’s boat down the Regent’s Canal :-)

We started at Kings Cross and headed westwards down to Little Venice. When we got there we turned around and came back :-)

Martyn was driving on the way down, I was doing the locks. St Pancras lock was OK – another boat was waiting for us to come up the lock. After that there are 3 locks in a row with Camden lock in the middle (I think).

The only problem at Camden was there were lots of people watching us. I was pleased to have had the previous locks to practise on :-)

There was a drizzly kind of rain for most of the locks, but it dried out after that.

After the Camden Locks there’s 27 miles of lock-free canal, starting with a very pretty trip around the top of Regent’s Park – you can easily see the aviary as it’s almost next to the canal.

When we got to Little Venice (which is gorgeous, by the way), there’s a little island in the middle of a 3-way canal junction. So, we drove round the roundabout and came back again :-)

I was driving on the way back. Maida Hill tunnel demanded a lot of attention, especially as it is so close to Little Venice and I hadn’t had much chance to practise driving before then.

After that it was all rather jolly. Being the driver through the locks is a much better deal :-)

Coming back through Camden Lock, Martyn had to ask a group of people sitting on the lock gates to move at least 3 times! I think there’s an big overspill of people from Camden Market on to the canal side.

I’m pleased to say I even managed to drive the boat back in to the marina without too much aggravation.

It took us nearly 5 hours to do the whole trip – fortunately the locks were mostly in our favour.

The only snag is I managed to rip my trousers when I was operating the first lock; the tear got gradually worse as I operated the subsequent locks. Oops :-)

We reached the stunning speed of 4 miles per hour with the engine running at a massive two thousand rpm!

All in all a very interesting afternoon out. Operating locks is much more interesting than going to the gym, and probably as taxing :-)