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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Change of plans.

The trip to the end of the Wey navigation was a quiet one in all senses. The sun was shining too.

We passed the replica of the MCS Frodsham a tug for the Manchester Ship canal and with wheel steering down aft.

Cox's Mill is a good example of the conversion of an industrial building. It makes so much sense to try to preserve the original buildings as they are in context to their surroundings.

We got to Thames Lock and there was another boat just entering the lock so we fitted in nicely. We wanted to top up with water just after the lock. We did this whilst the Lockie drop the basin via the stop lock and as the other boat had decided to take water too we left them to fill whilst we left the Wey and once again were on the River Thames.

We were straight away given a choice of taking the direct route through the Desborough Cut or the old river route. We took the straighter course. These barges just go to show that everything is bigger on the Thames.

The new bridge at Walton on Thames replaces a bridge that was damaged in WWII after a couple of 'temporary' bridges were built to take heavier loads. This bow spring bridge was finally opened in 2013.

The approach to Sunbury Lock has a large weir. We were to buy our transit licence here but when we arrived the sign showed the lock was on self service.

Helen took command straight away. I was surprised at peoples attitude to somebody helping out. I went to take a rope for the first boat and they then kept asking me what to do. I told them that it is up to them as I am not the skipper of their boat, but in a very nice way. The second boat demanded that I cross the lock to take a rope as she couldn't get alongside with out one!

Our plan was to get a transit licence that we could 'sort of' extend so that we could stop at Hampton Court. The Lockie wasn't having any of that and so thought we could get away with a two day licence at £39, but then said no we would need a £61 licence. There was a swift change of plan now and we took the £10 transit licence and will now transit Teddington Lock in the morning. We can catch the bus from Brentford once we get there, to Hampton Court for a much cheaper price than they wanted. As we cleared the lock the view back toward the lock is quite appealing.

There are many little house on Platt's Eyot near Hampton and some of them a little oldy world places, but not many as they have all been 'done up'. This sort of sums up the Thames for me, expensive houses and boats with rowers getting in the way everywhere!

In the distance is Hampton House that was bought by David Garrick the 18th Century Actor and he had Robert Adam redesign it in 1754. In 1773 he had the temple built in honour of Shakespear.

At Kingston on Thames there seems to have been a nasty accident with this rowing eight falling out of the sky.

Black clouds descended over us, and not just because of our forced change of plans. It makes Hampton Court look very gloomy. Lets hope that it isn't this bad when we eventually get there.

We passed the 'Yarmouth Belle' that was built in 1892 at Great Yarmouth, and worked on the Broads. She was sold into the Thames in 1946 and is still here. The funnel and the paddles are dummies though.

We passed through Molesey Lock and we soon came across Raven's Ait, which seems to be a 'pleasure island' with ferries transporting pleasure seekers backwards and forwards. The Italianate Tower in the distance is that of St Raphael's Church.

It wasn't long before we arrived at Teddington Lay By moorings. They are pretty full and there are a lot of boats facing down river so maybe there will be a bit of a flotilla in the morning. We have to be at the lock for half an hour before high water at Teddington which is 1hr 15 mins after HW London Bridge, which is 0800 in the morning. Therefore by my maths we need to be thinking about letting go about 0815 if there are lots of boats as Thames Lock at Brentford closes at 1100.

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