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Jennifer McM

April/May Thames cruising from Brentford, to Oxford

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13 hours ago, pete harrison said:

With the Thames being on Red Boards throughout, and going over here and there and with more rain forecast my trip has just been postponed until early May - very frustrating :captain:

Very  sensible - my local report says the flow past my mooring is now 188 Cumecs as compared with earlier reports of 170 - so redder than red. Current at 5 knots - so I don't think many NBs could maintain headway at all.

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I'd like to chime in and join the ever increasing throng of boaters preparing for the Thames. I've just done the Wey and finishing off the Basingstoke this week so will be out on the Thames on Monday 1st May, heading to the K&A.

Not sure yet whether to take a week or months license, but lots of useful info in this thread re moorings so could well be the longer option.

Any extra info regarding fuel? I'm likely to fill up on the Wey as I have now found one place that isn't completely silly.

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Quote

 

For fuel Chris Iddon has a floating bunker service on the Thames  - I don't have his contact details to hand (they're on my boat...)  Better Boating at Reading - opposite - ish  Tescos tel oh one one eight 947 9536 much cheaper than the Wey and all marinas. Chris is cheaper still and his fuel incluce Marine16 (or some such) treatment.   

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1 hour ago, Johny London said:

Any extra info regarding fuel? I'm likely to fill up on the Wey as I have now found one place that isn't completely silly.

Where is that?

I think I know.

Edited by mark99

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It's the first boat marina down, opposite the Anchor - I think it's called Pyrford Marina. I cant remember how much now - I phoned them to check when I was just the other side of the lock before going in - but they told me they were closing and didn't want to wait so I didn't get any that time. I think it was something like 85p or 95p on a split, so not as bad as the £1.25 I paid at the other place. I might see if I can get a hold of that guy on the Thames though - if I find his number.

Just found this...

http://www.thamesdiesel.com/  It's Chris's details :)

Actually, this looks pretty useful so may as well add...

http://www.lock13.co.uk/ it's how I found Chris's website.

Edited by Johny London

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On 31/03/2018 at 18:22, mark99 said:

They Wey is currently all red from Godalming to Thames Lock. Fairly unusual as even the canalised (no river Wey flowing in/out) sections are on red.

Sorry for my late response. The wording from the National Trust is (for example) "13.45hrs – Godalming Wharf to Thames Lock – all river sections of the navigations are in flood, dangerous conditions to navigation exist and it is not safe to proceed along the waterway at this time.

You can still cruise on the canal sections, and I (based at Pyrford Marina) cruise freely between below Worsfold Gates and above Town Lock despite red boards.

Edited by Mike on the Wey
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On 25/04/2018 at 19:38, OldGoat said:

Chris Iddon - here you go:-

http://www.thamesdiesel.com/

Oh 7921 Six 94287

 

Don't forget the dog.

Our diesel tank was topped up this morning by Chris (very pleasant and obliging man), we're moored just past Boulter's Lock.

We paid 94p a litre, which is loads better than the last marina we passed at £1.21 a litre! We also got some Excel coal from him, but sadly he didn't have any gas - we've just switched to our 2nd bottle, so we'll be on the lookout for a gas supplier.

Chris said he was going to hunker down at Henley until tomorrow's yellow weather alert passes. 

Where we are, the river's on yellow, if we get the 'promised' deluge, no doubt red paddles will be up. 

We'll not be moving too soon from our safe mooring!

We never saw his dog... though Chris did speak to him behind the cabin door.

 

27-15.jpg

Edited by Jennifer McM

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13 hours ago, Jennifer McM said:

Our diesel tank was topped up this morning by Chris (very pleasant and obliging man), we're moored just past Boulter's Lock.

We paid 94p a litre, which is loads better than the last marina we passed at £1.21 a litre! We also got some Excel coal from him, but sadly he didn't have any gas - we've just switched to our 2nd bottle, so we'll be on the lookout for a gas supplier.

Chris said he was going to hunker down at Henley until tomorrow's yellow weather alert passes. 

Where we are, the river's on yellow, if we get the 'promised' deluge, no doubt red paddles will be up. 

We'll not be moving too soon from our safe mooring!

We never saw his dog... though Chris did speak to him behind the cabin door.

