Friday, 28 July 2017

Onto the Thames

We left Paddington Basin and made our way back down the Paddington Arm stopping this time near Willowbridge Marina, we then continued onto Bulls Bridge Junction where we turned left and onto new waters. We stopped at the top of the Hanwell flight as we didn't know what the moorings were like further on and didn't want to arrive too late.

The following day we went down a couple of locks then had help from a volunteer lockie down the remainder. The moorings at Brentford were full when we arrived, but we managed to squeeze into a space alongside a work boat. 

The tide times meant we had to leave Thames Lock at around 8am, so it was an early start to get through Brentford Gauging Lock and be ready for when the lock keeper arrived. Thames Lock is manned by CRT and what a surprise, she was late! Being tidal until we reached Teddington we were a little concerned we would miss the tides - I felt sorry for the poor boat waiting to come up the lock though. Any way panic over she finally arrived and we were on our way. I did ask if there was any advice for the actual turning onto the Thames (I remember the lock keeper at Avon Lock giving us lots of information about entering the river Severn) bearing in mind we were now entering the tidal section - but no she just said 'you'll see where you need to turn when you get there'! Hmmm not the advice I was expecting.

Love the postcodes on this lock signs

Through Brentford Guaging Lock

Waiting at Thames Lock

And we're through

Right turn onto the Thames
However, everything was fine and James just made the turn very wide in case there were any shallows at the edges. We were straight though Richmond as the weir was still lifted so we didn't need to use the lock and then onto Teddington where we bought our licence for a week at £70.50 - he said we had just sneaked into the next category up. Feeling very relieved we were off the tidal section I started to really enjoy the Thames - this has been the first time we have ventured onto it in our boat.

Moorings at times were quite challenging but we stopped at Hampton Court, Staines, Windsor, Marlow and Sonning, then turned into Reading onto the Kennet and Avon Canal. We had a day of complete rain where we stayed put and we also had some very challenging times with the wind - all in all I really enjoyed it and definitely will be back.

78 Miles and 34 Locks

TOTAL 224 miles and 189 locks

Wednesday, 26 July 2017


May 2017

As I mentioned in my last post, we managed to get moored up in Paddington Basin and spent a week enjoying ourselves, Jess had a few days off work so came for a visit and was with us to celebrate our actual anniversary day (23rd May). I can't believe how times flies, I can't possibly be old enough to have been married for 25 years!! 

We had a fantastic time in London, we used busses more than we have previously due to James hobbling about but he did very well with the use of a stick. I was really surprised at how many people offered their seat to James when we got on a busy bus, it was a real eye opener how nice people are.

We managed to get to see two shows, the first one we were able to swap seats to the aisle as James was still unable to straighten his leg, for the second one we were in our own private box so had normal chairs that we could move around. We also ate out - loads!!

Not quite the tour around Europe and a cruise across the Mediterranean from Italy to Spain we had planned, but we had a wonderful time in London.

Here's our week in pictures -

London Symphony Orchestra Rehearsals 

Lone duck in Traflagar Square

Sushi for our anniversary lunch

Then the Theatre

Another show - in our private box

Time for afternoon tea

Three course dinner at the Cavendish Hotel

View from Wetherspoons as we sheltered from the rain

More food - this time Indian

Then a Freaky Shake

Leaving Paddington Basin after a fantastic week