Thursday, 21 August 2014

We’ve arrived at last ...

 Brentford basin at night ...




... and this morning at 08:45 ...




... as we’re ready to rock n roll ...




... through Brentford Gauging Lock ...





... under Brentford Road Bridge where the air-draught decreases as the tide rises.



We arranged with Dave and his wife on nb Snail o’ Wey to be ‘buddies’ swapping phone numbers in case of emergencies on our trip today





There are lots of boats of all shapes and sizes on the pound between Brentford Lock and Thames Lock ...



... Thames Lock visitor mooring where we’ll wait until the tide is ready for us ...






... only a short distance to the lock ...






... the gates are open and we’re good to go ...






... 10:30 and we’re down and out ... this is it!




Looking back at the convoy of boats; us, two narrowboats and two cruisers




Approaching the right turn ...





...  and we are on the Thames!!!!





Looking back towards the city - no boats in either direction - at the moment!




What I think must be an impressive building but I’ve no idea what ...



... near Isleworth where we take a left ...
 ... to see this barge coming round the next corner on the right (the wrong side for cruising, you can see from his wake how far over he was) we couldn’t pass in front of him because he was coming too fast and there wasn’t room anyway he was so close to the trees - and then the driver yelled at us that we should pass on the right! ‘We know’ we called back ‘you should have been on your right coming round that corner'



Didn’t need to use Richmond Lock today ... 





... under Richmond Lock Bridge we went ...





 ... and soon under Twickenham Bridge and Richmond Railway Bridge beyond



George is loving every minute of this.  A chance to open the engine of Still Rockin’ to see what she’s made of





Richmond waterfront is always busy ...
 The very elegant Richmond Bridge
 Pirates on the Thames and then swapping rowing positions!





Keeping left at Eel Pie Island





Teddington Lock but not this lock ...





... this one and the lockie wants us to moor up on the right ...




... and in we go ..




... coo, there’s a plastic cruiser on the other side, I hope we can hold on to the ropes to stop Still Rockin’ from crushing it!




... up in the lock and the gates open, we let the cruisers go out first ...
 Midday and we’re moored up on the Teddington wharf - I am so relieved that we’ve got here safely (I’m not a fan of tidal waters - see here for our first cruise on the tidal Thames)
Relaxing on the bow with a well deserved cuppa the pirates passed us by still having great fun!
We’re mooring here for the night and in the morning will set off for our next destination - one of our favourites on the Thames.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Down to the river ... well nearly!

7am leaving last night’s mooring ...
 I walked the short distance to Northwood Top Lock which was well and truly locked and I’d not got a BW key with me.  Fortunately a lady from one of the moored boats came by and used hers to open the padlock which enabled the locking bar to be removed so that the gate paddles could be operated.  The picture on the right above shows how little water is coming through the nearest paddle. 
Unfortunately the side paddles were also locked so I waited for George to arrive
 The BW key inserted into the back of the post releases the bar so that the paddle mechanism rises through the hole. It took 30 minutes to do the first lock of the day!
 I found this most interesting - railway under the canal and the road above the canal (click on the picture to enlarge)
 I did my share of steering too today ...
 The very smart lock cottage at Hanwell Lock 92 ...
 ... where CRT operatives were replacing the lock signage
Passing MV Dane and Butty Clara
 Lock 97, the last of the Hanwell flight
Gallows bridge built in 1820 by Horseley Iron Works and may have taken its name from a man found hanged in Boston Manor wood in the 17th century (read more here)





Approaching Brentford ...




... basin



Taken from the water point after which we moored up in front of the breasted narrow boats mid-picture
Through the galley window is MB Ash ? a sister boat to Willow?

Once settled we went for a recce along the Thames Path where there are boats both narrow, wide and huge moored in every space available ...



... including GUCC Dover



Down on the point where the Grand Union Canal meets the River Thames we met the Egyption family - ugly aren’t they?
 Right turn out of the GU canal to Teddington ...
 ... and left into the city.
Tomorrow morning we’ll get through Brentford Gauging Lock and into Thames Lock (above) and turn right for Teddington on the River Thames.