Freedom….. at last!

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.

A coot on her floating nest! When it’s high water the nest floats level to the ‘tide mark’!

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!

So long C&RT, promise we’ll be back soon!

So this is the ‘Mighty Thames’!

We took a right turn, and headed for Teddington.

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.


Twickenham Bridge


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.”

8 thoughts on “Freedom….. at last!

  1. Unfortunately, as I understand it, a Gold licence always runs from 1st January but you pay the full wack regardless of when you buy it. If you have outstanding months on your existing licence you may get a partial refund. Gold licence is never refundable. Obviously refund won’t apply to you if you wait until your licence expires in September. If you purchased a Gold licence then you would get 3 months cruising but be paying for 12!!

    NB Samsara

  2. Gold licences start from 1January I think so don’t get one in September as you will still pay for the whole of 2018. It may be possible to just get a short crt licence to take you up to January. Been following you since you moored up just behind us in Stoke Bruerne and eagerly itching to get going ourselves to get in the Thames in July. We tend to “go for it” and do Yardley Gobion to Brentford in 5 days, very tiring but worth it Happy sailing

    • Hi Carole, thanks for explaining about the Gold license. Cricky it’s taken us two months doing what you plan to do in 5 days! How slow are we 🙂 Have a good trip! Jen

  3. Gold licences are only available for calendar years. You will have to buy a normal CRT licence at the end of September then, any time after 1st January, you can “upgrade” to a Gold Licence. They credit you for the unused portion of your existing licence and you just pay the difference for an annual gold licence. You could have done that this week. Just phone or email the Leeds licensing team and they will sort it for you.

    Be aware the renewal date each year is 1st January, which means you will have to pay for it at the same time as Christmas, which can be difficult for some people.

    Paul (a regular blog reader)

    • Thank you Paul for explaining. We’ll be doing as you suggested, we’ll contact Leeds in the next few days as I can see us using Rivers a lot more! Know what you mean about having expensive bills at Christmas though. Jen

  4. Glad you finally made it on to the Thames. You certainly need to keep your eyes peeled in all directions especially for the boats coming up quickly behind you.

    Not sure if you are aware but all Gold licences start on the 1st of January and no refunds. You would need an ordinary CRT licence to take you through to then and then surrender it and claim a refund. We had one last year as we were on the East Anglian and Thames waters for over 4 months.

    You have already failed to beat our Thames achievement. We went all the way to the end at Lechlade and managed free moorings the entire way. True Yorkshire folk.

    • Hi Steve, yes we do know now about the Gold License. 🙂
      Thanks for the good suggestion, looks like we’ll be doing what you suggest.
      Oh dear, we failed on our first night on the Thames! We’ve got to try harder… 😉 Jen

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