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Scholar Gypsy

Thames tideway Teddington to Limehouse

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dsc_6513.jpgA fun trip earlier this week. 

 

Main point of wider interest is that there is now a lot of tideway tunnel construction  activity on the river, and more tug traffic.  Important to read the notices to mariners and watch out for obstructions.  Nasty one below Vauxhall bridge where the duck boats used to launch.

 

https://nbsg.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/teddington-to-limehouse/

  • Greenie 1

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Great photos. I look at the Thames tideway in a completely different light now having done it a couple of months ago, greatly enhanced by having an expert on board ?.

 

We enjoyed it so much we hope to do it again someday but this time downstream and perhaps venture further than Limehouse. 

 

For those of you who have never done it I recommend it. It's not as scary as I'd imagined. 

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Thanks - nice to hear from you again.

 

There are some earlier postings on my blog on trips down to Dartford (2018) and to the Medway (2016).  All perfectly manageable if the wind is behaving.

Edited by Scholar Gypsy

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On 27/08/2018 at 09:45, Grassman said:

 

Great photos. I look at the Thames tideway in a completely different light now having done it a couple of months ago, greatly enhanced by having an expert on board ?.

 

We enjoyed it so much we hope to do it again someday but this time downstream and perhaps venture further than Limehouse. 

 

For those of you who have never done it I recommend it. It's not as scary as I'd imagined. 

 

Going downstream and entering Limehouse can be scary. I've done it 3 times and the adrenaline was rushing through my bloodstream every time.

 

This was taken coming upstream after leaving Limehouse.

New Picture (2) - Copy.jpg

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I can imagine it is, but I was okay because I exited Limehouse and went upstream to Lechlade. 

 

I have done difficult ones like West Stockwith and Keadby on the Trent, and Selby on the Ouse so I don't know how Limehouse compares.

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I would say that entering Limehouse is easier  than West Stockwith, in terms of steering the boat and not hitting the lock walls. Not done Keadby or Selby but I suspect they are similar to Stockwith. The trick with Limehouse is to focus on where you boat is going, not which way it is pointing.  

What does make Limehouse tricky is the large number of large and fast boats that you need to avoid.

 

One advantage of the downstream trip is that it starts easy and gets progressively harder, while with the upstream trip you are thrown into the difficult bit straightaway. Reminds me of the story about boiling frogs.

 

PS the obstruction at Vauxhall (south bank) has just got bigger  - recent NTN - and extends across part of No 4 arch.

Edited by Scholar Gypsy

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14 hours ago, blackrose said:

 

Going downstream and entering Limehouse can be scary. I've done it 3 times and the adrenaline was rushing through my bloodstream every time.

 

This was taken coming upstream after leaving Limehouse.

New Picture (2) - Copy.jpg

I can see that they had to open the bridge for you and stop all the traffic. 

  • Greenie 1

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No, those are his solar panels. The one facing north is because he'll shortly be passing the City and hopes to catch reflections off the office blocks.

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11 hours ago, Grassman said:

I can imagine it is, but I was okay because I exited Limehouse and went upstream to Lechlade. 

 

I have done difficult ones like West Stockwith and Keadby on the Trent, and Selby on the Ouse so I don't know how Limehouse compares.

You've probably already got this, but if not there's some suggestions for entering Limehouse on pages 2.30 - 2.33.

 

http://dodington.net/35.pdf

 

I've always done it that way but some people shoot straight in (not advisable) or an alternative approach if there's no traffic is to turn early and ferry glide from an upstream position across the river and into the lock entrance.   

Edited by blackrose

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8 hours ago, Peter X said:

No, those are his solar panels. The one facing north is because he'll shortly be passing the City and hopes to catch reflections off the office blocks.

Yes, it was a nice day. How many of us can say they've taken their boat under Tower Bridge and through central London shirtless?

 

 

New Picture (3).jpg

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On 01/09/2018 at 19:51, blackrose said:

You've probably already got this, but if not there's some suggestions for entering Limehouse on pages 2.30 - 2.33.

 

http://dodington.net/35.pdf

 

I've always done it that way but some people shoot straight in (not advisable) or an alternative approach if there's no traffic is to turn early and ferry glide from an upstream position across the river and into the lock entrance.   

I finally had an opportunity to try the Ferry glide a couple of weeks ago, on a well powered wideboat. No outbound traffic, and one inbound clipper that we went behind. It was pretty straightforward. As I noted earlier, it's missing the other boats that is the tricky bit!

