Off to the Thames River – 17th July 2019

So our plans today were to leave Paddington Basin and head off to Limehouse Basin. Limehouse Basin is where you leave the canal and go out onto the Thames River. The Thames River at this point is very tidal and busy with commercial and leisure traffic. Will continue on with this theme a little later on.

We got up at 6.00am and set off to the water, elsan and rubbish disposal. What we thought would take an hour actually took two as the water tank was extremely low. Finally got underway and headed off down the Regents Canal.

We had walked through Regents Park a couple of days ago so now we got to cruise through it.

There were a number of perfectly satisfactory shacks along the way and beautiful private gardens.

It was then into the first of our twelve locks for the day. We had three very close together right outside Camden Markets where we had been advised that we would incur many gongoozlers. Due to the early hour we avoided this encounter and in fact the market was only just opening up.

Once again we had gorgeous weather. We found the canal pretty most of the way even though we were predominantly going through heavily built up areas.

There was the odd hurdle to overcome on our journey. There were a number of supervised holiday school groups on the canal being taught how to use a kayak. We did note a few of them ended up in the canal.

Finally it was down to the last lock which in all had taken us six hours. We were a little concerned on the way down to Limehouse that there might not be any available moorings as there were only seven available. These are only 24 hour moorings which meant that there should be space for us but you can never be sure.

We had only passed one boat on our way in so were fairly confident we would be in luck which we were. Our mooring was up against a wall which required us using a ladder to get up to the wharf which really wasn’t the most convenient especially when having to get Toque in and out for her ablutions. The plus of it was that it was fairly secure.

Having settled in we went for a walk down to the foreshore of the Thames but not before talking to one of the Canal and River Trust people about what was involved in going out onto the Thames in a narrowboat. We were not interested in doing it ourselves but to just get the latest information of what was required. All you needed was a life vest and a marine radio of which you can rent. They let you out of the lock just a little after the low tide and as the tide is coming in. The guy said, it wasn’t such a big deal.

As we walked along the river and saw the huge tides plus the water traffic and the not so small waves we became adamant that no way would we ever attempt the trip up the Thames River to Teddington Lock. You do have the bragging rights to say you went under Tower Bridge, passed the Tower of London and Westminster but not quite sure if it is worth the three and a half hour white knuckle ride with the full power of the Thames pushing you forward.

It had been mentioned to us about The Prospect of Whitby pub which was a bit of a must see. We went and had dinner there and learnt a bit about its history. It goes back to 1542 with its original cellar still there as well as the initial flag stone floor. It was named after a coal carrier from Yorkshire that use to ply between Newcastle and London. This kind of history makes you feel rather insignificant.

On our way back to the boat we walked passed these steps and in the short period of just over two hours the tide had receded at a great rate of knots. At this point the tides are up to seven metres!


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