Thursday, 30 August 2018

Onward upstream we go

We had nearly a week at Cookham and it was a great place to hide from the August Bank Holiday crowds.

It wasn`t all good weather though as this heavy downpour shows
On Sunday our friend Bridget came and joined us both for church in the morning and then for Sunday lunch.   We tried a different pub this time and had an excellent meal at the Kings Arms.    The threatened rain arrived as Bridget did, but luckily both church and pub were not far from our moorings.

On Monday Boe arrived back in UK from Russia and went straight to her accommodation near her new school.  She has taken a room for a month whilst she looks around for a flat or house share.  Conveniently she is in Bourne End so on Tuesday she joined the train there and I joined at Cookam and we went up baby visiting to Emmas.

Boe came back with me to Petroc for a couple of nights and joined us for the trip to Marlow on Wednesday and Henley on Thursday

As we reached Marlow below the lock we were delighted to see NB Brindley with Klim and Tina aboard.  We breasted up with them for a short while and had a quick catch up and when they departed we took their mooring space which was very handy.

Very early morning in Marlow

Wonderful day to cruise up from Marlow to Henley
We left so early this morning that all the locks were self service apart from the last one, and even that one the lock keeper had only just arrived.

Total distance:8.25 miles Elapsed time:3h19m11s Locks:4
Several spots to choose from in Henley, Geoff picked one with not too many trees in the hope of a decent TV picture.......still no luck on terrestrial, but he has the Satellite OK......Happy Skipper!!!!

Friday, 24 August 2018

Hiding at Cookham

A dull start to the day on WEdnesday
 but a good view from my kitchen window
Only two nights here this time and that only because I was off to London on Tuesday.  Windsor is quite convenient for Clapham Junction, just 45 minutes direct.
We decided on one of our early starts for Wednesday so we were off chocks at 0715 but lo and behold as we left there were 4 boats ahead of us....must all be insomniacs.  We wanted to position ourselves at Cookham where we were expecting friends John and Rosi for the night.  They had booked a nearby hotel and I had booked dinner in the Ferry pub.  We ate there on the way down with friends and thought it was OK, but this time I was not so impressed.  Maybe I just chose the wrong thing on the menu!!

One is spoilt for choice in the village of Cookham for eating places, there are at least 5 pubs and several other eating establishments.  Still we had a good evening catching up with news from back home in Cornwall.  Cornwall is awash with tourists we are told........mind you if we had stayed in Windsor it would have been as bad.  Cookham seems a good place to hide away for the bank holiday weekend.  
Good view of Cliveden on the way down.

Another trip to London on Thursday for me staying overnight this time.  Gransdaughter Kensa is growing apace and I did a fair bit of walking along the embankment pushing the pram whilst Emma caught up on her sleep after a couple of less than perfect nights!  Being allowed out with her on my own is progress as I wasn`t allowed to do that at first....its amazing what lack of sleep will do for a mother!

Total distance:9.28 miles Elapsed time:3h17m31s
Average speed:2.82 mph (4.03 lock/mph) 
Now it is Friday and the temperature has certainly dropped.  When we moored here on the way down we couldn`t move for the heat, now I am considering mu hot water bottle for bedtime!

Monday, 20 August 2018

Back to Windsor

Back again at Windsor.

We have done well as this was initially as far as Geoff said he would go!!

Unusually for us we travelled part of the way on Sunday and found a mooring at Runnymede. 
£7 a night to moor here and it is National Trust land.  A very pleasant gentleman came to relieve us of our money.
A delightful mooring at Runnymede for Petroc, marred only by the proximity of a rather busy road.
I fact if we had gone just a little further round the corner we could have had a better mooring further away from the road, but by the time we had discovered that, we couldn`t be bothered to move.

A slow start today as we only had two locks to go and a few miles to Windsor.
We were sufficiently early that the trip boats were still abed on their moorings.

