River Lee to Enfield

The glorious weather of Monday continued into the start of Tuesday. We woke in Limehouse Basin to find some security personnel organising  a "live fashion shoot" for a magazine. This appeared to consist of some models acting silly on the floating pontoons wearing "nautical inspired" clothes - little sailor hats to you and me.

Fashion shoot in Limehouse Basin

We went shopping locally and passed by the wonderful sailing barge Cabby that is permanently moored in the basin. We had a quick chat without the owner - mostly about the boat's unusual name. 

Sailing barge Cabby
We left the basin mid morning and took the Limehouse Cut north.

Limehouse Cut

As predicted by lots of boaters we found many long-term moorers lining the canal with little opportunity to moor (if we wanted to). This continued into the Lea Navigation itself. We passed Bow Locks and made our way north towards the Olympic Park.

Comorants at Bow Locks

Heading north towards Stratford
Lots of moored boats 
Olympic Stadium from the River Lee Navigation

It was a shame that the moorings at Three Mills were occupied but we hope to stop there on the way back. The variety of boats moored along the southern end of the River Lee Navigation is bewildering but one design caught my eye, ex-lifeboats from oil rigs. There were a number along this stretch being modified for living.

Ex-oil rig lifeboat near Hackney Marshes

We paused for lunch near Clapton and as we left noticed the black clouds forming to the south. By the time we reached Tottenham Lock it was pouring and the thunder and lighting were directly overhead. We managed to get to Stonebridge Lock and then gave up. We were soaked to the skin. Luckily the lock was being operated by volunteers who wisely stayed in their cabin. At the lock is a handy waterside cafe where we had a welcome tea and scones and waited for the storm to abate. 

Tottenham Lock in a thunderstorm

As the black clouds rolled away we moved on north. Around Edmonton we picked up a tow. A boater "with a project" asked for a tow to the next lock. In the end, and not unexpectedly, it turned out we towed the boat two locks to Ponders End. He was a personable agile young man who helped with the locks and even shared his chocolate!

Locking with a "project" boat
Picketts Lock is now named Alfies Lock 
after the former lock keeper who obviously loved chocolate bars

After Ponders End we started considering moorings and finally called it a day at Enfield  just below the lock. In the evening we explored the local area and discovered Enfield Island and the former Royal Small Arms Factory site which is now a fascinating housing development. 

Boat in a pond in the former Royal Small Arms Factory