Ashley, Jacquie’s son and his girlfriend Justine joined the four of us for the run to Teddington. The weather had returned to bright sunshine, on this, the eve of our Tidal Thames adventure and we were all a bit hyped. Before we left Walton I visited the local health centre as a Temporary Resident and without too much hassle got a repeat prescription. My own surgery had prescribed two months of medication just before we had left Wigrams Turn Marina and that was about to run out, but after a quick visit to Boots I am now all stocked up.
The scenery was starting to change from rural to town as Sunbury and East Molesey slipped past, but we found a pleasantly isolated mooring just before Molesey Lock for an al fresco lunch, soon after which Hampton Court Palace appeared majestically on our port bow, followed by the substantial Kingston road and rail bridges. Another mile and a half and we moored up alongside the staithe at Teddington Lock and reported to the Lock Keeper to confirm our intention to pass through the lock a half hour after high tide at London Bridge on Friday morning, this would be 6.30am.
The River Thames up to this point had not been tidal, just the normal river flow to contend with, but below Teddington Tidal lock, the river was subject to the full force of the tides and our arrival twenty miles downstream at Limehouse had to be carefully timed. If we left Teddington too soon we would be battling against the incoming tide, if we left too late, we would arrive at Limehouse with the river level too low for us to enter the lock, so a we set the alarms for 5.45am and retired early after a beautiful sunset.