Sunday, 24 May 2015

Now for the Main Event - The River Thames

Saturday 23rd May 2015

The previous evening whilst having dinner we were talking to the fellow on nb Gertrude about leaving times and with the times for high and low tide known we all realised that an 0900 leaving time meant only one thing - we would be going head on into an out going tide.
Very calm in the morning

A leaving time of 14:00 or later appeared to be more in line with the tide times.
Sure enough when Tone phoned this morning the person on the other end realised that a mistake had been made and we were slotted into a 14:30 departure and now going on an incoming tide to get to Brentford about 1700 which is when the lock was opening anyway - all sorted.

So we had an additional 5 hours at our disposal - after a short walk to pickup a newspaper and some pastries (for morning tea), we then headedout for a walk down to Canary Wharf and a lookaround there.
We had passed through Canary Wharf but only on the DLR and that was simply to change trains on our way to Greenwich.

It is just so strange that being in such a large city and more specifically in a large, some would think of as out-of-the-way place for a Saturday, that we should run into but Sue (nb NoProblem) and Anne (nb Moore2Life) - but we did; they looking for the Underground and we looking for the services block.
After a quick rundown on what we were all doing we were all on our way

Eventually we found our point of interest and all was good again - so time to refill and a convenient Costa was found where we could also download a couple of shows from BBC - someone else's broadband.

We made it back to the boat just in time to complete preparations before the rain came - nothing too heavy and not such that it would cause us any problem.

The rain ceased about 1300 and we could finalise the last minute things.

A third boat had been added to our convoy - nb Spiders Web (Irene and Barry) was travelling to Teddington and whilst licensed with VHF, felt a bit more comfortable with someone who had done it all before (Tone and Julie).

We had been chatting with both of them the previous evening and again that morning and they were a lovely couple, so we had no problems.

So we all congregated in the lock ready for the time to go out...

(here is a selection of the 500 photographs that were taken during the journey)

waiting in the lock

gates are open and we cannot yet gauge what awaits us

bye Barry - see you on the other side

We are out

Fairly choppy at first...

...and then the clipper ferries come along - they don't (won't) slow down for us

looking back at Canary Wharf and another clipper coming along - you just
know that you are in for a rough ride with them

Tower Bridge and to the left is The Shard

The Globe Theatre

Tate Modern

Millenium Bridge and St.Paul's

we were doing 1500-1600 rpm most of the way - a bit more than the normal 1100

We both love this panorama photo 

The headquarters of MI6

Vauxhall Bridge - on each side are placed 4 sculptures of figures representing
Agriculture, Architecture, Engineering, Pottery, Science, Fine Arts, Local
Government and Education - interestingly they can only be seen from the river

MI6 behind Vauxhall Bridge

Battersea Power Station

Chelsea Flower Show

One for Andy - Fulham FC

Hammersmith Bridge

We were nearing Brentford, so time for us to slowdown a bit and for
Barry and Irene to carry on ahead

The entrance to the River Brent

Moored boats on the pontoons for the lock

according to Tone - this is a wide-beam; Diane pointed out we could breast up
safely as it had a white fender

Yellow wag-tail

Readying ourselves for the lock

above the lock we still had a little way to go - and now back to weaving in and out
amongst other boats

approaching Brentford Lock

Brentford services 

Finally after 3 additional locks to the Thames Lock we moored up at Hanwell - just at the bottom of the Hanwell flight - having had about enough for the day - a day of impending concern (trepidation one might say for Diane); but we conquered all of that without any problems - a bit harem scarem when we first came out from Limehouse Lock, but in the end we just enjoyed it.

We were all ready to eat and have a drink so we quickly adjourned to The Fox - we can highly recommend it - the food was excellent, the prices were reasonable and the drinks were just as good.

There is just one last thing to say - we are truly lucky to have met Julie and Tone all those years ago when we were wet-behind-the-ears novices; smart enough to keep in contact with them; and grateful to them for taking us along for this incredible journey that we have made today - Thanks guys!

18 Miles, 5 Locks
YTD: 366 Miles, 197 Locks, 8 Tunnels, 2 Lift Bridges, 11 Swing Bridges

Totals: 3260 Miles, 2318 Locks, 106 Tunnels, 36 Lift Bridges, 162 Swing Bridges


  1. ooh I was thinking of doing this trip-could I borrow Julie and Tone?!!
    Maybe I will just follow instinct and go down to Brentford and join the Thames there
    Hope all is well.

  2. Hi Ray and Diane,
    Interesting post, picture heavy but all the better for that. Thanks for sharing.
    Happy crusing