Monday 11th September 2017
Kingston to Teddington
2.25 miles, 0 locks
When Chris went out with Monty last thing last night my camera was called for to capture Kingston Bridge - it is a lovely bridge by day, but even better at night.
Our original plan had been to go down the Tidal Thames from Teddington to Brentford today (Monday), however we decided to delay a day as we felt that an 07:00 tide (Tuesday) and that 06:00 on Monday was just too early, particularly as it would still be dark by then, so today we had a very short journey, so could take it easy. The plan was to get up at our leisure and wander into Kingston for a mooch. I had hoped to get some new walking shoes as mine have decided they are no longer waterproof, however things did not go as planned. I was fine when I got up and took Monty out first thing. I showered, had breakfast and then went to take Monty for a proper walk. My left knee started to play up for no apparent reason. I set off and only got a couple of hundred yards when I had to sit down on a bench before limping slowly back to the boat. Not only was it very painful, but it kept giving way, but backwards - all very odd. One thing that had to be done was a trip to Waitrose, so I set off with Chris using a walking pole to aid me. Well picture this if you will, Chris walking so slowly he was almost at a standstill and me bent over hobbling along relying on the walking pole to keep me upright!! We arrived at the same time as a lady who was probably 20 years my senior who had a walking stick and an evident mobility problem and she was going faster than I was!! Hanging on to the trolley helped, but people were still moving aside as you do if you see someone struggling! We eventually made it back to the boat and were thankful that we had so little to do for the rest of the day. I did manage to break my journey to take a view of our mooring on the Richmond side of the Thames.
Do you think this is a 'man shed'?
Even the apartments are upmarket
And so we arrive at Teddington - when we got here two years ago it was chock a block, but this time we could take our pick.
Tuesday 12th September 2017
Teddington to Cowley Peachey
14.75 miles, 14 locks
The burning question was going to be 'how would my knee be in the morning'? The alarm went off at 05:00 - an hour we are not familiar with at either end of the candle these days! Chris did Monty duties and we were heading up to the lock by 06:40 to find the lock keeper waiting for us and opening the gates. I was more mobile and in less pain and with little for me to do we decided we would go for it and get back onto the Grand Union.
Whilst such an early start is usual to a lot of boaters, we prefer sometime after 8am, however, we both had to agree that we had chosen the perfect day for such an early start - the morning sun and colours were amazing and we had a fantastic trip along the Tidal Thames. For the most part I am going to let the pictures tell the tale - there are a lot for which I make no apology. There is a theme running through which will become apparent.
|Looking ahead as we leave our mooring|
|Early bird canoeists|
|We were not the only early risers - we assume they had come from Brentford, so must have started in the dark|
|No 2 & 3|
|Richmond Lock - this has to used other than a couple of hours either side of each high tide|
We always travel when the sluice gates are open, so can pass under the bridge
|Just over an hour after we left Teddington and the tide is definitely on the way out again|
|And then suddenly we were there - a little quicker than we had anticipated|
|but there is the entrance and we made the turn in time and|
|proceeded along the canal|
|to Thames Lock - there was one thing missing - the lock keeper did not shout 'Have you got a licence?' which is what happened both times we came through here in 2015|
|Into the lock and the safety of the Grand Union Canal|
Chris and I had enjoyed every minute of our early morning cruise in glorious sunshine. Medication was keeping me mobile, but we did think we might just stop in Brentford once we had gone through the gauging lock.
However it was not to be - there was no room, so after using the services we continued on our way planning to stop before the locks at Hanwell.
Chris worked the two locks we had to do
Under a bridge we came across this widebeam a lot further from the bank than is usual.
The stern was even further out - I am not sure how they managed to tie the ropes, but as we crept past a young lady popped out and asked if we could tow them off as they had been stuck all night!
Thankfully it was a lot easier to move them than it had been to get us off the sandbank on The Thames. With grateful thanks they went on their way. The stern rope was abandoned.
Of course whilst this all went on another boat came towards us, but realised there was a problem and held off until our job was done.
So on to the bottom of Hanwell where we were going to stop. We did briefly, but decided that the weather was still good and the forecast was bad, that we felt we should keep going and get the Hanwell locks over and done with. We did and were lucky enough after at lock 3 of 8 to get two volunteer lock keepers to assist our passage. Mary and Karen were good company and their cheerful assistance was much appreciated. Once at the top we decided to keep going to Cowley Peachey. Had we gone down the tidal Thames on Monday, stopped at Brentford or below Hanley locks we would have missed Sue, Vic, Meg and Penny. As it was we were just in time for a quick chat between 'ships that pass in the day', as they pulled into Bulls Bridge to pay a visit to Tesco. We knew they were going to be in London whilst we were on the Thames, so we thought we would miss them altogether. It was good to see you albeit briefly.
included this one. We have a friend called Thalia, so I thought we had seen this boat before. I was right we had - in Cowley Peachy in August 2015! Possibly facing the other way, but definitely here.
We squeezed in at the other end of the line of boats which were all neatly moored, but
this was the best we could do!
By then it was 3pm and we had had enough! Chris has an after lunch nap most days, but it is rare for me to do so, however I deployed the bed as I wanted to put my knee up which had held up fairly well and it was not long before our boat was strangely quiet for a good hour!