- 28 Aug 2017
We have a Freeman 26 and I'm pleased to tell you that, despite the occasional negativity on this forum, the Thames is still a delight to boat on. Most boaters still wave to each other and Freeman owners wave frantically because we are a part of a big, classic family. The river is one of the last bits of real community left in the UK so please keep those fond memoriesIt's been a while since I "outed" myself as a looker-on to this forum. However, I have to say that since my late husband and I had to give up boating - in 2012 - after 21 very happy years on both the Thames and the Canals, it seems as if things have deteriorated a lot. We had a little Freeman 22 - 6ft10 so were able to go not just on the Thames but also on the canals. In fact, our first big excursion was down the Thames, onto the Grand Union (at 4.00 in the morning to catch the tide right), up through the locks at Hanwell (with help from a lovely young man) and eventually onto the Oxford Canal and then down to the Thames again. It took three weeks and was magical - though there were plenty of scary times! Since then we had lots of years on both the Thames and the Canals. We hardly ever encountered any animosity - a couple of times someone objected to where we were moored so we would move if it enabled another boat to get in between us and the next one (no worries there). I can't really understand why this situation has seemed to deteriorate so much - my fond memory of the Thames particularly is the way that we would always acknowledge each other by a wave as we passed, and then happily speak to each other when we got to our mutual mooring spot.