Thursday, 9 May 2019

An anxious day ... and another one remembered

Eleven o'clock on Thursday (May 2nd) we ...

pulled away from our mooring between Jacandann and The Billet at Kingston and turned once again downstream ... and there's only one place now that we can be going of course ...
passing under Kingston Bridge is this pretty house boat and we catch up with a narrowboat going in our direction ... very slowly!

Over the years we've said we'd try the moorings at Stevens Ait (island) but have not done so, so far.
Teddington Lock and weir and there are plenty of spaces
and half an hour later we're tied up ... and waiting ...

Of course we're going out onto the tidal Thames ... something neither of us are particularly keen on, hence the anxiety.  High tide today is at 26 minutes past 2 and it's a medium(ish) tide of 6.6 metres.  We've been advised that the optimum time to leave Brentford is between 1:45 and 1:55 ...
20 to 2 and all the boats are starting to move towards the launch lock, I think there were six narrowboats and us

After the 'slow' boat was motioned into the lock down the centre between the other four, another nb 'Joan' was called in to follow ... it was obvious that there was no room for us!
All was in hand though as C&RT had set the huge barge lock which has gates in the middle, for just us!
Entering the Barge Lock at Teddington with the middle gates closed
It only took a few minutes to descend to the tidal level and those middle gates opened ... and it was this that brought back a wonderful memory ...
This was the last time we were in Teddington Barge Lock ... on the 14th May 2011 we cruised the tidal Thames from Limehouse Lock to here at Teddington with about 20 other narrowboats with the St Pancras Cruising Club ... and what a journey that was click here to read all about it!

The gates opened and we could see the narrowboats from the other lock passing ...
and we're out on the tidal Thames ... it took a few minutes to catch up with the rest of the convoy as they disappeared around the bend 

Port of London Authority boat Chelsea
Five narrowboats can be seen now
and now all six!

and then this narrowboat cut through the convoy causing one of the convoy to take avoiding action ... twice ... and he then headed back to wherever he came from!
First Egyptian Goslings this year.
The 'slow' boat has slowed a bit more!
I wonder if this mess of boats have collected together to be removed from the river.
The Royal Star and Garter Home originally built as a hospital for seriously injured servicemen was sold in 2013 to a housing developer and has been converted to apartments ... you can buy one here!
Approaching Richmond Bridge
I really wouldn't want to be 'bobbing about' in that!
Three bridges in succession now ... 
the first is Richmond Railway Bridge
The second, a concrete bridge, is Twickenham Road Bridge
and the third is Richmond Half Lock and its footbridge which comprises of three arches each of which contain vertical steel sluice gates which when closed create a tidal barrage.  The sluices are opened for two hours each side of high tide to allow boats to navigate the River Thames ... hence we can pass through the arches now.
If boats wish to pass at any other time they must use the half-lock for which there is a fee.

Passing Kew Gardens ...
and the boats ahead are ... 
are making the turn ...
into Thames Lock at Brentford
Now it's our turn to turn ...
into the lock cut
and wait for the other boats to be penned into the lock
Looking back towards the main course of the Thames

Again we get a lock of our own on the right ...
and in we go.
The high tide is now receding and it only takes a few minutes to rise up to the level of the River Brent.
The view of the Brent as we leave Thames Lock ... we will moor up on the wall just in front of the dutch barge on the left.

Our views once moored ... not particularly salubrious but we can stay here overnight, relax and get our breath back!
Still Rockin' moored against the wall on the River Brent at Brentford.


Mike Todd said...

Nor forgetting to set the ropes for the half tide level changes!

Carol said...

Indeed Mike!

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Good job! that was quite the convoy you followed. I remember the sense of relief Les and I had once we made the turn and locked up to the Brent. xxx

Carol said...

Hi Jaq, Even though we've done this journey about 6 times each way, there is still that feeling of relief when we arrive at the 'other' end safely. Glad that you're finding time to relax and read the blogs for your 'boat fix'. xx