The big day has arrived and after spending a few days in London we are ready to take on the Thames (Limehouse to Kingston)
I must be honest now and say that I am very nervous, Limehouse Lock looks to be a beast and what lies beyond the lock walls does not look much better this morning. We lined ourselves up and came in slowly, the lock (the beast) has vertical risers which are set into the lock walls, we loop both our stern and bow ropes through the risers and tie them around our bollards, now we wait…… Limehouse has no sluices so the water is let out of the lock simply by opening the gates (THESE ARE BIG GATES AND THERE IS A LOT OF WATER) things happen so fast and before we know it the gates of MorDor open and we are on our way, Elsa gives one long blast of her horn and we make a right hand turn onto the Thames.
A minute or two to take in my surroundings and enjoy the amazing experience that this is, something extraordinary happens when you cruise your own boat up or down the Thames, After following its bends and curves you realise that this is why London exists. We are just about to reach Tower Bridge and I am filled with a sense of achievement and humbled at the same time, we are privilaged. I hand the helm over to Sonia (Yes I know what you are all thinking but I gave this a lot of thought) and made my way to the bow so that i could photograph the next 2 miles of this journey.
Sonia handled her way through this very busy part of the Thames amazingly well and I was / am so proud of her, as we pass Westminster Bridge I start to make my way back to the helm as Charley is not so keen on the waves and needs mom (Or do I want to resume my control of the boat ?).
Back behind the wheel, 3.5 hours and 29 bridges in total we arrive at Teddington (this is where the tidal Thames becomes non tidal) A hip hip hooray and ceremonial beer is now required, that was very enjoyable to say the least buttttttttt we have a slight problem !!! Water in the engine room, how and why is there water in our engine room ??? I know we came aground on the trip down to London, did we damage something, are we sinking ? After a lot of tinkering and messing about I found the problem, whilst we were in the rough waters Elsa took in some water via the breathing vents on the stern of the boat (I never closed these off) Crisis over its time to relax for a few days, until next time.
This is Mike Delta Charlie Charlie 4 over and out