Such a frustrating day, yet it ended absolutely fantastic!
We didn’t sleep much last night; we were on loose mooring lines as it’s tidal above Thames Lock. I thought my idea of looping the centre line around a bollard, feeding the end of the line through the side hatch was a good idea; it meant a quick pull every now again kept Cyan against the bank. It looked like the water rose and dropped about a metre.
At around 6:30 am the tide was high, and Cyan had risen to the top of the bank. Within half an hour we were dropping down again, so Rusty got a ‘rushed’ early walk (he was trapped like us and couldn’t get off). I cooked John a cheese omelette for breakfast, then I quickly got ready, and took my place on the bank (before Cyan dropped down too far) ready to release mooring ropes for our ‘escape’ through the lock, and onto the Thames. All was going great, and we were ready!
When the lockie approached us, I thought she was going to give us our instructions. Not so… she was full of apologies and said there was no power in the lock, and by the time engineers arrived to mend the problem, we’d miss the tide, and would have to wait for the evening one! What a bummer! Cyan got her loose lines again, including having the centre line (to control her) fed through the side hatch again, and I (not very elegantly) dropped down from the bank back onto Cyan.
Cutting the story of our frustrating day short, we made several phone calls to C&RT to ask what was the problem, with a reply someone would call us back – eventually someone did (at about 4:00 pm) and explained there was an all day staff meeting being held in a Camden hotel (so not a lot of staff was on duty), and that someone would be out to mend the problem shortly. Just as we were giving up ‘hope’ at 5:00 pm a lockie appeared, and he opened the lock gates….. Magic! We quickly prepared Cyan, and John scrambled up the bank to release her lines; he jumped back onto Cyan, and we sailed into the lock.
It appeared the power problem was caused by a workman on a construction site nearby, cutting through a power cable! Just wish C&RT could have kept us informed!
We left just after 5:00 pm, high tide (or high water to use the correct term) was due at Brentford around 6:30 pm, which meant we had the ‘tide’ behind us, pushing Cyan on. Cyan appears to just love the deep water!
What a journey we had….
The sunshine certainly makes people more sociable and friendly. Lovely to see everyone enjoying a very pleasant Friday evening.
We didn’t need to go through Richmond Lock, as the Thames water was ‘level’ both sides of the lock – this was good as it saved us paying the London Port Authority £8.
Going through Teddington Lock was a breeze, think we only rose (or did we drop?) about a foot. As soon as we moored beyond the lock, John walked back to the lock to pay for our license to the ‘Environment Agency’; paying £182.30 for the month, and £9.50 for our mooring. When our C&RT licence is up at the end of September, we really must get a ‘Gold License’ this time, which will allow us to venture on other rivers and canals:
From C&RT’s website:
“The Gold Licence is for people who wish to spend time cruising on a combination of Canal & River Trust and Environment Agency (EA) navigations. EA navigations include the River Thames, Anglian waterways and River Medway.”