Liquid History, Maritime And Canal Heritage















"Bringing Seamanship to the Creeks from the River and the Estuary "   

Flow and Ebb: Pogue Muhone accesses tidal resources for planning trips to and from Dartford Creek.

It is not a link! It allows you to download a PDF for Tilbury !  You can get any table you want from the PLA.

Silvertown (also called Woolwich)  tide table is appropriate for Bow Lock.

5.9m Silvertown equates to average water level INSIDE Bow Lock.

As "Dartford Creek Navigators", we need to know enough to plan a safe passage between Bow and Dartford in either direction.

You should understand how tides work. before going out on the tide. Safety is not an accident in this game.

The Estuary is our sailing ground; Dartford is our home port; everything works around tides.

Learn the flow and the ebb and let's start worth some basic facts and numbers.

 HIGHEST Spring tide is ALWAYS between 2oc and 3oc (am and/or pm!) at Tilbury and is usually on the 2nd day AFTER full/no moon.

The night prediction is [usually]  higher than the day prediction so look for the Spring in the dark.

The lowest neap tide occurs with a gibbous moon during the same hour.

Each time one of our boats sails, someone has to do the sums. (See "Ebb and Flow" for a case in point).

We need to know what height of water allows us to get up the Darent or Cray, get under Bob Dunn, what height the keel would bottom on a berm or in the lock.

 Sums  have to be done to get in and out of Dartford and to gauge when it is ok to cross the bar and proceed up-river.

Because of a glitch to be addressed (2017) over a leaking cill and ruckings there will only be a surplus of water in the creek when the tide is in.

At any Tilbury [actual] reading below 4.0meters it is impossible to navigate even a rubber duck below Bob Dunn Bridge (A206)

At any Tilbury reading above 5.0meters there will be enough water in Dartford Creek above the cill for kayaks and canoes. 

5.0m actual Tilbury normally equates with cill level in the lock.  

At any Tilbury reading above 5.6meters it is possible to sail up into the "Jolly Farmer" wharf via Crayford Creek

and also for boats of draught up to 24" (0.6m) to cross the cill and tie up at the lock quay.

At any Tilbury reading above 6.0meters it is safe to take almost any boat anywhere in either creek.

Above 6.0meters it is not recommended to moor at the quayside unless you really know what you are doing.

The highest Tilbury tide is below 7.0meters and seldom encountered. At 7.0m the whole of the lock and ruckings will be submerged and it would be a good idea NOT to cross the retaining wall, as there will be no points of reference for safe footfall. At this height there is zero clearance under Bob Dunn Bridge and no points of reference for safe navigation of a boat such as the Springer used for the 2015/2016 survey.

During early 2018, the Thames Barge Decima, (draft 1.5m) made a successful passage under Bob Dunn to moor at the partly open bottom gates. During the ensuing months the gates were progressively dug out by hand to eventually give 0.5m clearance for Decima to pass through and tie up at the quay above the cill on Thu17th May 2018.


... DARTFORD FORAYS ... Shaun Wall ...

ALL navigable tributaries of the tidal Thames share one important feature.

When the tide ebbs they "dry out", some more and some less.

Dartford Creek is totally typical in that it depends on tide to be viable.

From Roman times to the mid 20th century, tidal water was the vital link to Londinium
It also provided the main motive power for shifting right up to the closing of the port.

The Tilbury tide gauge provides the bench mark for gauging access to the creek. Trials carried out during 2015 and confirmed in 2016 by "Dartford Creek Navigators" established that a narrowboat of 24" draft, grounds at the entrance to the creek at 4metres or below on the Tilbury gauge.
A full 5metres at Tilbury is needed to make it to the cill at the inner end of Dartford lock.
The same  narrowboat needed 5.5meters on the Tilbury gauge to cross the cill and enter the inner quay to tie up.
A detailed survey of the bed of the river between the Dartford Flood Barrier and Bob Dunn Bridge discovered all manner of minor obstructions on the river bed
which prevent the passage of the narrowboat under and through Bob Dunn Bridge unless Tilbury is 5meters or above.
The main challenge at the bridge is a massive bank of MUD.
Once 5m tide level is reached or passed navigation is feasible right up to the cill.

edit suspended 2016-09-06 to be continued

Stuff from here down is in edit mode and may not make much sense

The original thread may be found on farceburk. (Just click on the underlined word!)

