On Monday we had to move the boat from Millwall cut into the main West India dock at 9am then we were able to relax for the day before beginning our journey back up the Thames to Teddington on Tuesday. We took this opportunity to dry out both our wet weather gear & the cockpit of the boat. Plus we were able to explore parts of Canary Wharf and enjoy lunch out with Melanie before she caught the train back to Derby.
Tuesday morning we all lined up to exit the lock out of West India dock into the Thames at 11am at low tide. They packed in as many boats as possible, some of whom turned downstream and out through the Barrier whilst we headed upstream with the flood tide through central London for the 4th and last time towards Teddington – the sea lock into the non-tidal Thames. Our final trip through London passed without incident getting us to Teddington in time to join the long queue of boats also making the same passage and now waiting to lock in to the non-tidal river. I have to say that throughout our time on the Tidal Thames I was impressed, and pleased, at how our Viking 26 Widebeam cruiser coped with the tidal conditions. Even in quite rough conditions with the wake of passing large vessels she was comfortable with nothing being disturbed in the cabin. The Honda 35HP Engine gave more than sufficient power to drive the boat at a comfortable speed and cope with the cross currents that we occasionally encountered. I would certainly make the trip again given the opportunity.
Once at Teddington, we had to sort out our Thames River Licence before starting our return journey to Benson where Grumpy Bear Too would be put on the trailer back to Buckden. We had just 5 days to get back to Benson so the return trip upstream against the flow of the river would not be the gentle 7 day potter downstream that we had at the start of our adventure.
So, although it was raining again we headed on and moored up above the recreation ground at Runnymeade and the clouds passed over for a sunny evening.
Today we left in sunshine and light cloud but most of the day it has persistently rained on us again.
We stopped briefly at Windsor marina for petrol and water, and again at Bray marina for a replacement gas bottle (Windsor was out of gas but phoned ahead to Bray for us so a bottle was ready and waiting) and eventually when we moored between Hurley and Henley at Westfield Farm moorings the rain abated and we had a brief glimpse of sunshine.
Definitely not the weather to stop me and buy one!