Friday, 28 June 2013

Tidal Thames Day 5

This morning we were awake before the sparrows passed wind, that's like stupid o’clock! After tea and toast boats started toward the lock. We were all going out on the high spring tide at seven. Only one of the six of us had done this before, when they opened the starting gate we kept this boat in sight all the way. Another stayed behind us. The other three shot out spread across the wrong side of the river, making it difficult for other users
This house says there is not far to go
An hour later we turned into the Thames Lock cut. It was after eight. We were expected. One would have thought the lock would have been open ready to receive us, but the staff were late. While we were waiting a large raft of black, decaying leaves floated past.
We occupied both Thames locks. They had trouble closing the gates. We came out heading for the Brentford Gauging locks. The water level under the High Street bridge meant we had to take down the Chimneys. In the lock once more a gate would not close. This turned out to be finger trouble. I thought the operator was the lock keeper but no the lockie hadn’t turned up.
We were the only ones of the group to moor up. I assume the others raced up the Hanwell flight with more important things on their minds than my shower. We stopped for brekkers and to decant Mark and Sarah who had  to leave the boat to fulfil other commitments. After they had left I had the most fab shower in the facilities block. The last time I was here, 2007, this block seemed to be new. It is now very jaded, but the water was ‘kin HOT!!!.
I dawdled about for a bit then set off. I was going to go up two locks then moor up and have lunch at the Fox and settle in for the night. As it happened I  carried on up to the top then Bulls Bridge. The visitor moorings were full and seemed to have been for some time.  I carried on up the Paddington Arm of the GU and moored on the Greenford visitor moorings. As I write this I am sitting in the Black Horse.

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