Alex H Richards 16 June 2015 10:57 · London.

Typical! I spend months plotting and planning our move aboard and then it all goes to pot in the last couple of weeks,
which means I now have to ask the dumb questions:
Does anyone know anywhere closer than Reading or Gravesend (yes really!!) that can crane in 36 tons of fat bottomed boat?
Or, can anyone recommend a delivery helmsperson who can bring it down/up (eek) the Thames.
We would do it ourselves but the whole, not fully fitted out/disabled crew bad combination.

16th June 2015
Toni Girdler: Try High Line Yachting, Iver. 16/11:06 ·
Ron Gooding: I know a good skipper I'd trust for that journey on the Thames. 16/11:09 ·
Marcin Van Staar: I doubt you will find anything closer tbh 16/11:11 ·
John: Start and end point and boat photo could help with offers of help. 16/11:17 ·
Charlie McKay: This geezer Mike moved ours down the Thames when we ran out of time to get back to London last year. Reasonable rates and drove it like bat out of hell.
  Narrowboat Moving Service "Move your narrowboat. Boat moving service for UK brokerages, boat owners, boat sellers etc" 16/11:37 ·
Micheal Deacon: Boat yard at Watford Croxley 16/11:51 ·
Kate: A good run would also sort out any teething problems. If I had fat boat experience and no script deadlines I'd be there... 16/12:02 ·
Nathan Daniels: we had a bit of a nightmare finding cranes, Gravesend was the only one big enough for ours.
Chris Cerveza and Roger helped us bring it up from Gravesend and PLA supplied a skipper to be there to drop it in the water. cost £360 all in 16/12:14 ·
John: I normally enter the Thames from seaward, but guess Alex is talking from up river start? 16/12:15 ·
George Bowling pm'd 16 June at 12:24 ·
Nik Rawlings: Might be worth asking around Canvey Island?? There's a few people flogging dutches on the hard there... 16/12:35 ·
Alex: Toni, she was supposed to go in at Iver, but overruns meant we missed last Friday's craning and the next one isn't for a good month, but thank you. Micheal, we're 36 tons and sadly they're 30 tons max, but thank you too. And everyone else thank you too, especially Nathan, please tell me more.Boat stats in case anyone is interested, · Dimensions 65'x12' · Weight 36 tons · Air draft wheelhouse raised 8'6" · Air draft wheelhouse down 6'4" · Engine 70bhp And yes she does have an anchor, but no VHF. 16/12:39 ·
Alex: Oh, and we're heading for Ealing (well someone has to). 16/12:42 ·
Nik: Have u tried Middlesex and Herts boat services in Hemel? 16/12:44 ·
Chris: You need to go Gravesend at that size. Easiest and quickest to London by a very long way. Have pm you. Probably in other folder 16/12:51 ·
Pogue: Alex H wot Chris sez. Talk to him. 16/13:02 ·
Pogue: Alex H 16 June at 13:38 · Alex H Pogue Muhone? 16 June at 15:50 · Ron Gooding Chris? 16/16:07 ·
Pogue: Muhone Alex H Finger trouble earlier. Is the transfer from present position to crane in sorted? 16/16:31 ·
Alex: Yes, we're ok on the big truck from the Czech Republic, although because of strange German rules it can only set off on a Monday. 16/17:47 ·
Pogue: Alex H If you can and do launch as per Chris you could make Brentford on little more than one tide and once in Ealing is only 10 locks away and Hanwell often/always? has volunteer lockkeepers! I have a VHF licence and radio but not actually 'qualified' or licenced to take such a huge tub upriver.16/22:56 ·
Alex: Looks more and more like Gravesend, Chris, I'll give you a call tomorrow. Pogue, you can come for the ride if you want. 16/23:00 ·
Luc: Try Ralph's new yard P&S marine I think it is called. Pretty sure they have a large crane. 16/23:01 ·
Luc: Also, Laurie may be able to help with the Thames. 16/23:02 ·
Chris: Brentford shouldn't take more than 7 hours max, probably closer to 6 but you would want to be well up river when the tide turns.
70 hp doesn't do much in a widebeam of that size/weight when tide goes against you 16/23:02 ·
Luc: Pick the right tide and things become a lot easier. 16 June at 23:03 ·
John: As a non commercial boat (unless anyone moving her is charging for their service), formal qualifications are not required.16/23:09 ·
Pogue: John! That is a VERY interesting tidbit. Alex H Depending on an exact date, I'm free. In more senses than one! 16/23:17 ·
Luc: Pogue has crewed on my boat on the tidal Thames with much success. I have less tonnes on and more power, but I would vouch for the man a hundred times. 16/23:20 ·
Alex: Luc, thanks for that info. P&S Marine's website says their crane has a 30 ton maximum, but I'll give them a ring and see in case things have changed. I'm thinking about putting together a big bottomed boat info sheet for London, as there's more and more. And when I win the lottery, I'm buying a basin and fitting a crane. 16/23:26 ·
Luc: Although Reading is a long way away, they have one of the coolest cranes I have seen. Will post a video in the main group of mine getting dropped in. 16/23:27 ·
John: You do require a licence for the type of radio that you have (old VHF one does not cover the DSC Type), but not for skippering her if it's non commercial. 16/23:28 ·
Luc: Radio license is the work of a moment on the ofcom website. 16/23:29 ·
John: Smith And SOLAS requires a passage plan, and I'd suggest a written record of it before setting off. 16/23:32 ·
Luc: Video may take a while as it needs editing and compressing from several gigabytes. 16/23:33 ·
Parsley: Chaz! What is the capacity of the NCK at MSO now?  16/23:37 ·

