[Better late than never] Half 6 now….
Final stage on the Thames, taking in such fine points of interest as Teddington Lock, Richmond Lock and Brentford Lock.
Goldilocks. And the three bears.
Well, 2 bears.
Out of the 3 lock-keepers that is.
When I arrived at 7.40am. 2 hours after high tide, the lock-keeper told me the tide was ‘out’.
Having checked the times of the tides that day, I knew they were not ‘out’ but on the way out.
He then went on to say there would not be enough water beyond Richmond lock for me to travel beyond.
He then asked whether I’d booked the Brentford Lock.
A bit of a lecture really….
He wasn’t going to let me through because of the ‘lack of water’ at Richmond.
‘All the pontoons are paid for, you can’t use them’. I said there was a specific area for those waiting to use the lock (Hunters Wood), and I’d use them if I had to.
After running through the reasons not to let me through. Of which none turned out to be true, he opened the locks and let me and Bonnie go.
I carried on down to.
Got to Richmond. Loads of water. Not a thing to worry about.
Richmond is a low water barrier; at low tide it acts to prevent low levels at the stretch between Teddington and Richmond sinking to non-navigable levels.
There are 4 sluices that regulate the water.
2 hours either side of High Tide, these barriers are lifted, and river traffic can pass beneath the bridge.
At other times, shipping has to use the Lock at the side of the channel.
As I was a little late for the tidal lifting, I paid £8 to use the lock.
As I entered the lock, I checked with the lock-keeper about the water levels beyond.
‘Plenty there for you’ he said with a smile on his face. A narrowboat has 2ft draft.
I explained that the EA lock keeper had told me it was just going to be a trickle! Little more than a puddle! And that there was no chance of getting through Brentford.
When I got through RIchmond at 3 hours past high tide mark, there was about 15ft of water.
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