Thursday 20 June 2013

The Thames questions

Thanks everyone who replied with answers to my Thames questions.  We're planning to get 2 seven day licences so two weeks in total.  Surely that will be long enough if Deb did the trip in 8 days.  If we average about 5 hours every two days?

Indigo Dream's mooring guide was most useful, plus I've found that the Thames guide from the environment agency listed free moorings.  We just hope we're able to find the right places!  I've marked with a highlighter in our book all the places I know have a free mooring spot so suggestions are always welcome.  I assume the moorings will be on the "towpath" side of the river?

Sue & Deb, I checked my book and most of the locks do appear to have water which is perfect.

We're starting to feel a bit better about the Thames adventure... well, I am anyway.  Carol says she dreams about sinking, Barry's fretting about running out of water and about mooring, and Mick... actually I think the more other people worry about things the less Mick worries himself.  He's usually a real stress-head but having Barry doing that for him is leaving him free to enjoy himself.

For my own reference, here are the comments from my question post.

Sue said...
That is about 100 miles and over 30 locks that trip.

Lots of free 24hr moorings on the way, if I get time this weekend I'll put you a list up.
June 15, 2013 at 10:04 PM

AnonymousAnonymous said...
1. You can moor overnight at Bulls Bridge itself - outside Tesco or you can go down a few locks of the Hanwell flight and moor just after the point where the River Brent joins from the left below the lock - this has good access to a famously fine pub "The Fox".

Check out our guide to moorings - which details every mooring we've ever used - including lots on the Thames. If you email me I can send you more - I've had trouble updating the page with last year's Thames moorings.

2. There are water points at most of the Thames locks - they generally have very good water pressure.

3. Can't remember the timing - you're travelling upstream so allow for being slowed a little by the flow (much faster coming downstream). Will calculate and get back to you.

4. See our guide to moorings and email for more (as above)

Hope that's helpful - enjoy the Thames - it's fabulous!

Sue, nb Indigo Dream
June 15, 2013 at 11:38 PM

AnonymousDeb (NZ) said...
Hi from a 'neighbour' from a cross the ditch

I have been following your journey for a while now because you are doing what I dream of being able to do one day. So far, we have had to make do with short canal holidays on hire boats when ever we make it to the UK. Our last trip was a couple of years ago - down the GU to Brentford, up the Thames to Oxford and along the South Oxford. Which gives me the opportunity to get out my logbook and say thanks for letting me share your travels :-)

1. We moored below the Hanwell flight, just after the River Brent joins the canal, on a grassy bank on the towpath side with a number of other boats. We felt perfectly safe and had no problems. Only concern would be if the Brent was running high or fast. We had a nice meal at The Fox. The early morning run we had down to Brentford to catch the tide next day was beautiful and took about an hour. BTW, I noted down that the stern was shoved sidewards by the Brent current after leaving Hanwell Bottom Lock.

2. A number of the locks have a tap. I found a web page that listed them but it has disappeared. Hopefully someone else knows of one.

3. My log shows that we spent 36.5 hours on the move between Teddington and Isis Lock. We did this over 8 days.

4. From memory, we paid at Runnymead, Windsor and Henley, and had free moorings at Hampton Court, Goring, Abingdon and Oxford.
Hope this all helps. I am so envious.
Deb (NZ)
June 15, 2013 at 11:44 PM


Adam said...

It's not always obvious which side the path is on the Thames. Sometimes there's a path both sides, and sometimes there's no path at all.

If there are fields, looks out for boat-length hollows in the bank which suggest that people have moored there before. Don't be afraid to tie up to trees, either. These wild moorings are some of the best on the river; it's great to be out in the middle of nowhere.

You really should go right up to Lechlade, too. The Thames above Oxford is completely different -- much more intimate, winding, and beautiful -- and really shouldn't be missed.

We did the Thames as part of our Autumn Cruise in 2011 (from Day 12 onwards), so have a read of the blog to get some ideas.

Deb (NZ) said...

Hi Elly
I left a followup comment on your earlier post but it seems to have got itself lost - I wanted to draw your attention to this site:
in case you hadn't come across it yet. I plugged in Teddington Lock to Isis Lock in 14 days and it told me "This will take 34 hours, 1 minute which is 17 days, 1 minute at 2 hours per day. You have asked for it to be done in 14 days, each of which will be 2 hours and 25 minutes".
I have plenty of tideway experience but with an unknown boat on an unknown river, I was nervous - which is good because it heightens your awareness. However, I found the Thames much kinder than I expected and all went well. Even the short tidal stretch was completely without drama. I was aware of the tide as we left the Brent but it didn't affect boat handling at all. At Teddington the lock was against us and the lock moorings full but I found that hovering just off the mooring was easy.
On the non tidal river, I was aware of the current but it rarely impacted on handling. I always moored head to current but I noticed that many didn't bother and seemed to have no problems. The lower reaches were very busy (it was the weekend) but above Windsor it was less crowded. The plastic boats weren't the problem we expected - they are so nimble and tend to stay well clear of 20 tonnes of steel - but the rowers on the upper reaches around Oxford occasionally had me worried. Some of them seemed utterly oblivious.
But the main thing is that the river is nothing like anything we have in NZ or Oz and it is unbelievably lovely. Each new reach makes you grab the camera. So keep the worries to a minimum and enjoy the next 2 weeks :-)
Deb (NZ)