17th June 2015

John: If you are bringing her up from Gravesend, it's also worth being aware of the Small Vessel Code MGN280 and pleasure craft definition, and ensuring sufficient ground tackle (suitable anchor and sufficient chain). Also worth a call to PLA re any local Bylaws that may apply, stressing it's a pleasure vessel being used by owner. 17/05:57 ·

Jade: It sounds like you may have a pilot, but thought I'd add that we brought a boat with very similar dimensions to yours, from Gravesend to Limehouse with Scott&Will from Capital Pleasure Boats and they were fantastic. Our engine overheated and they ended up having us towed, very stressful situation that they dealt with beautifully, I can't recommend them enough, well worth the money.  CPBS Marine Services - work boat... ·

John: Smith That's one of the factors that a passage plan should consider of course, "what if", and with a new engine etc, it really helps to have some proving time in non tidal waters first, or at least an escort/tow back up plan should you need it, but I hope that you don't! I've had various boats, new and old, breakdown in tidal waters over the years, mostly when least expected, and always in the wrong place at the wrong time. Yesterday at 09:55 ·

Pogue: John! My ONLY reservation is wot you sed. Alex - Has the boat got an anchor? Have you got Crewsaver life jackets. Will the diesel tank be full or will you arrange for it to be full. Will the boat be provisioned in case of a double tide layover? It is not that things WILL go wrong. It is that they COULD. Cover the POSSIBILITY of needing to call out the AA! 11:47 ·

Alex: Anchor? Yes. VHF? No. Diesel? Yes. Provisions? Yes. You're right, nothing to be taken lightly, no one wants teething troubles on the Thames, and not the way it was supposed to be. Still, best laid plans t... When I win the lottery, I'll buy a plot by the canal with decent road access, a huge crane, and open business for all of London's widebeams.  11:57 ·

