Friday, April 22, 2011

Long Eastmas break – Day 1

Quote of the day – I’d prefer to see an in-date license?

We started at 2pm today and had Soddit Brian as an extra crew member because he wanted to come down through Brentford with us. As we were sorting out Jannock, ready to set off, a southbound Wyvern hire boat came past so I asked the steerer whether we could share the locks down to Brentford as we were just setting off. We took a while, stirring up a lot of unpleasant smells, extracting ourselves from the methane mine and then arrived at Osterley lock to find them just leaving and to experience the weirdest rain ever.

We filled with water above the gauging locks and then moved down to Thames lock with 10 minutes to go before our allotted 4pm time. At 3:55 the lockie arrived and the first two boats descended onto the Thames. We followed on the second locking and the lockie asked to see Jannock’s license. I pointed to the front window only to notice that it had shattered and was just a mass of crazed toughened safety glass which would explain why he couldn’t see the license. I jumped down in through the front door and extracted a license disk to show him. His response was “I’d prefer to see an in-date license” – I had only presented him with last years one instead of the current one which was languishing in the recently vacated mooring disk holder below – Ooooops"!

We left the Grand Union and turned right to head upstream, immediately running into quite deep waves caused by a mix of tide race and downstream traffic which was a bit bouncy for the first 10 minutes. On up through Richmond weir and onto Teddington lock  where we waited for while due to the lockie having to issue a temporary licence to the Wyvern hire-boat.

Brian was un-ceremoniously deposited on the bankside just before Kingston railway bridge so that he could find his way back to Thame whilst we continued up through both bridges and moored up on free 24 hour moorings on the starboard bank just above the road bridge. The next hour was spent washing the roof and starboard side of Jannock to remove the grubby deposits that had accumulated over the last couple of weeks. Terry Streeter (nb Arun) rang to enquire where we were moored as he was about to leave Brentford and so we greeted his arrival at 20:30 in the dark.


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