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Wednesday, 2 October 2013

We did it

Very glad to report that our little adventure on to the tidal Thames from Limehouse to Brentford went ahead as planned apart from a few minor hitches. Firstly I undid the ropes too early in the lock at Limehouse. How was I to know that they keep opening the gates a little bit. I saw the gate opening and thought we were away!
 It is really quite daunting when you hit the open water after the lock. It feels like you are at sea and when you are in a boat that has the seaworthiness of a brick, you feel a little vulnerable. Hence, when we hit some choppy water between bridges and the stern was out of the water so you could hear the propellor whining, a bit of a panic ensued! Thankfully this didn't last long and the rest was plain sailing. The only other awkward moment was when we went through the wrong arch of a bridge and was flagged down by the river patrol for a telling off. Oh and we didn't realise you had to book your passage through Brentford lock but the kindly lock keeper let us through anyway. (After a bit of banter when he pretended he wasn't going to let us in!)
The weather was chilly and drizzly to start  but actually this was a bit of a blessing as it meant that there were not too many big tourist boats on the river and we practically had it to ourselves. We passed a few of the high speed catamaran shuttle services but after a while they dropped off and the river was ours apart from the odd rowers practising around Putney bridge. 
At Brentford we caught up with Richard on Tin Tin who we met in July in Camden   After a glass of champagne and a cream cake we were on our way again. Love this life!!
Completed the last leg of the journey into Uxbridge in total darkness. 11 hours and 13 locks and about 30 miles. Not a bad day:)

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

It's now or never ...

Here we are, moored up in the surprisingly spectacular limehouse basin, awaiting the incoming tide tomorrow morning. We've just been up to the bridge and I have to say the water looks frighteningly choppy. Just trusting that the lock keeper won't let us out if its dangerous. We had to bite the bullet and buy an VHF radio but at least we know that help will be in hand if we run into difficulties. John is preparing the anchor as we speak and then it's off to the Narrow for a bit of Dutch courage!