John: Other factors too of course, like length and gauge of anchor chain, anchor type, navigation lights and suitable horn, and most importantly, engine air intake position etc. If I was moving her, I'd also want to give her a once over survey first too, even if she is new. Sorry, even though chances are all will go well, if they do go wrong, there's a lot at stake. There are some decent PLA buoy moorings off Gravesend, and you may want to consider picking up on one of them and waiting for tide, and would add an opportunity for engine/system functionally tests before fully committing to the passage. Yesterday at 12:50 ·

Chris: I have all you need Alex and there's pontoons at Gravesend town centre and a marina if you need to stop a few days for weather / problems so don't worry too much Yesterday at 13:35 ·
Pogue: Alex. Chris knows what needs to be done out of Gravesend and I have full VHF. yachtmaster. Keep talking to Chris. I'd be happy to crew under his command. 19:05 ·
John: Sounds like the makings of a good delivery team, and a great passage opportunity for all involved, so have a great time if Gravesend is to be your lift in point. Keep us updated on the progress and outcome, both on the passage and finishing off of your new home. I've always enjoyed deliveries, although normally at sea, including down to Spain, but these days, don't do enough to justify the expense of keeping my commercial and instructor (power and sail) endorsements up (but still get out on the water at every opportunity). 19:27 ·

Luc: On this point is someone willing to sit down with me at some point and walk me through what I need to do in order to pilot my boat from London to Amsterdam? I feel a plan hatching.
John: Luc, Snowed under planning this season's adventures for a Sailing Trust and lots more at the moment, when are you considering going, and how much passage time? I ask because safest option could be short hop across the channel, then up coast and inland at a suitable point (Vlissingen perhaps). 19:49 ·
Pogue: While I see the sense of the short hop option it is a VERY long way round. Luc You should start by doing RYA yachtmaster 19:54 ·
Luc: Basically I would want the shortest time option. Happy to take a course, sit exams etc.  ·
Luc: Not sure how viable it is to just go straight to The Hague and then round? ·
Pogue: Look up RYA offshore. Mostly you need to understand tides and tidal currents . Well within your compass. The only other thing is weather forecasting and route planning. Alex H this kinda shit is how Chris and me get up and down the Thames which is on a par with going across the Norf Sea.
John: North Sea fog and north easterlies can be a problem with the direct route, but if limited time is a factor, then vessel needs to be suitably equipped, ideally including radar and AIS before attempting the crossing and involves night hours too, and shipping lanes to cross (although that applies to the short hop too). Even an unexpected F5 north easterly can be a nightmare for unsuitable or ill equipped vessels in the unforgiving North Sea. Having said that, one of my most exciting crossings in recent years was Den Helder to Harwich overnight in a F7, but in a well equipped large sailing ketch. · And Pogue, I can assure you that having done many North Sea crossings and Thames passages, the Thames is a kindergarten by comparison with the North Sea, unless perhaps you are lucky enough to cross it under ideal conditions, although I've yet to experience that! ·
Luc: This is my boat, how unsuitable would you say this is in an F5?  photo/20:42 ·