 

27-15.jpg

Great; though the fuel price isn't -  but that's not Chris's fault, market prices are all over the place at the moment and I'm having to pay 10p more per litre for my home heating (Kerosene, not Gas Oil).  I'm trying to work out where your mooring is - I can only think of the NT moorings along the bank at Cliveden? If not then above Shiplake, perhaps. 

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2 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

Great; though the fuel price isn't -  but that's not Chris's fault, market prices are all over the place at the moment and I'm having to pay 10p more per litre for my home heating (Kerosene, not Gas Oil).  I'm trying to work out where your mooring is - I can only think of the NT moorings along the bank at Cliveden? If not then above Shiplake, perhaps. 

That's on Cliveden Deep, towpath side. Quite near the islands (Bavin's Gulls).

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5 minutes ago, Mike on the Wey said:

That's on Cliveden Deep, towpath side. Quite near the islands (Bavin's Gulls).

Umm - t'other side surely - there aren't any green fields on the Cliveden House side and the land slopes? I can't see EA providing any nice mooring posts. Of course there could be two towpaths....

I don't mean to be nit picking - just trying to learn more about the Thames!

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2 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

Umm - t'other side surely - there aren't any green fields on the Cliveden House side and the land slopes? I can't see EA providing any nice mooring posts. Of course there could be two towpaths....

I don't mean to be nit picking - just trying to learn more about the Thames!

Sorry, rather than towpath side I should have said the east bank (Cliveden House side). The posts have been placed there by the NT I think, along with signs stating "mooring charges apply".

But I have never been charged on the islands. Rumour has it that the NT need a boat with two people to collect fees from people moored on the islands. Plus a risk assessment, lifejackets, other safety equipment, first aid kit, parental consent form etc. Health & safety rules sometimes have benefits.

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7 minutes ago, Mike on the Wey said:

Sorry, rather than towpath side I should have said the east bank (Cliveden House side). The posts have been placed there by the NT I think, along with signs stating "mooring charges apply".

But I have never been charged on the islands. Rumour has it that the NT need a boat with two people to collect fees from people moored on the islands. Plus a risk assessment, lifejackets, other safety equipment, first aid kit, parental consent form etc. Health & safety rules sometimes have benefits.

Yes exactly right Mike, we can walk to Cliveden House, and the woodland walks are fantastic. 

So far the rain/storm has failed to materialise (fingers crossed), so no red boards hopefully. 

Haven't seen any notices we've to pay, and no one has knocked on our boat asking for money. 

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Something I'm curious about, there appears to be two ways to take on board water; one with a tap icon for water (think this is for containers) and a hose reel icon for bulk water. The bulk water is a thick hose, and I don't like putting the end of the hose near to our water tank inlet. Normally I've got a small piece of pipe which is kept clean, and is put into the water tank, and connecting the other end of the 'clean' pipe to our hose. We can't do that with the thick hose.

This isn't a huge problem at all, I'm just curious why two types?

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35 minutes ago, Jennifer McM said:

Something I'm curious about, there appears to be two ways to take on board water; one with a tap icon for water (think this is for containers) and a hose reel icon for bulk water. The bulk water is a thick hose, and I don't like putting the end of the hose near to our water tank inlet. Normally I've got a small piece of pipe which is kept clean, and is put into the water tank, and connecting the other end of the 'clean' pipe to our hose. We can't do that with the thick hose.

This isn't a huge problem at all, I'm just curious why two types?

Several Thames taps are for filling portable containers. Often too far to run a hose from anyway, or in an inappropriate place e.g. lockside. We have used the fat hoses for years, with no ill-effects. They are fast - often 450 litres in 10-12 minutes. If you're concerned you could clean the end of the hose with an anti-bacterial wipe before use. 

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12 minutes ago, Mike on the Wey said:

Several Thames taps are for filling portable containers. Often too far to run a hose from anyway, or in an inappropriate place e.g. lockside. We have used the fat hoses for years, with no ill-effects. They are fast - often 450 litres in 10-12 minutes. If you're concerned you could clean the end of the hose with an anti-bacterial wipe before use. 

The wipes are a great idea, thanks :) Just my over imagination could see a dog piddling up the hose while it's coiled! 

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45 minutes ago, Jennifer McM said:

Yes exactly right Mike, we can walk to Cliveden House, and the woodland walks are fantastic. 

So far the rain/storm has failed to materialise (fingers crossed), so no red boards hopefully. 

