Where to begin? It's been a long time since I posted, and it's been a hectic week for us.
Last Monday we travelled in to Paddington Basin, on arrival we managed to get the last spot, whew, what luck.
I then started to look into our trip up The Thames. Thanks to CWDF I had already spotted that the tide times on the web were GMT not BST so I looked in our Nicholson Guide for the phone number for Limehouse Lock.
Somehow I must have got the wrong number in my head, because unbeknown I got through to Brentford Lock. The conversation got a bit strange. The woman at the other end told me that the earliest I could go onto the river was 09.30 on Saturday. Now, the tide tables showed that the best time to head out from Limehouse was about 08.00. I thought she was talking about the normal working hours of the lock, and reading the guide I had seen that you must give 24 hours notice to use the lock out of hours. On asking she told me that the lock just wasn't available before 9.30.
I misunderstood what was going on and thought that out of hours working had been stopped, and that I would have to fight the tide, and get mixed up with midday shop traffic.
Once again I consulted the CWDF, and in no time at all a chap on there, who post as RichardN, put me on to the correct number and finally I managed to get a slot at 08.00, just as we wanted.
On Thursday evening Paul & Jacqui arrived by train at Paddington Station, and we all went out for a meal at a Greek restaurant called Fantasia. A very nice place, but the service was a bit over keen to clear up after each course, giving the feeling that they wanted to rush us.
Friday we set off for Limehouse. We passed this interesting floating Chinese restaurant.
We arrived at Limehouse and after mooring up I reported to the marina office as requested. Here I learned that we would be joined by another boat on our trip, a Black Prince hire boat. Because it was a hire boat they had to take a company pilot/radio man, which was good news for me on two fronts. We wouldn't be alone, and would be accompanied by someone who had done this before.
Looking out at The Thames around Limehouse in the evening.
The trip on Saturday was a great success. The weather remained good, hardly any wind. The trip boats weren't out that early, and the only boat to cause any significant wash was a high speed RIB.
I'll put some pictures on here now, and some more later when I've sorted them.