John: I'd not choose to cross the North Sea in NE5 in most similar sized power boats, and a problem with more settled weather, can be fog, so even  picking a stable forecast period can also have its challenges. 20:53 ·
Luc: Happy to fit AIS and radar. I love gadgets.  20:53 ·
Parsley:  Luc I know somebody recently brought back a Tjalk under sail in F5 without any problem. It would depend more which way you were heading with or against.  20:54 ·
Luc: My main query is this: what is the longest stint cruising without mooring or anchoring would I have to endure? Are we talking days?  20:55 ·
Parsley: But I still wouldn't myself with a DB it is recommended that it should be 4 and falling max.  20:55 ·
Luc: My boat was originally designed for coastal work. It is not a river barge but a fishing boat.  20:57 ·
Parsley: Munta It would depend where you wanted to go wouldn't it? Been some reports recently of people going from Denmark to Sweeden in a Dutch barge. All do-able in the right conditions with the right equipment and skill.  ·
Luc: I reckon St Petersburg should be possible if Amsterdam is.  ·
Parsley: Munta Would you coastal it or inland waterways most of it?  ·
Luc: To St Petersburg? ·
Chaz: Parsley, the ongoing marina build in Battersea means the new crane still hasn't had time to set up. There's not enough hours in the day at the moment
for me! Probably happen in Aug. ·
Parsley: Yes Luc ·
Luc: Inland to Germany and then coastal past Poland and Lithuania Latvia and Estonia. /21:10 · Like
Parsley: In Germany if navigating some of the big rivers you need to be qualified and that is for each of the rivers.
Luc: To be honest if I was gonna head to St Petersburg I would be better off selling my boat in London and buying a trawler.
Parsley: Easier and cheaper to hire a skipper passing through each. Worth looking through the Dutch Barge Association Website Forum for lots of info on it.
Luc: Would love to do the Danube to Romania though. That would be pretty epic. /21:13 ·
Parsley: Again lots of info on the DBA website about cruising all the European inland waterways. /21:19 ·
John: F5 sw or w is fine in the North Sea, but it's the bigger seas that go with the North Easterlies that can be nasty, particularly with wind over tide. Under sail
adds a lot of stability too.
Parsley: It would have been a NE as they were coming back from Holland my mate that was crewing did say it was a rough one. /21:22 ·
Chris: If your boat is a flat bottom Luc the problem is not F5 or whatever it's the height and length of sea. Having no keel makes flat bottoms inherently weaker
than a true coastal vesse you can pop rivets or thin steel can collapse with the stresses of crashing and rollingl. ..then you need to think about things like your
fit out and systems such as fuel cooling etc. So you might find the hull can cope but nothing else can..on old boats like ours unless you know it inside out only
set out on lumpy water in good weather. You can get in as much trouble in and around Limehouse on the Thames as you can in the North Sea. I've done the
North Sea and Biscay a few times and my hairiest moments have all been on big fast rivers 17/21:28 ·
Luc: My hariest moments so far have been on the kennet in full flood and the Thames in full flood. Rain can really do a number on a river! /21:35 ·
Chris: Been out in circa 5/6 when I first got boat. head into wind n wave on the isslemere. Very short seas had the front 5 10 ft out the water. Wasn't too bad
but knowing now what I know I would never dream of doing it again. /21:39 ·
Luc: Naivety is the shortest route to knowledge. 17/2142