Haven't seen any notices we've to pay, and no one has knocked on our boat asking for money. 

 

31 minutes ago, Jennifer McM said:

Something I'm curious about, there appears to be two ways to take on board water; one with a tap icon for water (think this is for containers) and a hose reel icon for bulk water. The bulk water is a thick hose, and I don't like putting the end of the hose near to our water tank inlet. Normally I've got a small piece of pipe which is kept clean, and is put into the water tank, and connecting the other end of the 'clean' pipe to our hose. We can't do that with the thick hose.

This isn't a huge problem at all, I'm just curious why two types?

Defeated me as well - and I've been on the River for 20+ years....

The simple answer is that the hose reels  are for filling bulk boat tanks and the hose taps are for filling containers ONLY. Woe betide you if there's a knowledgeable lockie on duty and who's unafraid to confront you... There aren't many of those left as instructions are for them to step away from any confrontation. The confusion is - what the blazes is the practical difference as far as the EA is concerned.  For the boater the hose supply is a much larger supply pipe (and underground pipe also) so files your tank a lot faster. We clean the pipe and run off a bit of water before putting the pipe into the filler. "never had any problems". As the reels and pipe are in a cabinet and provided that the previous user has wound it all back on the reel, I'm happy. It's only the hose exterior itself that gets contaminated and you wipe that off anyway.

I'm guessing there may be two reasons why some locks have two facilities and restrict their use:-

One is that the tap is supplied from the lock keepers house and will have limited fow or the EA doesn't have to pay extra 'water rates' for that supply

The other is that the bulk supply is subject to additional supply charges as it's separate from the house

   

46 minutes ago, Jennifer McM said:

Yes exactly right Mike, we can walk to Cliveden House, and the woodland walks are fantastic. 

So far the rain/storm has failed to materialise (fingers crossed), so no red boards hopefully. 

Haven't seen any notices we've to pay, and no one has knocked on our boat asking for money. 

Cliveden is owned by the National Trust and mooring fees are collected by volunteers as and when they can / care to. When the islands provided a reasonable amount of income - you can get more boats moored on the islands than on the bank. Now that that's impracticable, I guess they don't bother or only try in high season - which it isn't at the moment!

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On 28/03/2018 at 18:44, alan_fincher said:

Unless things have changed since we were last there, (which I admit is now some years back), you will be required by the lock keepers to keep both ends of your boat roped to bollards (if against the side of a lock), or to the boat next to you (if not), when locking through.

Most require that you switch your engine off, (though some waive this, particularly if not sharing a lock), so the only control you have is through the ropes.  WE didn't try it but it seems they are often not keen on you using a centre line, making it difficult for single handers.

Going "uphill" may challenge your "throwing a loop of rope and getting it around a bollard at first attempt" skills - one of the reasons I feel going "downhill" is easier.

All is as you said Alan - fore and aft lines have to be tied, and engines switched off. Where the locks are unmanned (probably because we arrived at lunchtime) we've still tied both ends to a bollard, as we're rising it's no problem. 

 

Throwing a loop over a bollard is certainly a challenge :) - though I managed to get 2 out of 4 over the bollard at the first attempt yesterday! Like everything, it's learning a technique. I hook the bowline first, which makes it easier for John (on the tiller) to manoeuvre our boat to the side so he can do the 'lassoing' at the stern. It's not easy to hold the boat still while other boats are taking their place in the lock, AND throw the stern rope over a bollard.

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I have a ridiculously complex system which involves a light line running along the roof from stern to bow, tied to the bow line. I can then step off at the rear of the boat when going uphill, with both that and the stern line, and then secure the stern line and then pull the bow line off the roof.

If I am single handed, then  I would normally tie off one of the lines, and then adjust the other. This is perfectly safe if going downhill, provided you use a long enough length of rope to allow for the fall of the lock.

  • Greenie 1

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Just want to thank everyone who contributed to this thread! Your advice on cruising the Thames has been invaluable! Thank you everyone! ?

 

We're now back on the C&RT circuit via Duke's Cut. 

 

We had aimed to go to Lechlade, but we decide to wind at the top of Eynsham Lock. We hope to go up to Lechlade at some later date, but for now times a little short as we need to get to Cambridge by 9th July, we've got tickets to see Gypsy Kings. So for now we've got the Oxford, Grand Union, River Nene, and the Great Ouse to have fun on ?

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