Monday, 27 March 2017

A busy but fun weekend

Fox in the sunshine seen opposite our mooring on the River Brent

 George's birthday and mother's day celebrations coincided this year and yesterday we had a fantastic day with son Mark, wife Ange and kids Lucy and Ed came for the day.

Trying to find a suitable place in the nest

Female and male Tufed ducks abound here.

Off up those Hanwell Locks today with Diane and Paul - wish us luck with that!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Alfresco cruising

Now that we're back on the canals we have to put down the pram hood which covers the back deck to enable us to get under the canal bridges ... I can tell you it's a bit nippy on the back without that shelter!
 We moved up to Brentford Lock this morning

 ... not expected any problems so was surprised to see 2/3 of the canal blocked off, this was going to be difficult!

 ... and we got stuck on the bottom churning up dirty black silt and plastic buckets, it took some minutes of lots of power to create a groove that enabled us to move forward.
 Still Rockin' on Brentford Lock landing while I set the lock
 We had a quick look round the corner to see if there were any spaces for us but we didn't really expect to see any and we we weren't disappointed!
 While the water tank was slowly filling I walked up the River Brent to see if there was a mooring space there.  Lots of building work going on here

Note the CRT logo on the display board, I wonder if this land belongs/belonged to them?
 I found the last spot and George brings SR up.  This is a very windy spot and it took a bit of heaving on ropes to get us in but with lots of padding around the side of Still Rockin' and once we'd put the pram hood up again we shall be snug enough.

Not the best of outlooks but it'll do us for a few days
With this car park just a few feet away our visitors will have somewhere to park and not far too walk either!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Feeling anxious

Out on the tidal Thames today.  Even though rain was forecast and it did rain through the whole journey there was very little wind thank goodness!
10 past 8 and were ready to rock n roll leaving Teddington at half past eight, half an hour before high tide
Dead on 8:30 the gates open, a narrowboat exits and we make our way in
8:40, the gates open 

... and we're off

Passing Eel Pie Island, Twickenham

.. and Ham House the Star and Garter on the Petersham/Richmond side of the Thames
{edited 23/3 thanks Mike}

Yet another eyesore, it's such a pity people have to live like this, surely it can't be safe.
Approaching Richmond Bridge
Then Richmond Railway Bridge, Twickenham Road Bridge and Richmond Lock Bridge

Richmond Lock not needed two hours either side of high water

Syon House not far from where we turn off the Thames ...

... just in front of those buildings

We're looking for the stainless steel sculpture and we can see it here just behind the tree on the left

We need to stay wide ...

and wait for the Port of London Authority (PLA) vessel to pass

... and we're to make the turn across the current
... and away we go
... safely into the Lock cut exactly 45 minutes after setting off from Teddington
We had to wait around for 10 minutes or so for the lock keeper to arrive
Through the lock and we've moored on the wall on the Brentford side of Thames Lock until tomorrow
We have spent the afternoon relaxing, watching and listening to the heavy rain although now the sun is shining.

Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families of those who have died in the attack in London Westminster this afternoon and all those who were caught up in the attack.

Walton to Teddington

On Monday we stayed at Walton and went for a walk with Nicky and Keith along the Thames Path
 Egyptian goslings just a few days old
 We walked to the River Wey and along to the second lock before turning back
 Nicky and Keith came to share lunch with us when we got back with their delightful Hungarian Vizslas Binks and Benji.

Yesterday not early (20 to 11) we let that pesky wind wind us downstream once again

Passing the Environment Agency docks

... and was soon approaching Hampton and Sunbury Lock on self service

 ... where the lock keeper's house is up for let and we shared the lock with another widebeam - we bet that he was going for water at Molesey and would now hold us up.

Passing Port Hampton and Dave Gilmore's studio boat

 Just an hour after setting off we reach the last lock of the day at Molesey and yes, he did take the water point! Not to worry though we have no time restraints today which was a good job as it was another hour before we were through the lock approaching Hampton Court Bridge

 ... and Hampton Court.  I've never seen a court volunteer at this little doorway before.
 Badger Sett enjoying the sunshine on a wonderful mooring

 Through Kingston on Thames and we arrive at our destination Teddington
 Looking back from our mooring

The Thames Venturer 'Making the Thames Accessible 

And some real eyesores along the way
Below Sunbury Lock
Just past Hampton Court Bridge
and above Teddington Lock
None of the above looked safe enough to be on the water let alone someones home.  I know that the one at Teddington has been confiscated by the EA and wonder if the other two have have too.