We had had a briefing the day before which did include asking if we had a VHF radio. We were able to reply in the affirmative but the other boat at the briefing said no and the lock keeper was not really fussed. So much for saying that all boats over 45ft must carry VHF. We also discovered that although you can call London VTS on leaving limehouse it is not mandatory. In fact if you do call you then have to call in at Brentford or Teddington when you probably would not get contact and would have to use your mobile anyway. We therefore did not bother and although we kept a listening watch on Ch 14 we heard very little and what we did hear was difficult to decipher. Any traffic that was around we could see anyway so I think we had an unnecessary expense. In the event of an emergency when you are recommended to call London VTS immediately they tell you to call on Ch 14 or their landline, so your mobile is still a better (and cheaper) bet.
Approaching the Houses of Parliament Thames Clipper docking on right.
Big Ben was striking 8am just as we went past. There is an exclusion zone right in front to stop invaders!! It is well marked by yellow buoys so there was no danger of us straying.
The river after Battersea Bridge became much smoother, and also the traffic was much lighter and it was more like the Thames we had experienced further upstream.
Thames Lock, Brentford