Thursday, 15 March 2007

On to the Thames

Up with the larks this morning, 6 0'clock. The red boards are down, it's time to move off up the Thames. Woo Hooo!
I was chomping at the bit and moved down to the BW office at 8, we were not going 'til 9. Topped up the HIJKLMNO tank for ballast, just in case. I readied the lock Brian and Julie came in (nb Tumbarumba). We did a bit of bizz involving some coal and the level in the lock dropped, the gate opened and I was on my way to the last lock before the open water of the Thames. At Thames Lock I thought it prudent to put my life vest on. Brian was very encouraging, "I wouldn't bovver mate, you'll die of ipafermia before ya drahn". The huge gates of the lock motored open and there was The River. Brian having been up the river a few times before went first and I followed a few hundred yards behind.

A launch came past at speed which made Milly do a roller coaster imitation. She's not designed for that! I wanna go back. Initial trepidation waning I opened up the tap to 2500 revs and took the glazing off the bores. This engine has never worked so hard, but what fun. Having never seen the river this way or this far up I sat back and enjoyed the ride. I couldn't really have picked a nicer day. The sun shone down making everything look crisp and clean like a Technicolour movie. Richmond lock was not needed we just cruised by. At Teddington straight into the lock, I flicked a centreline around a bollard and held fast. Howard the lockie (a CW forum member) told me to moor up along the river and come back when I was ready to get my licence. Apparently Bones had primed him I was coming. Howard has a site detailing good info at Teddington Brian and Julie waved goodbye as they sailed off into the sun on their Gold licence, now that is a clever idea.

Licence, now there's a funny thing. 4 days 79 quid, 5 days £106, 15 days £88.50. Der! The mind boggles. So I am on the river for 15 days and wouldn't ya know it Bones has it all organised already.

While I was making coffee I was asked 'how far are you going?' "As far as the day is long", was my smiled reply. It don't get much better than this.

Next stop Kingston. I once came to Kingston fishing, but that was when hemlines were still rising and John Paul George and Ringo were the new 'in-thing'. It is so different from how I remember it. Kingston, in the sun, is a great place. I only stopped for lunch but it had a real cosmopolitan feel to it. I moored up outside the Gazebo, nearly sucking a swan in the BT, only to find the kitchen was closed, bummer! I had lunch in the 'Bishop-in-waiting' or some such name. Over three pound a pint!!! Tumbarumba was moored on the opposite bank. You can just see her on the left bank in this pic taken leaving Kingston.

I put this pic in for Jeff

The journey from there was uneventful other than my rope snagged on the bollard at Sunbury Lock and nearly pulled the boat over. I was on the phone not paying attention, good job the lockie was.

I was hoping to overnight at Weybridge, but thought better of it. I turned around at Desbourgh and skipped back to The Anglers to moor. I say skipped because downstream is a lot quicker than upstream. As I was mooring 'John on the Wey' appeared, again having been primed by Bones. If you should need a social organiser she's ya girl. I had just made John a cuppa when a text from Bones announced that John would be down later. Bones and James arrived about 15 minutes later. More tea!

After reliving the trip with Bones we eventually repaired/repared to the bar just before 6. Don't ask what time we left. James had things to do so left. The three of us entered the quiz we were to say the least BAD!

I had two calls today with which I was pleased. One from Jeff in Saudi and one from Melit, also in Saudi, who used to work for me in my house. Melit is now working for a Saudi family I do so hope they treat her well. She is a nice girl from Eritrea and would not deserve the treatment that some Saudis give their maids.


Maffi said...

I thought you might ask HIJKLMNO is the alphabet from H to O. H2O water, get it?

Anonymous said...

Nice one!! That's nothing like the Kingston I recall either - must be age or something. It looks like a great trip and you must be pleased to be moving again. Best wishes, Sue