Saturday, May 23, 2009

What, moving on a Bank Holiday weekend?

Yes, I’m afraid so. Having paid for the privilege of being here for 15 days, we’re going to make the most of it!
And we’ve also got to get to Brentford before our permit expires on June 3rd.

I gave the Teddington Lock Keeper a ring yesterday afternoon. He confirmed that we don’t need a VHF radio to transit from Teddington to Thames Lock at Brentford and the Grand Union Canal. The best time is on the top of the tide. This allows us through Greenwich sluice while it’s open, and gets us to Brentford in the 5 hour “window”, 2½ hours either side of high tide. I might try for about an hour before high tide. That way we’ll have fairly slack water to turn off the river into the lock cut. Just got to check out the Tide Tables, now.
I would have liked to do the full tideway, down to Limehouse, but Mags put her foot down with a firm hand. I made the mistake of showing her a UTube video of a narrowboat ploughing through the wake of a trip boat, and that put her off big time!
And anyway, Limehouse Lock is having new hydraulic ram seals fitted in early June, so will be out of action.

We’ve decided to have early starts and early finishes. That way we’ll miss at least part of the boaty traffic over the weekend, and we’ll also have a chance of finding somewhere to moor.

It worked well today. Off at about 08:30 (OK, it’s not sparrowf**t but it’s early for us!), and we didn’t see a boat till around 11:00. Had the first 3 locks to ourselves, then shared Northmoor with a hire boat from Oxfordshire Cruisers.

It’s been a beautiful day, warm sunshine with just a gentle breeze.

A fine start to the day.
Spotted our first kingfisher of the trip. Once again, not a very good picture, taken on the fly.
But he’s there, nonetheless.

Another family of young coots was being rounded up by Mum.
And there are lots of goslings around Northmoor.
I’m glad we followed the advice and avoided mooring at the Ferry Inn last night. I don’t think we’d have been very popular, stuck amongst this lot!

Busy at the Ferry Inn moorings.

We ended the day as planned just short of Pinkhill Lock, alongside Farmoor Reservoir.

Moored near Pinkhill
I took Meg for a fine walk this afternoon, doing a circuit of the reservoir. Just under 4 miles, it takes in woodland and open fields, with some good views over the water.

Farmoor Countryside Walk
Locks 4, miles 13


Paul (from Waterway Routes) said...

Don't forget to phone VTS before and after your trip on the Tidal Thames - see the last part of

You would have needed a VHF radio and licensed operator to go past Brentford (to Limehouse)

Geoff and Mags said...

Thanks Paul
All advice and comments gratefully received.
The rules and regs seem more rigid here than on the tidal Trent.
Have checked tide tables and there's a civilised high tide at 10:30 am at Richmond on the 2nd. That'll do for us.