18th June 2015

John: Been out in a confirmed F11 in the English Channel, and somehow survived, and that was only a 36 foot yacht, with a forecast SW 7-9, never again. Crossed the Isslemere, coastal land dyke last year overland in a storm, and surprised to see just how rough it can get, but it is a big expanse of water. Looking out the other window though, and North Sea looked particularly exciting, but was glad to be in my camper van! 18/ · Chris: Much rather be in a yacht than a flat bottom when it gets bumpy. Problem with isslemere is its so shallow the seas are really short and gets bumpy as fuck 18/ ·
Laurie: Hairiest moment I've had was 2 miles off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean with a snapped mast blowing +100kts. Would do it all again given a chance.  ...on a windsurfer ·
Luc: Rather a windsurfer than a barge in a capsize situation... ·
Chris: I had a mast fall off during my yachtmaster. First day on boat with no skipper 60 miles out in Atlantic and a crew that only had four weeks experience (inc me ). Deep joy lol ·
Luc: How long does a yacht master take realistically? ·
John: Back in the late 80's, we did manage to break the top mast in a race off Lowestoft (Kenya Jacaranda), although thankfully I was sailing as engineer on that trip and not responsible for the sail trim. Don't remember the wind strength being much above a F4 though.·
Luc: 'kin 'ell musta been quite a lump of wood that came tumbling down, Kenya jacaranda is quite a large boat! ·
Chris: Did mine in 4 months living on boat sailing every day. Left gosport and sailed down to Africa / bottom of portu gal and back ·
John: Chris, never heard of anyone sailing 60 miles offshore during yachtmaster exam, or was it part of a prep? ·
Chris: Not sure a yacht master is worth doing tbh but at 5k inc board it was a pretty good holiday ·
Luc: Wow so quite an undertaking then! Hmm I may need to rethink my uber ambitious plans! Ok, more direct question. What tickets so I need to pilot my boat from London to Europe waterways, and how long will this ticket take to obtain? Assuming I can do it all of course! ·
Chris: Part of prep get boat and have to skipper a course that includes a night sail or two...can't remember exact details in our wisdom we decided to put all the cruises together fu k off to sea from northen Spain so we could use the balance of alloted time parked up in a sandy bay picking up women in our boat ·
Chris: I think crossing the biscay was more than 60 miles from land and did it three times 17/2257 ·
Luc: Could I make my trip to Amsterdam part of my yacht masters? ·
Chris: Not sure if they count miles not in a sailing vessel or not...its been a long time but the navigation/passage planning would be pretty similar so may be.
Speak to someone at rya and just get a suitable witness to what you did ·
John: At that price, guess you took the fast track route Chis? I spread mine over a few years, and took both sail and power exams in the Solent. Sail exam lasted an exciting full weekend, but power endorsement over in a few hours (after a 7 day power prep). Around 20 years spare time with the Ocean Youth included some interesting assessments too, all good mostly free sailing too, several vessels in the old fleet, all around the UK and Europe too, great times. ·
Luc: So for my boat, being devoid of sails, the tickets should be more simple? Just an RYA offshore? ·
Chris: definitely fast track and I don't rate it people a false sense of ability etc. I don't rate myself as any kind of seaman/sailor but know enough to not take chances especially with other people's boats or lives. Got a power endorsement plus icc and cevni. It's enough to do the things I want to do round Europe and get cheaper insurance ·
John: Luc, yes, KJ's top mast was a big lump, and fortunately, I was in the engine room when it came crashing down, and sadly, we had only just
crossed the start line when we had to abort! ·
John: Luc, if it's YM power, then yes you can, but not towards a YM sail. ·
Chris: You'd need to go on website luc they do a lot more courses now than when I done mine but as said navigation, passage planning will be similar plus there's radar, radio, safety and mechanics courses all seperate but needed before you can sit the yacht master . The skills are well useful and I sailed in all weather's inc fog by radar etc. I suppose that was one advantage of doing it the way I did it. ·
John: My father was a Thames lighterman and Senior Skipper for a Limehouse based lighterage company, as were generations before him. Somehow, I ended up doing an engineering apprenticeship, but always managed to get my time on the water via a serious hobby. Probably the best choice with the demise of the lighterage business, so no regrets. ·
Chris: I wanted to work on the water hence doing yacht master but doing it taught me it's not worth the paper it's written on and I actually don't enjoy big
long passages or shit weather. I did however have a nice holiday and learned some really useful stuff  ·
Luc: Oh! To be a lighterman! 18/0010 ·
Parsley: Lots of jobs going to be needed in London on the water during the next few years. The Thames Tideway tunnel will be recruiting and training people
for all sorts of work to be needed on the Thames.
· Thames Tideway Tunnel The Thames
Tideway Tunnel is a major new sewer that will help tackle the problem of overflows from the... 18/0027 ·

