Sunday, March 23, 2014

You’ll wish you were there–Olympic cruise

It seems the more fun we’re having the less time I have to blog about it.  I’ve got lots to catch up on but I guess what you’ll most want to see is what we did on Wednesday.  Having reached Hemel Hempstead on our trek north, we abandoned Herbie for the day and caught the train to Euston and then to Limehouse to begin a very special, dare I say privileged, cruise with Sue and Richard aboard Indigo Dream. Trips with S&R are always special and this one was no exception, for we were to be among the first boats to be allowed to cruise the Bow back rivers and through the Olympic Park since it closed before the games. As you’d expect, this was set up by the St Pancras Cruising Club under the usual genial leadership of Andrew Phasey.

Just half a dozen boats made the trip and we were escorted throughout by friendly but watchful security guys in their inflatable boats.  These rivers have been sealed off for some years now and all entrances to the system bear signs like this.


I think I expected these rivers to be shallow, muddy and grubby, but they’re actually wide and clear, albeit concrete sided for the most part.  Some of the bridges however are pretty low, and Richard was taking no chances with his bike.  Don’t try this at home.


Yes, that’s Rick you see holding the rope. He has been cruising up the GU with us and he joined the Indigo Dream crew with us. 

It wasn’t long before we found our way into the Olympic site and cruise past the aquatic centre on one side,


and then past the strange Anish Kapoor sculpture thingy which apparently has a restaurant at the top but no toiletSmile



and of course the main stadium opposite.  They have now dismantles those big triangular lighting gantries.  A pity, I liked those.


But the bit we enjoyed most was right at the top of the site where Richard manoeuvred Indigo Dream into a difficult corer so we could get shots like these of a series of mirrored bridges



Can you see the reflection of the boat in the photo above?

Here’s Sue getting ready to take a picture of me taking a picture of her.


Then after a cruise round the other side of the site, we met the bridges from the other side.  As you can see, there’s still a lot of construction or deconstruction work going on.


and so eventually we had to leave and at Old Ford Lock they pulled the barriers closed behind us.


So once again the park is closed to boats.  I believe a larger flotilla is to be allowed in later this year, but the rivers won’t be fully open to boats until 2016.


Val Poore said...

Fantastic! What a special treat! Great shots too, Neil.

Sarah said...

I have drawn this to the attention of Diamond Geezer, who seems to have an interest in all matters Olympic Park related :-)

Jill, Matilda Rose said...

The Dreamers have to be the best hosts ever.
I don't know how your schedule is doing but we're most likely to be moored at Slapton tomorrow. As ever, with all things boaty, plans are sliding.
Can you make Slapton, Mon, Tues or Weds?