Thursday, 21 August 2014

'BIG UP' THE THAMES 07 08 2014


The best way to cover the trip is pictorial. This trip had the WOW factor. How else do you see a calm London from the river under a clear blue sunny sky? We were able to cruise our home up river on the incoming tide and look at the sights of bank side Greater London.  A different view from when we once lived on terra firma, here, last century.
Bright eyed and Bushy tailed at Limehouse Basin

There were 9 Narrowboats booked to leave Limehouse Lock early morning (beginning 0700 hrs) to move with the rising incoming tide. The incoming tide gives velocity to the 3 1/2 hour trip meaning we would arrive at Richmond Footbridge while the tide was in the 'right' state avoiding the need to use Richmond Lock. The early start was in our favour because the tourist trip boat traffic would start later and we had been warned those boats create sizeable 'wakes'.

There were three Narrowboats and the little one said....

We went out in groups of 3 with Nb DolcieBlue being in the second batch

From the inside looking out

 Here we go....
Speeding at 7mph

Captain Kidd. Wapping establishment of old.

Wapping, The Shard, The Gherkin, Rotherhithe Tunnel vent
Now we are getting close to the Bridge Troll! Better the devil you know.....
The Archful Dodger 
To raise or not to raise Tower Bridge

Where are the Beefeaters?
London Bridge is falling down?
No it ain't falling down!
Cannon Street Railway Bridge

Southwark Bridge

Millennium Footbridge
Blackfriars Railway Bridge
Patience is Della

Blackfriars Bridge
Waterloo Bridge

An Eye over Waterloo Bridge looking through to Hungerford Bridge (comprising the former Charing X Railway Bridge and the two new Hungerford Footbridges (the Golden Jubilee Bridges)
Exclusion zone ahead 70 metres out from the Right Bank. Take the arch third from the right. 

10 Bridges covered and there are 20 more bridges to go!

The London Eye

1 comment:

A brief history

This is a blog set up by Chris and Sarah so family and friends can catch up with their travels on the British waterways in the summer of 2011. In 2010, I went to England with the idea of getting a narrow boat built. I had specific requirements so I thought that a new build may be the way to go. I e mailed to numerous boat builders, a great percentage of whom ignored me. The problem of having a family name of Laycock is that hotmail and a few others think that I am a porn star. At an early age you learn not to put C Laycock on your school books. But I guess that my nephew Paul did worse. Anyway I spent a very pleasant few weeks driving around the beautiful English countryside visiting boatyards, marinas, boat builders and just a few pubs. I had narrowed it down to two builders and in the last week I was in Devizes Wiltshire when I came across "Avalon Mist" 54 feet of throbbing neglected narrow boat. The past owner had lost interest, hadn’t maintained her and to add insult to injury had been made redundant. After a very short negotiation I was able to buy her for a pretty fair price. On the day the sale took place I had to beg her to take her trainers and a few rather suspect items of clothing, in other words she left everything. Lock stock and barrel.

Soon after the purchase I flew to California to meet Sarah and have a short holiday. Once back in NZ I started to try and organize works. The first thing that I learnt was that the marina does not allow any contractor on site, only their chosen ones, the excuse given is a concern about insurance, the suspicion is, graft, pay back, baksheesh, call it what you like. It is possible to take the boat off the marina to have the work done, but not really practical.

The first job to be tackled was to “winterize” the boat, i.e. drain off all the water, check the anti freeze in the engine and central heating and fit an automatic bilge pump.

No real problem there except communication, the mechanic just didn’t answer e mails. Difficult to do business like that.

The nice marina lady had a quiet word with him, and things did improve, thanks Debs you have been a star through out . He later confided in me the reason for this was that he was dyslexic, apparently a malady [he] claims affects a lot of mechanics.[It turns out that he is a great mechanic and a nice guy to boot].

That goes pretty high on my list of lame excuses, the top one being a really nice Irish guy Pat, who I had employed as a carpenter years ago when I lived in London. He was always a bit late for work, when I finally collared him about it; he said he could never decide what to wear to work.

Nice one Pat.

I digress, the boat was winterized, which was just as well as it was a cold one and the whole marina froze over.

Next job was to have her taken out of the water, have the hull stripped back to bare metal and have a bit of over plating done. There were a couple of areas where there was pitting, and I though if she’s out of the water, may as well do the job right, so a small amount of over plating and then the hull was blacked, and the engine bay partially de-rusted and then back in the water.

Seems like a good job was done, I had the marine surveyor who had done the original survey, check out all the major works and give me written reports and photos, so all good except once again communications.

I then came across a great guy, the partner of the woman who runs the marina and a carpenter/narrow boat fitter outer .He replaced the stern deck and did a great job, also did a great job on de-greasing, de-rusting and painting the engine compartment. A job I should have done myself, but I just didn’t fancy it, not only that be was great with communications and chasing other people up

So that takes us up to present.

There needs to be a bit of electrical work, not much. The outside is badly in need of paint, Sarah and I can do that and a bit of a tidy up inside, and then she will be a really nice boat.