Boatwif Blog

0

Splashes and surprises along the Thames

Dorney Lake to Teddington Weird… wonderful…wacky… When cruising on the Thames or walking nearby keep your eyes open as round every corner there is something unexpected to see. On Wednesday morning at Dorney Lake (the Eton College and Olympic rowing course) the grass was being cut and the weed-cutter boat was clearing weeds from the racing lake water. About a third of the way along the 2,220 metre straight, set back on the edge of the arboretum, is what looked...

0

Thames titbits

The Thames: river wide, water plentiful, riverside property fascinating. That’s it, isn’t it, the same judgement every time. But it’s the bits beyond the boating that can make Thames days interesting and different. Take events on Saturday for instance. On the approach to Bell Weir Lock a very low yellow bathtub was spotted in the water and in the bathtub/aka Jacuzzi were several women, the chimney indicating that their tub water was probably heated. (No camera to hand then, this...

2

More musings from the River Wey

Monday 10th – Saturday 15th August There’s a different view on a return journey – or you notice things you missed on an outbound trip. Take Triggs Lock for instance (Monday). A single-handed boater was descending ahead of Cleddau and Tentatrice. It seemed sensible to work the lock for him. Out on the platform behind the lock gates there was a moment of surprise. What? Three paddles to wind on each gate?     One paddle on each of the gates did...

0

Along the Wey

When not on boating duties there’s sometimes chance to jump ship and explore the local area. At the furthest navigable point of the Wey is the small town of Godalming (population about 22,000). Arrive by river and you see a broad valley bottom, edged by steep sided wooded slopes. Just beyond the Wharf cars are attracted to Sainsbury’s, Homebase, Pets at Home and Waitrose. As a pedestrian once you have got beyond the superstore car parks life improves… the traffic...

0

Slowly through Surrey

Just round the corner from Runnymede the county boundary changes from the Royal County of Berkshire to (unroyal) Surrey. The four hours or so cruising on Friday to Shepperton Lock and the junction for the River Wey were characterised by words beginning with the letter H. It was a stop-start sort of affair, stopping to refill water tanks, to dump rubbish and to use a sanitary station. Then at Staines the Captain performed the boating equivalent of a hand-break turn,...

0

Pause for thought at Runnymede

“There’s been a lot going on at Runnymede over the summer,” said Senior Niece. She’s a relative local, so she knows. Still, there was a lot going on here 800 years ago, as a mural at Bell Weir Lock explains.     Look, that baron, William d’Aubigney    (later the name became Daubeney) was one of the key players… !n 1215 Magna Carta was agreed and sealed here on this ancient meadow. King John’s dispute with his barons was resolved when...

1

Dawdling down the Thames

The lithe and curvaceous Thames twists and turns her way     from near Lechlade in Gloucestershire, through Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey towards and through London, and on out to the North Sea. When boating along the Thames it’s hard to retain a sense of compass direction: wooded hillsides, meandering curves, the criss-cross of bridges and the distraction of extraordinary riverside properties mean distances and even locations become vague. If it’s early morning and the helm grabs a peaked cap to...

0

So far…

For those who like numbers: since leaving Poynton (on the northern end of the Macclesfield Canal) on 22nd May, Cleddau  has cruised on 10 different waterways nosed into 9 different counties travelled 293½ miles worked through 210 locks, of which 11 were manned locks and 199 were unmanned and self operated. The crew have slept on board for 54 nights moored in 43 different locations including 3 different marinas published 22 blog posts used 500 litres of diesel fuel and,...

0

Larking downstream

Monday to Thursday: Newbury to Burghfield ‘What larks you two have’ wrote a correspondent in an email recently. (Recognise the remark, C?) Well, between Newbury      and Reading there were more ‘larks’ remembered from previous cruising times as well as one or two incidents which may get stored mentally as ‘Larks from 2015’… A pleasant mooring on Monday above Newbury Lock    allowed time for town browsing (just look at the new shopping centre).  Old notices on the offside of...

0

Flashbacks

Cleddau is on a previous cruising patch, this section of the Kennet and Avon Canal being familiar from Frouds Bridge mooring days. For nine years the Captain had acted as a Working Man, donned suit and tie each morning, jumped off the boat, commuted to work, returning at night to tend the stove – eat and sleep. Weekends saw him as Motorway Man, up the M3, the M25, the M1. Laundry turned round at home it would all start again...

%d bloggers like this: