Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Visitors first, then to the end

At the mooring by the meadow Rock n Roll were behind us and later Derwent 6 arrived and put their pins in front. Next day all three boats were cleaned for visitors. We spent a few days here watching trip boats; rowing boats and canoes go past the window. Mother duck came with her chicks for breakfast most days.

We are only half a days run to the end at Godalming so we had to get there. We are on our own for this trip looking out for the little boats. Got stuck on a sharp bend and waited for a few of those boats to pass.
We waited for the lock to clear but then at St Catherine’s lock the trip boat driver asked to go in first.
 It was a wide barge full of people who had parked their cars at Guildford. They could not be late getting back and there was no room for us as well. By the time we had got in another boat came to join us.
Only Broadford Bridge could stop us now with just over 6 feet air clearance. The lengthman advised us to remove most things off the roof to get under it, that we did, just.
Two more locks to get through and we reached the end by mid afternoon. There is not a lot of space here. The horse drawn trip boat occupies one space and we got another behind one other boat. There is a patch of grass at our mooring and despite it being close to the road it is at least quiet. Several other boats are on private moorings. While Ann was off shopping I was surprised to see Del at the window. He had come down on his bike to check out the mooring situation. 
 Next day Rock n Roll
 and Derwent 6 arrived, got water and found some spaces.

We are now as far south as we can get on the Inland Waterway system and have been in discovery mode since Henley on Thames. There are still some more visitors to come before we head north.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Moore 2 Life website

Check it out.  I have just added a Slideshow to our River Avon and River Cam pages.  The pictures are from my Picasa site.  Click on the link to Moore 2 Life for River Avon or the link to our web site found on the right.

These are pictures from our River Cam collection.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sorting pictures on the Wey

Cannot stop taking pictures while discovering this old Navigation. It stops at Godalming just south of Guildford and was originally created in 1651. The Wey and Aron Canal past Guildford originally went all the way to the south coast but is not navigable now. So later we will be forced to turn and go back to the Thames. The pictures will eventually get uploaded to our website.
Worsfold flood gates
On the way the river went off at several weirs while the Navigation turned a few sharp corners to rejoin the river a few locks up.  Rock n Roll turning the corner.
Vertical rollers at some corners are useful when towing with a rope.
  Next day we progressed to Guildford and stopped at the meadow south of the town.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Now we go this Wey

At Weybridge we stayed on moorings not far from the town. We found the shops and stocked up with some provisions.
Just across the water a sign points to the Wey and informs us that the river Navigation belongs to the National Trust. Our right to navigate requires payment of £102 for a maximum of 21 days.

Once paid and through Thames lock Carol n George led the way through the next three locks. The locks are all wide enough for both boats and operated by ourselves. Back to normal for us after nearly a month on the Thames where the keepers did the operation. The Way Navigation is lined with trees that keep us cool on our journey.
We now have a special windlass with a long handle and smaller square to fit the sluce gear.
We are not required to shut the gates as we leave whichever way we go.

Three hours after setting off from Weybridge we arrived at Pyrford moorings opposite the marina by the Anchor and stayed over the weekend. Brod came up to see us on the Sunday and we had drinks and a meal at the pub.
Later a walk up stream setting a target to find the Abbey, but it was so hot we gave up at the pylons. “It was never, it seemed, ‘just round the next bend’!”

Next day Tesco delivered goodies to both boats just after 9. Once the stock was sorted we moved up the lock for water.
Papercourt Lock
Both boats then continued up some more locks to arrive at Send where wonderful quiet moorings by the high footbridge were found. They are such a contrast from that busy pub.
On the way we found that the Abbey was round the next bend by Newark lock!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A change in direction

We had turned the boat round at Hampton to face up stream. The recommendation to moor facing up stream was obeyed this time but turning mid stream often results in the boat drifting sideways for a while! The river is busy with many large trip boats moving up and down. Strangely it was the smaller boats that rocked our boat with their wash. We stayed several days tied to the rings at the concrete edge.

Heading up stream is different. More power is required to make progress against the flow. We are now required to give way to boats going down stream especially at the arched bridges. The locks are empty so we can go up. Sometimes the lock keeper will come to take your rope and put it round a bollard that is high up and out of sight. “I used a hooked stick to pass the rope up if the keeper could not reach down.”
One or two locks are quite large and able to take three narrowboats side by side. It is important to watch the keeper for instructions for it is he who is in charge. Wide barges go in first then us followed by ‘plactics’. Between the locks the boats travel at different speeds only to meet up at the next lock.

Heading for history

It is hot n sunny now and the Thames is wide and calm. We passed through Stains & Sheperton to stop for water at Chertsey lock.
Then we moved on to Weybridge for the night where we found super moorings where the river Wey joins the Thames. Our plan is to go up the Wey later and spend a few weeks travelling its length of 18 miles. 

