Friday, March 04, 2011

A detailed plan to play it by ear - and a very tall boat

You know what they say, "fail to plan and you plan to fail".  On the other hand, if you don't have any plan at all, then nothing can go wrong with it.  So for our forthcoming trip up the Thames I decided to have a carefully worked out detailed plan and then play it by ear.

We have three fixed points really.

a) When we leave the Thames, date nicely set by an undertaking to take brother Graham for a ride up the some of Oxford Canal on a day to fit in his busy social schedule.
 b) When we join the Thames at Brentford, date set by tides allowing us to get safely to Teddington, and by leaving enough days to meet the requirements of a) above
c) When to be in or near Reading.  This is set by the Football Association and our son Richard, who has sent out a compulsory edict to for all the family to join him at the Madejski stadium on 2 April to witness the humiliation of Reading FC by Pompey.  Who are we to deny him this pleasure?  (Reading FC might).

Actually this all works out quite nicely in terms of the number of days needed to reach Reading and Oxford either side of the footy match.

Looking at all the advice on where one might moor overnight on the Thames is all very confusing and frankly it looks like you go until you've done enough for the day and spot a good mooring. It seems that we will have to pay for this pleasure at a number of places, something us canal boaters aren't used to.

One thing I came across when trawling the web was a question from some boater who wanted to know where he could moor near Windsor with his boat which was a mere 41ft long.  Easy peasy.  Hang on though, he had another slight problem -an air draught of 16 feet!! According to the replies he got, Windsor was as far upstream as he was going to get because he wouldn't get under the bridges.  I don't think it was a narrowboat, do you?


Sarah said...

One of my favourite, pinned-to-the-office-wall quotes, from Sir John Harvey Jones is something along the lines of 'The best thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression'.

We did the Thames in 2008... find it in the August Warrior blog if you're so inclined.

Neil Corbett said...

Thanks Sarah, I will

Halfie said...

Neil, from Limehouse to Radcot, and back to Brentford, we paid for a mooring only once (not counting the IWA Festival). That was at Windsor, with a very fine view of the castle. I hadn't researched moorings in advance: we just stopped where we needed to.

Did you spot yourself on my latest timelapse film?

Alf said...

Once saw a sign in a field above Newbridge "Mooring £25 per night" under which someone had written "IOU £50" !!