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