But first we head for Hampton Court 6 miles further down the Thames. We picked up diesel at Shepperton Marina for 97 pence a litre and saw a Princess boat there for sale. “No, before you wonder, our son works for Princess Boats in Southampton and wanted to know if we see any.”
Good moorings were found outside Hampton Court gardens. The day had got hot again so we all went for a walk in the cool evening. Much of the land east of the Court is open to the public with its ‘Long Water’. The land was forest when King Henry the eighth hunted deer. There are still some deer left but most of the trees have gone.
George n Carol kindly looked after our Molly while we went to visit the Court and gardens. Much has changed over the years since I was taken there as a child. The Maze here for me is the real one so we did that first. The gardens that surround the Palace are spectacular and colourful, their layout and design amazing to see from inside and out. The Palace has been restored to display several apartments in historical time for Henry VIII, William III, Mary II and the Georgian period.

Monday, August 06, 2012

A significant place ?

We moved on to Runnymede, through Romney and Old Windsor locks.  

For such a place the National Trust that own the site have not provided excellent moorings. We squeezed in between the trees with the stern out of the shallows. I had to get the shears out to cut back the undergrowth. So where is this great place of such significance. Cross that busy road and that field.
The Magna Carter memorial was built in 1957. It was back in 1215 that King John was obliged to sign the Charter that marked the foundations of civil liberty and has formed constitutions of many countries including the USA. The place in fact is not as significant as the meaning of the words in the Charter.
Not far from the memorial is another to John F. Kennedy, president of the USA between 1961 & 1963. We went through the gate and walked in an acre of land given to America by the Queen.
This sign by an Oak tree says it all.

As a child I was always told that King John signed the Magna Carter 'at the bottom' !

Friday, August 03, 2012

London 2012 Olympics

Between Bray and Boveney locks is known as Dorney Reach. The Olympic rowing lake is near the river. Police security requires us not to stop between the locks and keep over to the right. A wide convoy is heading up stream with police, EA, and other launches forced us over even further.

 “Oh look, they look like the British Olympic Team.” There were TV cameras on board one of the boats. Later that evening we discovered that Helen Glover and Heather Stanning had won GOLD and were seen on the ITV news.

We were all very lucky to find space for both boats on Bath Island at Windsor opposite Eton. It cost £24 for three nights. Several large trip boats are going by making us rock again with their wake.
Windsor Castle can be seen not far away. We agree to look after each other’s Mollies while we go out on different days. We went first to visit the Castle.

Moorings, locks n towns (2)

It was at the last lock of the day at Marlow that the incident occurred. We had gone forward as in the previous lock but the bow was against the corner of the lock, the gates being narrower than the body of the lock. As the lock emptied the bow stopped going down and the boat started to tip over. I quickly started the engine to pull back as Ann was yelling. The lock keeper also reacted quickly to let water back in, stopping the boat going down further. Suddenly the boat leveled off. After a while we recovered from the shock and the lock keeper came over to investigate. Nothing under the boat but probably the boats base plate had dug into the wooden lock fender. The lock keeper then let us go down slowly as we pushed off from the side. Both boats moved out to the landing and we checked inside. Some crockery had dropped on the floor but not broken. Things inside cupboards had tried to escape!
Then we set off for moorings at Bourne End. An excellent spot with ring to tie to, mowed grass and benches provided by the Thameside Preservation Trust for which we paid £5 for one night.
After a late lunch we all walked along the Thames path past the boats to get to the shops. That evening George n Ann went off to get Fish n Chips for dinner. 

Next day we set off for Maidenhead where we found moorings against a concrete wall. While we had lunch huge boats were passing making us rock with their wake. We all decided not to pay for the mooring here so moved on down river heading for Windsor.

Moorings, locks n towns (1)

We left the Reading mooring heading down to Caversham lock, round the bend past Better Boating and turned onto the Tesco mooring. As usual they were almost full leaving a gap between trees for us.
The rough bank is not really suitable for the popular shop mooring. When we had done the shopping two boats arrived wanting our space. “Sorry, not going yet, but you can come along side.” We helped them off across our bow. They were not long getting back and Rock n Roll was soon to pass by. Within ten minutes we were all off on our way again. Our boat still full of shopping to put away! Carol had worked out a schedule of locks and moorings to get to for the next few days.
The first lock through was Sonning then Shiplake. After that moorings were found at Popular Eyot tucked away among the trees. Rock n Roll had a plank out and Moore 2 Life went along side. Chairs and tables put out for tea n cake on the bank.  Next day we set off down stream heading for the next stop.
Through Marsh lock and passing Henley keeping left to avoid the rowing boaters.
Temple Island reminded us of our first visit here at the IWA boat gathering in 1997. “Must have been strange for Henley to see so many narrowboats lining the bank for a few miles.” The next lock was at Hambleden. It is all new ground for us past Henley. Then several big boats in the next lock at Hurley join us. It starts to rain as we get to Temple lock. The lock keeper asked us to move forward to let other boats in. Almost against the gates! In fact we had to move back to let the gates open. Out we go letting Rock n Roll go first then us.