GPS track:ferry2.jpg

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We can see the entrance to Limehouse from our flat.

I've witnessed every possible technique of entering Regent's Dock, including some poor soul who decided to go past the entrance and turn into the lock against the tide.  The problem was his engine wasn't powerful enough and it took about 45 minutes battling to get in.

Bet you're glad you didn't encounter these boats that went past Limehouse recently.

758487480_20180717_175655(1).jpg.9f4d6c78a2ae1d9015f2295e2437ccf8.jpg2135778096_20180715_154153(1).jpg.4eb08feef4f009a7895f50c8479bbe42.jpg

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Nice photos! 

Yes that would have been fun - though I assume the PLA had a launch in front clearing the river....  

On the underpowered boat point, the other technique I would like to try is to cross the river well upstream of Limehouse, when there's a clear view, and then point upstream, close to the north bank, and just let the tide take you gently backwards to the lock. I've done this at a couple of other tidal locations, and it worked well.  It's not the same as the "torpedo" approach that I've seen discussed elsewhere - which doesn't appeal to me at all!

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We went down to Limehouse earlier this month and indeed passed the lock and carried on until we could see anything heading upstream, naturally boats appeared from both directions. Oh the fun of being the slowest boat on the river when you are trying to turn across. Eventually we made the crossing and turning into Limehouse was a doddle, in my humble opinion the easiest and safest way to enter the dock. Lot more expensive than the last time we were there free for the first night then £27.50.

 

Not as bad as St. Kats. dock but still a lot of money for a crap mooring along side a wall.

 

Ken

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1 hour ago, KenK said:

 Lot more expensive than the last time we were there free for the first night then £27.50.

 

Not as bad as St. Kats. dock but still a lot of money for a crap mooring along side a wall.

 

 

Or you can go round the corner into Limehouse Cut and moor for free for up to 14 days.

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Your timings will be determined by the tides, and (I would suggest) a desire to avoid anything close to dawn or dusk. 

In addition to the trip boats, the other traffic to think about (and which in my view is a greater hazard) is the large tugs and barges, both the rubbish traffic (which departs at the top of the tide and so should be ahead of you) and the tideway tunnel traffic - see my original photo - which operates on a more fluid basis I think, as they shuttle barges back and forth from just below Tower Bridge. I don't know if they operate 7 days a week or just weekdays. You could phone London VTS and ask them?

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12 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Your timings will be determined by the tides, and (I would suggest) a desire to avoid anything close to dawn or dusk. 

In addition to the trip boats, the other traffic to think about (and which in my view is a greater hazard) is the large tugs and barges, both the rubbish traffic (which departs at the top of the tide and so should be ahead of you) and the tideway tunnel traffic - see my original photo - which operates on a more fluid basis I think, as they shuttle barges back and forth from just below Tower Bridge. I don't know if they operate 7 days a week or just weekdays. You could phone London VTS and ask them?

Thanks for this. Great advice, will give them a call

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On ‎04‎/‎09‎/‎2018 at 04:45, Scholar Gypsy said:

I finally had an opportunity to try the Ferry glide a couple of weeks ago, on a well powered wideboat. No outbound traffic, and one inbound clipper that we went behind. It was pretty straightforward. As I noted earlier, it's missing the other boats that is the tricky bit!

GPS track:ferry2.jpg

I missed this when you posted back in Sept.

 

So I assume you turned the bow to port and into the tide on your side of the river and ferry-glided across at an angle to the current, and then turned the bow back towards the lock entrance as you got close to the other side where the current is slower? Or is that big direction change mid-channel where you turned the bow back towards the lock? That would seem odd to me because you'd still be in the fastest water. Is the red line your estimated position or a GPS plot?

Edited by blackrose

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10 minutes ago, blackrose said:

I missed this when you posted back in Sept.

 

So I assume you turned the bow to port and into the tide on your side of the river and ferry-glided across at an angle to the current, and then turned the bow back towards the lock entrance as you got close to the other side where the current is slower? Or is that big direction change mid-channel where you turned the bow back towards the lock? That would seem odd to me because you'd still be in the fastest water. Is the red line your estimated position or a GPS plot?

