Saturday, 8 October 2016

Along the Thames again!

Saturday 1st October to Monday 3rd October 2016

The weekend started with a dramatic change of weather – rain had set in for the day – and luckily for us our planned excursion onto the Thames, which had been set for Sunday was put back a day to Monday – the Thames Barrier was closed on Sunday and there would be no tide to cruise to Teddington and what water there would be, would be too low to pass the weirs at Richmond.

Why lucky? Well if we cruised the Thames on Sunday we would have had to get from Paddington Basin to Limehouse on Saturday – so we were saved a drenching.

As it turned out we had a lovely trip on Sunday – the sun was out shining away – we were virtually back in summer mode – this time all of the pounds were full and we had no sidetrip via the Hertford Union.

Moored up safely in Limehouse, there was a moment of contemplation when I thought of venturing out onto the slack Thames and go down and see the barrier, but to be honest we were a bit tired after the week we have had and the cruising down to Limehouse, so instead we simply relaxed and took the rest of the day off.

Monday arrived; a brilliant day; unfortunately it was my first day back at work after a week away – about 50 emails to sort through and get some of them answered before I could even think about the Thames.
We had Maggie and Paddy coming down to cruise with us, so not long before they arrive I finished in time to check the boat over – gave it the full 5 minute check as well.

We were due to depart at 12 noon, which was the same time they had given us for Sunday – we thought that this might not be correct but the lockie said that was the time to go. One other to exit with us – a yacht, but heading out to sea, so we were on our own going west.

As it was Monday; midday; working day; the clippers and all other vessel were out there going at speed and simply ignoring us, a pity that their wash didn’t ignore us and for the first hour there was a bit of up and down and rocking and rolling, but essentially there were no problems at all – it is really an enjoyable trip along this part of the river and one that we savour each time.
Coming out of Limehouse

Onwards to Tower Bridge

...and beyond

Finally, after the Westminster Bridge the waters calmed down and it was pretty well gentle for the rest of the trip, until we reached Richmond – the weirs were still raised and we couldn’t proceed – well we could if we went through the lock – the lockie informed us that it would just be 30 minutes until the weirs were raised out of the way – Diane was at the tiller so she simply winded and cruised back a bit and by the time she returned us to Richmond Weir we were set to carry on.

Fortunately the rest of the cruise was uneventful, just enjoyable and after transitting Teddington Lock, we moored up and had a cuppa, before it was time to say farewell to Maggie and Paddy, who had enjoyed their cruising today.

We settled back on the boat and just relaxed – we were on our way back north again – we will cruise along the Thames to Oxford and then head up along the south Oxford to Braunston – missing the closures along the way, with the furtherest being in the Napton flight.
We then have about a month to wander around before mooring the boat up and heading off home for a couple of months; so that will be the remainder of the year for us.

29 Miles, 14 Locks, 2 Tunnels
YTD:  644 Miles (1036 km) , 372 Locks, 10 Tunnels, 14 Lift Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges
Total: 4439 Miles (7144 km), 3071 Locks, 122 Tunnels, 59 Lift Bridges, 170 Swing Bridges

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