Saturday, 9 October 2010

Captain's Blog - Friday 8th October

We all slept well and woke around 7am, we planned to start around 8am, with a view to travelling down to Teddington, . We have to travel 19 miles through 6 locks to get to Teddington. Breakfast on the move was bacon sandwiches.

Today seemed the busiest day of all, with plenty to do to ensure we were fully prepared for the tidal Thames tomorrow after Teddington. On Saturday we will have to beat against the tine all the way to St Katherine's and various people, including St Katherine's have wondered if we will get there before the lock closes, whilst others including the Teddington lock keeper say we will easily. We were discussing this as we went through a lock and a  local boatman suggested we try and moor up at Chiswick pier, which is a mooring point on the boat race course and about 7 miles past Teddington, this would make the trip Saturday considerably quicker. A phone call to Chiswick got us the last mooring place for £20.

We set off from Windsor going past Runnymede, and arrived at Bell Weir Lock, the largest one we had encountered so far, this is also the site of the Runnymede Hotel. The weir was also the most accessible we had come across, and allowed the opportunity for a great photograph.

Bells Weir

The Runnymede Hotel from Bells Weir Lock

 We then moved on towards Shepperton, and passed many houseboats on the way, a collection below.

We were making good progress, the day started cloudy but by lunch time was clear blue and the temperature was about 21 degrees, a brilliant sunny day. We decided to moor for burgers and chicken for lunch at Hampton Court. It was not possible to take a good photograph of the building as their is now a huge double security fence to stop access from the river, but it did look spectacular.

Part of Hampton Court

Hampton Court Gates by the river

We travelled through Kingston-on-Thames and then arrived at Teddington. It is a large and complex lock structure here with different locks depending on the size of the boat.

We set off towards Richmond, the views of Richmond, Richmond Hill  and the park are amazing from the river.


Richmond Park

Richmond Hill
Swan picture of the day

We then come to the Richmond Weir, this is unusual as at high tide and two hours either side, you can pass straight over it, other times you have to pay £5 to use the lock. We  were able to pass through, but a larger boat was stuck the other side due to the unusually high tide and recent rain waters.

Richmond Weir
We passed streets in Twickenham and nearby that were flooded, due to the very high spring tide and the rain last week. There were quite a few cars under a foot or so of water and street cafes etc also with some flooding.

Dog swimming down the street

Flooded street cafe

We arrived at Chiswick Pier around 5pm, mooring on a floating pontoon. We spoke to the other boat owner, who was in his words "a river rat", he said it would not be much fun beating against the tide for three or 4 hours, he suggested setting off early at around 8am and the stopping of at Chelsea Harbour if they had space, at around 10am when the tide started to flow against us. I phoned and they had a mooring for £10. We could then travel the last 7 miles with most of it with the tide going in our favour, to arrive at St Katherine's around 3pm.

With that all done we went to the riverside restaurant Pissarro, and had an excellent three course meal with Argentinian Malbec for £35 each. 

1 comment:

  1. Even more impressive 'Location, Location' properties, even the houseboats are impressive.
    Haven't heard anything about the Twickenham flooding; not caused by the wash from your speedy progress then? !!

    Hello to Marilyn.