A very hectic day which we knew we were in for. We complicated it by wanting to have a Sunday pub lunch as this is the last Sunday we will be on the boat. It is very much an English tradition.
We bid adieu to Hampton Court Palace and then chugged to The Albany pub.
It has just been too hot this summer to pull up for the Sunday roast ritual and even today it was warm at 22c, but our trip wouldn’t be complete without having one.
We literally pulled across the river from the palace and moored up at the back of The Albany pub. We had made a booking the day before because if you don’t, you won’t get in, especially with being a bank holiday weekend.
Following our succulent lunch, we motored down the river for an hour to Teddington Lock.
We moored up with the boat Hatton who we have been leap frogging with down the Thames since Oxford.
Lucy and her boyfriend Nick then moored up to us who we have also been leap frogging with over the last few days. They had a few friends join them for the final stretch onto the tidal Thames.
It is not usual to see three narrowboats breasted up but there was only one mooring point so you make the best you can of the situation.
Once through the lock, we were then on the tidal Thames – in other words, we were subject to the vagaries of the tides and like the River Severn that we were on before, they are substantial. Currently, they are sitting around eight meters. Of course you have to take in the time of year and the varying tide times.
We had an hour and a half of travel on the tide from where we were let out of Teddington Lock at 4.05pm. We shot down the river to then get onto the Grand Union Canal through the Brentford Lock which we had a booking time between 4.39pm and 6.49pm – they were very specific with the tide times.
We were now getting a lot closer to London city and the rural sections of the Thames have now disappeared except for the Kew Gardens area.
They only allow nine boats each tide into the Brentford Lock which is why we had to make a booking a few weeks back. Motoring downstream with the tide having turned was scary but then turning left into the Brentford Lock was downright hair raising. Add in the fact that we have no keel and we are turning sideways and trying to avoid river traffic at the same time – well, you get the picture!!!!! Having said all that, we did negotiate the turn well.
Once through the lock and onto the Grand Union Canal, we were met by Marlene and Wolfgang who had arrived ten minutes before us. They had driven from Utrecht to the Hook of Holland and caught the night ferry two days before. They had then met up with some boating friends in Crick and this afternoon they had caught a taxi down to meet us just above the Brentford Lock. To go into the logistics as to how we met up would take a page but let us just say we had two engineers of which one is German who made it all happen. Mr 110% and Mr 109.99%
So that is our final map of the Thames section we have done in the last three weeks…..but…. it is not over yet. The next installment will happen in a week of which is going to be very exciting and truly nail biting. Until then, enjoy reading about our escapades getting into London.