Alex: Erm, after all the effort everyone's put in, I feel guilty posting we've decided to go in at Reading. It was the untried and untested factor that swung it! No
one wants to discover that their brand new boat doesn't do what it ought to whilst on the tideway with a load of Tilbury bound ships, so by the time we factor
in dangling from cranes, filling up with fuel, water, cake, wine and whiskey, trying and testing, tide timing, buoy-bobbing, weather-checking, 70hp-reving,
intake-measuring and all the other things everyone's mentioned above we end up with so many factors that should never be rushed, that going in at Reading
and doing all that on the "placid" non-tidal Thames seems more logical/less suicidal. But huge thanks Chris, Pogue, Laurie, John, Luc, Parsley, Chaz (hurry up
with a big crane you're missing out on business), Jade, George, Nathan et al, you are all gentlemen, and lady, of the water. It feels almost mean to have
deprived everyone of the adventure. But we will do it, wb Amelia Pond will be seen on the tidal Thames, who knows maybe one day Dartford Creek? And
everyone's always welcome aboard, especially for cake. ·
Pogue: It made a great thread Alex H and will make great reading when chaptered. ·
Alex: So I'm now out with my guides and my tide timetables and cursing C&RT for making it easy to find last year's opening times (but not this year's) and
wondering if drone flying while helming might be a bit too much even if the pictures would be nice. ·
Alex: Well, that's generous of you to say, and I hope it helped others maybe. ·
John: Good decision Alex, particularly with the uncertainty of everything on a new boat, and should be a great relatively safe opportunity to get to know her on
the way down from Reading. ·
Pogue: Alex H Take yo ass down to Thameslock Brentford. Look for a notice board on the wall by the lower gate west side. The full roster of times for 2015 SHOULD be there in a runic version of rocket science. Bring headache pills, a notepad, and DON'T tell me it's online or I shall throw ALL my toys out of my perambulator. ·
Alex: Pogue, you're safe! Only previous years are to be found online as far as I can see, possibly for posterity? Who knows? Not nearly as much fun as sitting with tide tables though. I shall also take my tide clock with me, that I got for Christmas, and set it while I'm there. I'm intrigued to know how long it stays accurate. ·
Pogue You DO know you are not under C&RT control until you enter that lock? AND. If push comes to shove you can tie up outside for free til the next time the lock is manned? · The fun one is getting through Richmond without paying and into Brentford without waiting AND getting under High Street without tying up. Do that and we nominate you for the Order of Princes of The Snobby Waters ·
Kate I did that on my way into London - can I join the Order? ·
Kate  Aren't the times to be found on the PLA website? (Sorry Pogue) ·
Parsley Nice evening cruises when the lock keepers are away are very nice. ·
John Daughter Kaz did too on her way down with her NB, and did enjoy it, even without the Order! ·
Chris  Getting thru Richmond without paying is easy Pogue...2 hours either side of ht is free  leaving teddington is also a doddle as they rarely check. ...but getting on!!! Do that for free and you definitely win a trophy ·
Luc All of the above possible in a rowing skiff. ·
Pogue  Two Dameships of the Order in order. Chris I did Richmond up at 3am once as I had pulled into the Apprentice 6pm to check my bottom. ·
Pogue  Kate Thameslock times are as secretive as free masonry handshakes. ·
Luc Apparently according to Dom it is illegal to force you to stay overnight on the lock landing under Limehouse. When they refused his booking last he just called the marine police and they promptly forced entry to the controls, opened the lock for him and arrested the lock keepers. ·

Times and Tides: Shaun Wall

Gravesend Marina

Visited 17/19 Mar. to bend on sails! We shipped the canvas Friday morning and sailed at High Tide 17th - 1h+30m so as to be facing the lock about 45 minutes before high tide. Timing was crucial 

Kj left Tilbury for a short delivery to the 'opposite bank' with Paul L. in charge. BrianO, TonyB, JohnY, ÁsgeirF and ShaunW played supporting roles.  KJ went through "Embankment Marina" lock at top o' tide and stayed til Sun19th, when she left with MikeC in charge a little after top o'tide due to the fact that we had trouble slewing her. Half her keel was aground. We now know that 6.0m of predicted tide is only barely enough. We also know that when the deck is level with the dock in Gravesend Marina we are fully afloat. That is about 6.2m on the Gravesend gauge. ShaunW now knows RonT's way of using a spring to park KJ and nail her to the dockside. The lesson is well learnt and we are thankful for the lesson! Saturday morning early saw ÁsgeirF, TonyB and ShaunW decamp for the Sea Training College to achieve their VHF/DSC certificates while AnnaG, JaneG, SaraG, JuliaB, MikeF, JohnY, MikeC met the press and the public during the open day. JuliaB had got us publicity in local papers so we need to count the returns! Big hello to Mark Oliver whom we met there and Patricia Van Leer who provided the splendid photos. Click on the following hotlink to see the welcome we got!

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