No Direction

No Direction is our 70ft Narrowboat which is now home to my wife Jayne and myself, it was launched on 4th February 2008.

We spend the Winters in a Marina and cruise in the warmer weather.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Speeding Along

Monday 23rd August 2010
Shepperton Lock to Maidenhead
20 Miles 8 Locks.

Firstly I had better go over yesterday's trip as we were both to tired last night to do much of a blog.
After entering the Tidal Thames we discovered very quickly that having Dr Roger Squires on board was invaluable, he was with us because one boat in each group must carry a V.H.F. radio and someone who knows how to use it, Roger has a radio and is qualified operator, not only that, he is a past Commodore of the St Pancras Cruising Club with an encyclopedic knowledge of the Tidal section of the Thames so not only was he able to guide us past the various moored boats and obstructions he also knew every building along the shoreline including it's history.
We passed under Tower Bridge, passed H.M.S. Belfast, the famous Millennium Bridge (the one that wobbled), Waterloo Bridge, Houses of Parliament and dozens more which would take all night to list.

Approaching Tower Bridge

And out the other side

H.M.S. Belfast

The trip was timed so that we were carried up stream by the incoming Tide, because we were already doing  5 to 6 mph with the Tide the engine is only on low throttle settings to maintain steering which made the whole trip seem strangely quiet. It also had the advantage of missing most of the trip boats as they don't start till around 10 o,clock.

Are we being watched ?

We eventually arrived at Teddington Lock which is the upper limit of the Tidal River, this Lock is massive compared to the Locks we are used to which are 72 feet long, Teddington has 3 Locks, a Skiff Lock 49 feet 6 inches, a Launch Lock 177 feet 11 inches and the Barge Lock at 650 feet, this was the one we used and it took 13 Narrowboats and 2 Wide beams(10 feet wide) in one go, we had already paid for our Thames license so all the lock keeper needed to do was write the expiry date on it and we were away, (Boats only need a License on the Non-Tidal section)  some boats pulled over for the night as soon as they found a mooring, we carried on to a free 24 hour mooring just before Shepperton Lock.
The Thames Lock Keepers start work at 9 o'clock so we left at about 8.45 and arrived at the lock and went straight in.
A Typical Thames Lockside

We carried on without stopping for Lunch, having a sandwich on the move, the rain which had fallen all Sunday night returned after Lunch with very heavy showers in between periods of Sunshine, it was particular heavy as we passed the grounds of Windsor Castle (Definitely no mooring or landing here), at around 4 o'clock we had had enough and looked for visitor moorings, Jayne spotted some in the guide book but as we passed there was an £8 charge, maybe that's why they were empty, so we are now on some free moorings at Maidenhead, they are by a road so we have a bit of noise, we can handle that, it was the £8 pound we couldn't. 

No comments: