In response to a request on canalworld.net, I went along as crew and VHF radio operator for Mel and Karen on narrowboat SMOOTH AS SILK (quite a tongue-twister early in the morning), from Limehouse to Teddington.
We set off at 0612, dawdled near Westminster in order to go past Big Ben on the stroke of 7, dawdled again near Vauxhall to let a tug overtake us en route to Lots Road, and then dodged loads of scullers and rowers from Putney up to Teddington. We arived just on high water at about 1025 (with quite a lot of fresh water coming down, so we made slow progress). Average speed only 4.3 kts – on a neap tide, and we were not in a hurry.
The river through the centre of London was, as you might expect, absolutely deserted, and we also had some SUN. Hearty cooked breakfast in the lock cut at Teddington.