Well I have finally signed up for the delivery of a Princess 415 motorboat from Shepperton to Brighton possibly via a few french ports as well! I estimate that I will leave Teddington about 1200 having left Shepperton in enough time to get there by then (approx two hours before for a slow run) High tide at London Bridge is 12-55 and so Richmond half tide lock will be Hightide one hour after (13.55) I should arrive there at 12-55 and have enough depth of water from then on to London bridge! my bioggest delay will be at Hammersmith bridge but the tide is a neep tide and if I get there a while before high water I will clear it with the Radar Mast down. From then on it`s down through Wandsworth reach past Battersea square and its historic church where once the Swan public house stood (and I was briefly a member of the sea scouts across the road) and on through and chelsea reach, past all those house boats where Damien Hurst the "Artist" lived. Under Battersea bridge where as a boy we used to jump off and dive into the thames avoiding the police boats by running along the foreshore and then up the sloping concrete wall by Rank Hovis MC Dougal flour mills (using the expansion joints for climbing holds) no policeman ever came near to catching us but we did cut our feet occasionally on broken glass, even when swimming in my schoo plimmies, I was a regular at the anti vivvi`s (the local hospitals) accident surgery
Albert bridge is the next bridge to pass under and that holds some really good memoris for me! as a kid ( until I got married) I lived off Park Gate Road and Battersea park was my playground.
Albert bridge used to be the point that the Chelsea arts college students used to enter into Battersea on their rag week so we used to climb up the suspension arms of the bridge and sit in the mini towers ready with bags of flour to Zap em as they arrived! I never fell off into the water but often thought that I may. I had a friend called johny who did though! He survived to fight another day.
On down the river between Chelsea and Albert bridges lies the buddist temple? I think, in battersrea park. Chelsea bridge is the home of the Chelsea bridge hotel (a Burger/cofee stall on the battersea side) as a young Biker and indeed more lately with an annual management outing from my theme park, I use to kid people that we would go to the Chelsea bridge hotel, for a meal. On my last visit It was as usual full with bikers and I turned around to find that my Personell manager had hitched a ride on a motorbike and was off down the road doing the fast run , which consisted of a trip down to the roundabout and back as fast as it could be done! bearing in mind that she was fourtyish and wearing a miniskirt she caused quite a stir, with many other bikers offering her a fast ride. The Battersea powerstation is the next object to pass and stands "resplendant" as the largest brick built buildnin in Europe! No insides, as Alan Brown of Alton towers fame had them removed but I guess its classed as a building. With Cadogan pier left far behind, we will continue on down past the Houses of Parliament and "Big ben" the OxO building and st Catherins dock just past Tower bridge and the Tower where as a Royal Fusiler I "spent some time"
The Thames takes us past may famous institutions and buildings and out into the industrial parts of Tilbury and Dagenham (once the home of the Ford motor works UK) Under the Queen Elizabeth bridge and then into the estuary proper at Southend on sea and its great (of late burnt down ) Pier. By now I will be heading for the four fathom channel located south of the Medway channel ( bouy) used by the vessels heading down the princess channel and into the medway to the "Medway docks" there. This channel is never fully four fathoms minimum so it is worthy of note that I shall approach it (on neeps) whilst the tide is filling the thames to ensure that even should I touch ground (it won`t happen as its expensive) I will have enough water to move me off any grounding.
The four fathom channel (is the inshore route to the south coast rather than taking the princes channel, offshore) saves me some time and of course fuel but has its hazards (minimal) it passes Faversham and whitstable ( famous for its oyster beds ending at the Margate sands. From where we will turn south west past Ramsgate through the goodwin sands, where many a ship has been lost, past Deal to Dover!The most famous of the Cinqe (5) ports built to dissuade the french from invading (with the amout of Norman dissentangle lorries and the fact that they now own a large part of out utilities) I think that I can firmly say that the cinque ports were a waste of time. More to follow??????? if wanted