The red line is a GPS plot, using the MXMariner app on my phone - a bit over-magnified as you can see the line segments between successive plots (which are about 60 seconds apart, I think not user configurable).  We started the turn a bit later than I had intended, and later than appears (due to the resolution). I would say above the "C" of "Cres", as we had to pass behind an inbound Clipper, and we entered the main channel as marked above the "s" of "Cres".  Something like the yellow line shown below.

To do this we turned the boat through 90 degrees, maybe a bit more. Then the boat was pointing I would say 45-60 degrees to the left of the line, with adjustment of throttle and tiller to keep the boat on the right course (ie on the line down the centre of the lock).  We straightened up at the last minute - this is the bit that requires a bit of nerves - and then slowed down as we went under the Narrow Street bridge. I didn't notice the eddy in the lock mouth, the tide was stronger on the north side, outside of the bend.   

I suppose a strict ferry glide would be at right angles to the line of the river. But I found it easier to line up with the centre line on the lock, as that gives a much clearer transit line. You just point the boat whichever way is necessary to stay on the line, and/or increase the throttle (same effect as steering left) or reduce (same as steering to the right).

 

Hope that makes sense. ferry2.jpg.df9c424d88f3deec0a2c41dfdff9af41.jpg

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Thanks. I think a ferry glide can be at a downstream angle because the unpowered craft that used to practice the manoeuvre would always end up downstream of their starting point on the other side of the river surely? I'm not sure how they got back up again? Maybe they hauled it back up to the starting point on the opposite bank and then ferry-glided back across?

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I thought ferry gliding involved travelling over the water against the flow, at much the same speed.  Thus the boat can move sideways over the ground.  You need some form of power or force if you don't want to end up downstream.

 

The proper Woolwich ferries (the ones before last) side loaded.  So generally moved, in effect sideways across the river albeit by describing an S shape.  Vehicles boarded one of the ferry - and disembarked the other.  This also kept the pointy end into the flow for maximum control when berthing.  But when the tide changed, the boat had to describe a U shape and came back alongside on the same flank.  This meant that vehicles had to be turned round on the deck.  The deckhands loaded the ferry leaving a spare space of too, so that the complicated process could commence.

  • Greenie 1

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On 22/12/2018 at 18:42, Tacet said:

I thought ferry gliding involved travelling over the water against the flow, at much the same speed.  Thus the boat can move sideways over the ground.  You need some form of power or force if you don't want to end up downstream.

 

Ferry gliding simply means going across the river (in a powered or unpowered craft) at an angle, with the bow facing upstream and using the current to take the boat across the river. Whether the boat ends up upstream or downstream of its original starting position isn't relevant to the definition.

 

If you were ferry gliding into Limehouse from an upstream position using Scholar Gypsy's path you'd want to go downstream using a combination of your engine against the current and the current against the hull to control your path across the river, but you do go downstream, just look at his route. Skilled handlers can also do this manoeuvre on unpowered craft.

 

This guide relates to powered craft:

 

https://www.rya.org.uk/newsevents/e-newsletters/up-to-speed/Pages/mastering-the-ferry-glide.aspx

 

Edited by blackrose

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3 hours ago, blackrose said:

 

Ferry gliding simply means going across the river (in a powered or unpowered craft) at an angle, with the bow facing upstream and using the current to take the boat across the river. Whether the boat ends up upstream or downstream of its original starting position isn't relevant to the definition.

Isn't that just crossing the river? The current doesn't move the boat sideways - unless there are complex eddies or bends, it is a linear flow without an X axis

3 hours ago, blackrose said:

 

If you were ferry gliding into Limehouse from an upstream position using Scholar Gypsy's path you'd want to go downstream using a combination of your engine against the current and the current against the hull to control your path across the river, but you do go downstream, just look at his route. Skilled handlers can also do this manoeuvre on unpowered craft.

 

This guide relates to powered craft:

 

https://www.rya.org.uk/newsevents/e-newsletters/up-to-speed/Pages/mastering-the-ferry-glide.aspx

 

What is it the skilled handler does in an unpowered craft to cross a river?  If it wind or manually propelled, the principle will be the same as a mechanically propelled boat, but if it is entirely unpowered, it will drift.

 

Ferry gliding is essentially about travelling across a river whilst making little or no progress over the ground in the linear direction.  You might be able to use the wind, but most commonly you adjust the ahead speed over the water, to counter the current.

 

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Sorry to hijack the thread, I hear there is sometimes a convoy system for nb going upstream. Anyone any further info please

Edited by umpire111

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