Friday, 18 August 2017

What a day!!

Just before leaving Windsor, Barney had a visitor but he is not interested.

The day started well but it was not to be a good day for me.......

We had plans....first mistake..... the plan was to go up to Marlow for one night and we had booked to go to Cote restaurant for their Early Bird meal as it was Boe's last night.   She was scheduled to catch a train from Marlow on Thursday morning.

At the first lock we went up to the waiting pontoon and I saw that a big gin was moored in the middle, ie had not moved along, so I decided to go in front of him, thereby leaving space behind for another boat.  I must admit that Geoff did suggest I went over to the other side........should have listened!!!   As I approached the lock started to empty and I therefore completely misjudged my approach and nearly crashed into the gin!   Only deft fending off on the part of Geoff and Boe saved the day.   Not clever!

Once in the lock we have our standard routine.  Geoff on the bow rope and me on the stern.  Life is not so easy now as we have about turned and are going up the locks and not down..  There can be quite a pull on the rear line when the undertow hits you.  Consequently to make life easier for myself I gave a little burst of engine to save my self pulling so hard.   Yes I know you are supposed to turn your engine off in the lock, but our engine is so quiet I don't think the lock keepers realise it is on, anyway we have never before been asked to turn it off!!   This time he heard it and came back and gave me a real lecture about the dangers of having my engine on!!!  Error number two of the day.

Third error was at Boulters Lock.   All snugly in and me on the stern as usual.  Lock keeper came and asked if we had been in this lock before.  We said, yes but going down.  He then said the undertow could be very strong and would I be able to hold the I decided that maybe Geoff and I had better swap places.   Geoff therefore tied his line off at the front so he could come back.  I went forward and forgot to untie the line so had another lecture about the dangers of having the line secured on the boat.   You are supposed to hold the line so you can control it.   By this time I had got myself all flustered and didn't know what the heck I was doing!!  I don`t like controlling the front line......

By this time I have acknowledged that I am not having a good day.....

To crown it all there was nothing doing in Marlow, every mooring was occupied despite it only being lunch time so it was a great disappointment.   That is the first time this year that we have not been able to moor in our intended destination.

So onward we went....and onward.

en route we passed  Cliveden which I gather is now a 5* hotel.
Henley was now the destination.  By the time we reached there it was nearly 5pm and we just don`t do long days like this.   We decided to moor downstream of the bridge in case there was no space upstream at this time of day.  On the way in as we passed along the Remenham straight we saw the wonderful sight of a proliferation of multi coloured tents..........we later discovered that this was for the Rewind Festival which was on this weekend. (80`s music)   So the towpath where we had moored was going to be awash with festival goers!!!    To add insult to injury the man to collect the money was on his rounds in his boat and hovered all the time we were getting the boat settled.  We had planned to be here a week anyway whilst we waited for the Toilet Man.  Upstream of the bridge the moorings are £10 a day or £55 for a week.  So I said we would like to do that.   No go...these moorings are controlled by a different company and they don`t have a reduced weekly rate.   However we could go no further as we were all exhausted.  We revived ourselves with hot showers and managed to make it to The Catherine Wheel (Wetherspoons)  By the time we returned to Petroc we were all more than ready for bed.

Early next morning Geoff went on a recce to see if there was space above the bridge.  He called to say there was so Boe and I hot footed it up there.     We moored in almost the same spot where we had been on the way down.   Great place and here we shall stay.   So long as you pay the fee they don`t seem to mind how long you stay.

Boe was just in time to gather all her belongings, and meet Giles for breakfast before catching a train to London.  I joined them for coffee.

I then had a wonderfully relaxing afternoon sitting on the river bank with crossword, puzzles, books and online scrabble.   A much better day than yesterday.  

Today (Friday) Geoff and I had arranged to meet Giles for lunch at the Giggling Squid.  This is a restaurant he and everyone else from his office seem to frequent.  They all came too so we had a very enjoyable lunch and can thoroughly recommend the place if you like Thai food.  We nearly didn`t make it as after a lovely sunny morning, it all turned to worms.

Almighty thunderstorm and downpour

Total distance:18.5 miles   (Far too far)

Elapsed time:7h46m10s   (Far too long)



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More lock trouble!!