I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Tuesday 22nd June

We were up at 6.30am – neither of us having slept very well :-( We were called into the huge lock at 7.30am along with the three other narrowboats. They let the water out of the lock by opening the gates a little at a time – it was a bit scary as they opened them about a foot and we could see the Thames about 18 inches BELOW us! We were the second boat out and off we set. The first bridge we came to was Tower Bridge (and no they didn’t raise it for us!!) however it was quite something to actually go under it in our little boat. A 60 foot narrow boat on the canals is big but at Limehouse the Thames is very wide and we did feel rather small. We encountered a rubbish barge quite soon and the wash came over the side and soaked the deck but it happened only once. The river was quiet at that time of the morning except for the catamaran ferries which did slow down as they passed us. As we went further up the river it got more interesting and soon we were passing the City, London Eye and the Houses of Parliament. We were under the impression that we would be stopped by the Police here but I guess it was too early for them – so if you want to blow up Parliament from the water you need to do it before 8am!! As we got out of the hustle and bustle of central London the river became a bit tedious until we reached the green of suburbia where it was just lovely. It took us just over three hours to get up to Teddington Lock where the tidal Thames ends. We went through the lock and then meandered up to Kingston where we stopped for lunch and took on board our third set of visitors – Richard’s stepdaughters Fay and Ollie with Fay’s daughter Brooke (who is just over 2). We went up to Hampton Court then turned round, stopped for a cup of tea then had to drop them back again in Kingston. It had been a very hot afternoon but there was a nice breeze on the river. We came back up stream to Harts Boatyard at Thames Ditton where we are leaving Mary H for a week while I go into hospital for an operation on my knee. We then went to Fay’s (who lives in Thames Ditton) for a lovely BBQ.

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