Latish Wednesday afternoon we moved from our mooring above the railway line to the services point at Brentford, filled the water tank once again and got rid of the unwanted.
By 5:15 we were through Brentford Gauging Lock 100
... and squeezing under the road bridge (headroom affected by the tide)
Not seen this mooring before complete with power and water - not sure I would want to be using that ramp onto the boat!
The bridge is still covered in scaffolding and plastic and once again we got stuck. Today even at the afternoon high tide there was not much depth of water. George managed to back off and realised that the only way through was to get as close as possible to the scaffolding.
It was this piece of scaffolding that presented the biggest problem; if we got too close it would have gouged the boat roof and make a hell of a mess!
We got safely through and moored up beyond the big barge on the right - out on the tide at approximately 8am tomorrow.
5 to 8 and we're ready to go. A hire boat has just come for the tide too but as yet the lock keeper hasn't arrived.
When we arrived at this mooring yesterday we asked the guy on the blue boat above if he'd just come down the river and he said that he'd arrived last week but his alternator wasn't working and he couldn't get it fixed because everything was closed over Easter. So we were surprised this morning when another bloke turned up and scooped up water from the canal which he poured into something at the boat's stern, switched on the engine and it ran causing lots of exhaust smoke!
8:20 she's arrived, set the locks and opened the gates, as far as I know there is us and two narrowboats to go out (the hire boat and a rather nervous chap who we think hasn't done the tidal Thames before). George had to check the weed-hatch once we were in the lock and found a length of steel wire tightly wrapped around the prop probably picked up when became stuck under the bridge yesterday.
Going down! At high tide shouldn't we be going up? No, today is a low high tide (3.5 mtrs) as opposed to a high high tide of well over 7 mtrs!
The gates open and this is what we see. Apparently (the lock keeper was aware of this) the owner of blue boat mentioned above is the owner of this small cruiser which apparently arrived too late for the lock so tied his boat to a ladder below it. (Good job it wasn't a high high tide, he could have capsized!) Anyway one of the blokes off the blue boat (keeping up with me?) turned the boat and brought it into the other lock together with the hire boat ...
... whilst the other guy (still with me?)went to move the cruiser out of the way.
In the meantime we had to wait.
We eventually were able to leave the lock at 20 to 9. We've met this lock keeper before a very down to earth Irish lady; doesn't take any prisoners! I like her, she did make me laugh!
The hire boat followed us out
... up the creek with the tidal Thames in front of us
The high stainless-steel sculpture than guides boats off the river here
Turning right and the freezing cold wind hit us - time to put on another layer of clothes!
Passing Kew Gardens River viewpoint on our left
... as the hire boats passes us
Making good progress going with the tide as we approach
Islington! Isleworth and the sharp left turn
... and the marina there.
Under Twickenham Road, Richmond Rail and Richmond Road bridges
The area around Richmond Road Bridge is lovely in the summer - lots of people sitting and enjoyed the river views - a bit too overcast and cold today!
The rowers are out and about
... as we get nearer Teddington
... where this narrowboat has just entered the tidal Thames and is passing us going downstream
Another left turn - it was here that we slowed down a bit as the tide started to change direction
... after we've passed Eel Pie Island - George is please with that wake - shouldn't be any prop fouling now!
Left once again ...
... and the green light is on
... so no need to tie up today
... we can go straight in - once he's sorted himself out!
9:50 - waiting for the gates to open ...
... and as George said "ti daa, we're off!"
Just after 10 we're passing under Kingston Railway Bridge and can see moorings ahead - just the ticket - we're ready for the summer on the Thames!
Brentford to Teddington is 6 miles; we started at 20 to 9 and reached Teddington at 20 to 10 - 6 miles per hour - that's more like it!