Sunday, 1 August 2010

Gill's weekend away

 Geoff has not moved.  Before my departure on Thursday we moved Petroc up a little to a slightly nicer spot just above the lock and since Geoff has not had any trouble there he has stayed far.

Meanwhile I have been gadding about town......Emma, Boe and I had a good day out on Friday.  We took the Fast clipper boat down the Thames to Greenwich and we wandered up to the Royal Observatory which is fascinating.   Wandered is perhaps the wrong word as the hill to reach the top is incredibly steep and I don't do hills very they took it in turns to push me from behind!   By the time we reached the top we all had to have a sit down to recover.....

However the view was worth it
Whilst there we watched a show in the planetarium called `The Violent Universe` which had some awesome photography but now Boe, the worrier, is bothered about the meteorite that might hit the earth!

On the trip back up the river we saw a narrowboat turning into Limehouse Lock. 
 It brought back memories of our trip down the Thames a couple of years ago, although we came out of Limehouse and went up river.
Watching the narrowboat and viewing the entrance to Limehouse it looked a lot wider than our recent river entrances into Selby and West Stockwith have been.    In fact it looked a dooddle...BUT   I was sitting in a big boat with powerful engines and not on a narrowboat.  The tidal Thames is a piece of cake for these big boats.  Once down in the lower reaches of the river they certainly put on the speed and for each stop they seem to grind to a halt effortlessly and one of the crew throws a rope with great accuracy onto a bollard which helps to stop the boat.   We did see them miss on the first attempt a couple of times but they always managed it second time.  A very slick operation.

Dinner was a Turkish restaurant with Wally, Marie and Maggie and the girls and Saturday I came out in my grandmother guise to Goring Heath and Giles and family.

My weekend excitement was not over however.  Whilst Finley was having his afternoon nap Giles took me down to the sailing club at Goring.  This is a small friendly club they have joined and I think he wanted to show off his prowess in a dingy......he was threatened with murder if he put me in the water!!   It is many years since I ventured into a dingy.....I prefer a sailing boat that has a loo and somewhere to put a gin and tonic!
In the event he as the only one to fall in and that was before we even set off.  (Sadly I didn't have the camera!)  He was trying to be too gung-ho getting into the dingy!   The trip was then quite enjoyable but dingy sailing has never been my thing and my faith in Giles abilities to get me back safely had diminished after his falling in.  My fears were unfounded and all I ended up with was a wet bottom which is a bit inevitable.  We managed to weave ourselves in and out of all the passing boats, this included one or two narrowboats on their way down.   I hope that we shall be back here with Petroc next year.  I have asked the skipper and planner for a completely tide free year.    Having said that, if we want to do the Thames we would at least have to do the tidal stretch from Teddington to Brentford, but after the tidal Ouse I think that would be a doddle.........

Whilst I have been having all this excitement I gather that Geoff's only hiccup was when he thought he had lost the boat keys....luckily he eventually found them in some long grass beside the towpath.

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