Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Friday, 12 April 2013

Tackling the Thames; up to Reading

Yesterdays blog brought us through the tidal Thames to Battersea.  But our journey on Tuesday didn't end there. 
The Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park
Boaty homes lining the north bank

The entrance to Chelsea Harbour
Harrod's Furniture Depository at Hammersmith is no longer owned or used by Harrod's for storage of larger items that couldn't be taken to Knightsbridge.  it is now Harrod's Village made up of town houses and penthouse suites.
Richmond Bridge
We kept going on up to Richmond where the tidal barrier was already up and we could go straight on through.  There is a lock here too, but only for use when the barrier is down.  
We had just met our first few narrowboats of the day, we guessed they had just come through Richmond, probably as the barrier was raised.
Heronry at one of the islands known as Aits or Eyots(eights)

Onwards still to Teddington and this marks the end of the tideway, so once above this lock, although there is still the flow of the river to contend with, we begin to feel more relaxed.
Just a quick stop above the lock to let Jumble off...........he really needed it, poor old dog, and on our way again.

Hampton Court Palace
chimneys at Hampton Court

With all the excitement of the mornings cruise, and so many photos, trying not to miss anything, I just enjoyed the scenery, through the old royal parks, Richmond and Hampton Court 'til we reached Sunbury, where we moored below the lock at the park edge and Ian's uncle came to meet us for the evening.

Now for Wednesday's cruise,
Sunbury to Maidenhead with a stopover at Windsor.
Once again a misty morning with the river running fairly fast but nothing the engine couldn't cope with.
Oh no........ a yellow board at the lock, it's a warning, but says stream decreasing so not too bad.

Approaching Windsor and through the Victoria bridge at the edge of Home Park, Crown Estate, so no mooring along here.
An avenue of trees through Home Park.
After Victoria bridge comes Albert bridge.
Love the bridge cottage in the royal park.
We stopped for a wander around Windsor, Her Majesty was not at home today so we didn't call. 
At Boveney lock this warning board is not so good, stream increasing apparently due more to the way the lock keepers are managing the weirs and water levels along the reach.
Note the gold operation pedestal.
Also at Bray lock, to commemorate the success of the rowers at Eton Dorney last summer.
We stopped at Maidenhead for the night, where the promised rain started, reminding us of the need to press on so as not to get stuck on the river.

So Thursday morning we were soon into the attractive riverside town of Marlow.
Marlow church and bridge
Riverside house and boathouse
Beautiful homes
Temple Island, Henley
We stopped at Henley-on-Thames, there is a free 2 hour mooring close to the town bridge and it was free! So we just had time for a wander along the streets and visit the lovely Tudor antique shop, stuffed full of old things, but really well laid out and fascinating to see.
Shy black swans

We got to the turning for the river Kennet about 4pm, and the amount of water coming down the river slowed us right down. So we moored at the lock and whilst I set the lock Ian went for a quick recce to see how things were further up. Fast would be the word.
Blakes lock, the first on the Kennet

We decided to aim for the moorings alongside the prison. Ian managed the turns well, but we forgot the chimney and it took a bit of a hit on the bridge, its a little wonky, but still functional.
County lock
A walk up to County lock showed a lot of water over the weir and the lock gates, and the speed of the water down through the Oracle shopping centre a bit scary.

We decided to wait to review the situation this morning. Which was a bit better and apparently 3 hire boats with strong Swedish fellas on board got through yesterday evening. It took quite a few of them to open the gates!
But we have stayed put today, and hope to try to get through tomorrow.

Sunbury - Maidenhead
23 miles, 10 locks

Maidenhead - Reading
21 miles, 9 locks

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