Friday, February 04, 2011

Thames thoughts

Less than a couple of months now until Herbie  moves home, and plans for the journey are afoot.  If the good people at the met office can arrange for it not to rain too much, we'll make the trip to Crick via Old Father Thames and the Oxford Canal.  Tide times at Brentford have been duly checked and we should be able to go out at Brentford at a civilised hour and make the short tidal dash without having to get up at the crack of dawn, or risk finishing in the dark. Tentative crew bookings have already been made for the Thames bit, but after that, who knows?

The Thames visitor licence is cunningly priced so that you pay for more than you need.  You either get a one day ticket (that won't get you to Henley, let alone Oxford), or a 15 day ticket at £90 odd, which is far more time than you need.  Still, if the weather is nice we can dawdle  in the lower reaches and / or continue past Oxford up as far as Lechlade.  I do like the upper Thames, and have done a fair bit of camping up there in the old days..

We pass the Thames at Datchet every time we drive out to Herbie's current base and we always look to see what the current is doing.  Mostly it's OK, but after a lot of rain it's ... how can I describe it?.. well, let's just say I wouldn't want to be sideways on to it in a narrowboat.   As for leaving a boat on the river when it is in flood - don't even think about it.  Too often I've seen large areas of submerged flood plain at Reading and Dorchester.

So come on you Met Office chaps, do your bit and give us a dryish period in late March and early April.  Otherwise we'll have to go the quick way up the GU, and doing things the quick way isn't what I call boating.


Simon said...

I do hope there's a space for extra crew for the tidal section going out... - might even give you a hand down hanwell to earn my keep... ;-)

Email as soon as you have dates?

Halfie said...

I always think trips with a definite deadline are the best. Keeping 'em ahead (have I got the expression right?) - that's the thing.

If you do go above Oxford watch out at Bablock Hythe!