Early morning we boarded “Rolling Swiss”, lying in the marvelous St.Katherine’s Dock in central London, by magnificent Tower Bridge. Very soon we left the marina, passing the lock, reaching the Thames and turning starboard we had the imposing Tower Bridge in front of us. The cruise through London, passing all the famous places, was very exciting. We passed under 20 bridges! Mooring at Chiswick, we practiced opening the spray hood and tilting the instrument antennae, which went well.
As the bridges on our route got lower and lower we had to tilt the antennae down to pass sometimes. We passed the locks at Richmond and Teddington and had to pay a fee of £183 allowing us to cruise during 15 days in the “Non Tidal Thames” (6 days, interestingly, costs more: £198!) After Teddington Lock, the tides reduce and the views become greener and greener. Near Kingston close to a small island we stopped to have lunch. Then, after two more locks, near Shepperton we moored on a public pier….free of charge!
Further up the picturesque river Thames, we passed several locks and passed another night on a public pier.
Today we had to bring down spray hood and instrument beam (taking about 15 min) because near Windsor there are two bridges with only 4 m clearance! When arriving at Windsor it began to rain heavily, unfortunately. But we went out to visit Windsor Castle, one of the Queen’s weekend residences!
On the way back to London, once more we had to bring down the equipment beam, this time it took us only 7 minutes! Just before the Old Windsor Lock we brought everything back into the original position (7 min only again!). For the night we found another public pier near Shepperton, a very nice place to stop…
After some manoeuvre training, we moored at the public pier of the island where we stopped some days before for lunch. Using the “Rolling Swiss” dinghy, we crossed the river to visit Kingston, a lovely London borough.
In the morning we passed Teddington Lock and moored at the Boat Shop Marina. We had cleverly booked this boat in advance, because -due to the Thames Festival- we couldn’t reserve a mooring in London. Handing over the boat in Teddington, however, gave the following crew the pleasure of cruising through London, as we did!