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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Friday, 2 August 2013

And so to Brentford

Awake early this morning worring about the tidal crossing and hoping the engine would behave itself. The sun was out when I looked out of the window and we thought we were in for a good day. Not to be though cause within 15 minutes of having our breakfast the heavens opened. With the sun still shinning and the raindrops dancing on the river it made for an interesting photo.

Early morning sun

And 15 minutes later.
By 8.15 we were underway. We had about 9 miles to do and 2 locks and still had to get our transit licence from Sudbury lock. The cost for a 24 hour pass, so long as you travel from the river Wey to Teddington, was £10. Arriving in time to use the facilities before the lock keeper arrived we entered the lock after the self service sign came down and while Ian was sorting out the licence the volunteer lock keeper took the stern rope and operated the paddles for the boat to descend. It took about one and half hours to get to Teddington and after booking in with the lock keeper, told to wait until beckoned. By 11. 45 we were in the lock. The boat behaved impeccably more then I can say about the boater in front. Only 4 boats had entered the right hand side of Teddington lock lock, a widebeam hotel boat went in first then another lone boater on his narrow boat, us and one more behind. Within minutes we were down and ready for the off. The bottom gates opened, widebeam left first followed by the narrow boat in front. We started to creep forward when suddenly the chap on the narrowboat disappeared from view. The engine was still in drive but no sign of the helmsman. Next thing we know the boat is heading for the lock wall and crashes into it with a almighty bang. That brought the chap back on deck!! Where he had been or what he was doing is anyones guess but fancy leaving the boat in drive and then leaving it with no one on the tiller. Ian said he also did the same thing on the river when he went to fetch his life jacket! Pillock comes to mind!

The journey from Teddington to Brentford took about 40 minutes and once through Thames Lock and then Brentford gauging locks, we found a place to moor by Boston Manor Park. Here are the final  few pictures of our fantastic Thames experience.

On the approach to Sudbury lock. Diesel spill which the EA were trying to clear by spraying detergent.

Sudbury lock
 Love or hate them.


Sorry end to working boat Pegasus

Trip boat already out by Kingston road bridge

Teddington lock approach in the distance ( right hand side )

We used the right hand lock

Entering the lock

Looking back

Boats arriving ready to enter the non tidal Thames.

Richmond bridge

Richmond railway bridge with Twickenham Bridge and then Richmond foot bridge.

Richmond foot bridge by Richmond lock

Rather them then me.

This was the disappearing guy!

Moored by the park
And finally:-

Tufted ducks


Small Skipper

Female demoiselle

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