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Scholar Gypsy

Tidal Thames - through the Barrier

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A quite amazing trip, though running up a gravel bank in Putney at 7 mph was a somewhat unexpected extra. All canals should be supplied with rising tides to easily resolve such situations. I was far too busy steering to take photos, but my brother-in-law got this perfectly framed example as we passed Tower Bridge.

 

MP.

 

 

IMG-20190518-WA0011.jpg

  • Greenie 3

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10 hours ago, MoominPapa said:

A quite amazing trip, though running up a gravel bank in Putney at 7 mph was a somewhat unexpected extra. All canals should be supplied with rising tides to easily resolve such situations. I was far too busy steering to take photos, but my brother-in-law got this perfectly framed example as we passed Tower Bridge.

 

MP.

 

 

IMG-20190518-WA0011.jpg

And At Westminster:

 

 

met.JPG

  • Greenie 2

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For a few years I worked in a building (sadly now demolished) where my office  overlooked the Thames between Southwark and London bridges.

 

I dreamt of taking my own boat past the office and waving to my colleagues, but they knocked the building down and redeveloped the site before I had the opportunity. ?

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I've only been as far downstream as Limehouse. I met a couple of SPCC members there once and they invited me to join them on that trip but I'd already arranged to meet a couple of friends and leave on the next flood tide going upstream so I had to decline. I'm not insured past the Thames barrier anyway so I'd have had to do something about that.

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I live in the US on a major river that is in similar size to the Thames. Not tidal and while we don't have the Ocean going sized boats to deal with we still have big boats, long lines of barges being pushed buy big tugs, big waves and lots of wind at times. Summer thunderstorm rolls in the waves are measured in feet high. Our locks are similar in size to the ones I have seen that lead to the Thames.

 

To me, navigating the Thames, aside from the all the traffic looks pretty easy. So I am actually looking forward to making this trip someday.  REALLY looking forward to the scenery! 

 

Of course when your normal water is dead calm like the canals and just a few feet wide, I see how this could be very intimidating! It is all about perspective.

 

 

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Yes the tidal Thames isn't difficult for the most part, I don't think anyone said it was did they? Perhaps I missed the post.

 

Nevertheless tidal currents of 6 knots + aren't to be underestimated when you're steering an underpowered, heavy steel boat and there are a couple of difficult bits. Going downstream and turning into Limehouse can be tricky on a canal boat, but it would be easy and fun on a light, powerful grp cruiser.

Edited by blackrose

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8 hours ago, Tim Lewis said:

And At Westminster:

 

 

met.JPG

I see that the front deck party had deployed the washboards by then. The buoys marking the exclusion zone were a lot farther in than I was expecting.

 

MP.

 

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3 hours ago, MoominPapa said:

I see that the front deck party had deployed the washboards by then. The buoys marking the exclusion zone were a lot farther in than I was expecting.

 

MP.

 

The buoys are roughly in line with the first bridge pier (ie between arches 1 and 2). The formal exclusion zone is in line with the second pier, ie between arches 2 and 3. 

 

All a bit weird - ie the buoys do not mark the exclusion zone! This means that if you go though arch 2 (as many NBs do) you will end up in the zone. Normally you won't get shot at, though.

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9 hours ago, blackrose said:

Yes the tidal Thames isn't difficult for the most part, I don't think anyone said it was did they? Perhaps I missed the post.

Oh no. I was just thinking about  couple of videos I watched of people on the Thames for the first time. Obviously intimidated by the size of everything and I understand. Like the first time I kayaked out in the Ocean. Heck first time as a kid I took out boat out in the main part of the river the size scared me.

 

Hull design being flat bottomed and the small engines no doubt could lead to some scary moments too!

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12 hours ago, blackrose said:

Yes the tidal Thames isn't difficult for the most part, I don't think anyone said it was did they? Perhaps I missed the post.

 

Nevertheless tidal currents of 6 knots + aren't to be underestimated when you're steering an underpowered, heavy steel boat and there are a couple of difficult bits. Going downstream and turning into Limehouse can be tricky on a canal boat, but it would be easy and fun on a light, powerful grp cruiser.

I've added the speed and other data here. Quite a gentle tide, maxm speed over the ground 7 kts, roughly half boat and half tide. We find 3.5 to 3.7 kts through the water is a comfortable convoy speed.

https://nbsg.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/may2019_margness_log.pdf 

Edited by Scholar Gypsy

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What an amazing trip. It brings back great memories of last year when we did Limehouse to Teddington which was made so much more relaxing and enjoyable thanks to all the help from SG. We hope to do it again next year but this time go down river to the barrier.

  • Greenie 1

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I used to take my 12 footer <cathedral hull> down the House of Parliament regularly launching from Chiswick slipway.

 

Dead easy. However on a narrowboat another matter!

Edited by mark99

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On 21/05/2019 at 17:56, blackrose said:

 Going downstream and turning into Limehouse can be tricky on a canal boat, but it would be easy and fun on a light, powerful grp cruiser.

 We once arrived at Limehouse at low water just as the tide was turning, ran past the lock and crossed downstream then moored on the floating pontoon. Lock keeper was just going off duty but was unhappy to leave us outside overnight. spent the next 3/4 hour inching over the sill as the tide rose.

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1 hour ago, OptedOut said:

 We once arrived at Limehouse at low water just as the tide was turning, ran past the lock and crossed downstream then moored on the floating pontoon. Lock keeper was just going off duty but was unhappy to leave us outside overnight. spent the next 3/4 hour inching over the sill as the tide rose.

That was good / kind. It can be rather unpleasant stuck on the pontoon.

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4 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

That was good / kind. It can be rather unpleasant stuck on the pontoon.

A very nice gentleman indeed. Saved me from staying up all night checking the pontoon as the swell was lifting the boat and pontoon at varying frequencies.

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It seems to me (Not An Expert warning) that narrow boats are actually quite good in big and bouncy waterways and if you have a modern high revving engine that you aren't scared to open up a bit they are quite well powered for heavy displacement boats. We quite often use bigger waterways with big fast commercials and we don't like it, 32` 6"" x 11` 4" and quite boat shaped but we roll and pitch wheras the few times we have been in company with narrowboats they just seem to plough on regardless. I suspect that in extreme conditions the narrowboat would eventually flip bur we would just continue to roll horribly and scream like scared things but hopefully we will never try it.

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