A Day to End All Days!!!!

Monday 17th September

Blimey what a day it has been.

Started off with a plan of moving down to Teddington lock checking out the tides times and then go from there.

A beautiful day a following wind leaving Hampton Court in our wake. We reached Teddington Lock by lunchtime. The lock keeper advised us to wait an hour and a half to allow the tide to come in at Richmond – over the weir, so you don’t have to use the lock. The appointed time arrived and in we went into the lock followed by WW2 torpedo boat. In a lock you must turn off your engines. As the lock gates opened to exit Brenda and the torpedo boat fired up their engines. The noise was awesome but Brenda was the loudest! “Good old girl” she always gives of her best when the chips are down and so it was to prove a little later on.

As we passed through Richmond we passed the boat yard of Mark. Mark you will remember said he might have the ideal boat for me for this trip but didn’t come up with the goods. Moored in the river opposite his gaff was I am sure the royal barge that he project managed the build for the Jubilee and now looks forlorn moored up with other dying hulks.

However we pressed on passed Richmond lock and, hello seem to be going very slowly umm the tide is definitely coming in and there is nowhere to moor up until our new destination one and a half miles away at Brentford Marina. We were on the incoming tide with two hours to run a spring tide to boot. For land lubbers a spring tide is the highest tide and the strongest.  Well i rowed literally for my life for an hour plus, no time for checking watches now. My fingers went numb from the shear effort of gripping the oars and inch by inch we clawed our way along the Thames to Brentford Marina, arriving an hour before high tide finally grabbing the waiting area pontoon before we were allowed in at the high tide mark.  Totally exhausted.  Never again!

10 miles  Total 293  3 locks Total 222

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