A solitary Heron is awake though

The castle towering above the trees.
We rather fancied mooring on the Eton side for a change but despite there being a space, it was not for us.  The banks are the right height for cruisers but not for narrow boats with dogs on board.  I would have been hard pushed to get on and off, let alone poor Barney.

However there was a Petroc sized space on the end of the island which was very congenial.  

Once moored up, despite being ready for a relaxing time, Geoff decided to walk to the large Tesco`s.
The only reason was that he was out of Tesco`s own cans of London Gin & Tonic!!  What some people will do ........
He discovered it was a lot further than he thought so decided to catch a bus back, which was a little help but not much!   It didn`t go the way he thought it ought to have done and he ended up in the middle of town so had another long walk back....needless to say after lunch he had a longer than usual siesta.....
I have offered to show him how to use google maps on his phone which would tell him the right bus to catch and exactly which way it would go, but he is not receptive to the idea.

Total distance:5.66 miles Elapsed time:2h26m10s
Average speed:2.32 mph (3.14 lock/mph) 

Friday, 17 August 2018

Up river to wherever

Whilst at Kingston the fuel barge Merchant was as good as his word and had come by to fill us up.....very convenient especially at 90p a litre.

The older side of Hampton Court
For Fridays trip we had passengers.  Gavin and Celia joined us as we left Kingston just after 9.  Since they have lived in this area for some time they are familiar with the buses and trains and walkways so the logistics of pick up and set down were relatively easy.   Admittedly this was helped by the fact that they like walking!
They live at Long Ditton, Surbiton so walked to Kingston and all we had to do was find somewhere that was not too remote for the drop off.

Bridge at Hampton Court
The weather was decidedly better than Thursday but not nearly as hot as on our way down, thankfully.

We had a possible goal in mind with the Thames river moorings at Lady Lindseys Lawn just before Shepperton but had heard it was very popular.   Luck was on our side as we reached there a boat conveniently departed leaving us a nice Petroc sized space.

Alfresco lunch for us all before Gavin and Celia departed for the walk back to Walton Bridge and then to Walton for a bus home.

We had wanted to stay for the weekend but the moorings are 24 hour only and for the first time a man appeared checking on who was there.   Mind you there are several boats a bit further up who look as though they have been there a while!!!  

So onward it will be.  The goal is Windsor on Monday for another trip down to London for me.

Total distance:8.33 miles Elapsed time:2h58m44s
Average speed:2.79 mph (3.47 lock/mph) 

Thursday, 16 August 2018

About turn

Sailing on the Thames

Kingston Moorings
The stay in Kingston was ideal.   Great position for the trains, shops and walking for Barney.  Sadly 5 nights is the longest you can stay and then not return for 3 days.  However if we had had the time we could have gone back to Hampton court for three days and then returned......but even with the time I doubt I could have persuaded Geoffrey.   We have done well to get down this far against his better judgement.   Still he was heard to mutter the other day that the Thames wasn`t all that bad!!

I went up to London Tuesday returning Wednesday.  I used the station at Hampton Wick which is slightly closer that Kingston which was fine for me but would not be for Emma to visit as there is no lift and lots of stairs......once you have a baby in a buggy you realise how difficult life can be getting must be even worse for wheelchair users.

She made it out on Thursday (after the rain ceased) by using Kingston station and Dave joined us in the evening and we had a good meal (yet again)  at Cote.   We have never yet had a bad meal there.  

It has been lovely sitting on our mooring viewing all the night life on the other bank but being tucked away on the quiet side.

Thursday was our rainiest day so far this year and I had a very miserable shop.   Stupidly I decided to go to the big Sainsburys not realising how far it was....I kept thinking it was round the next corner.....
When I reached it eventually, somewhat wet, I discovered that you could call a taxi direct which I decided was a good plot for the return journey.   Accordingly I bought more than planned which filled my wheelie and an extra bag........
Sadly the taxi plan failed.  The resident one wouldn`t come out due to heavy traffic!!!!  Despite a very helpful lady in Customer Services who phoned several other firms I was unsuccessful so had a long trudge back with all my goodies in the pouring rain!!

The day ended well with the rain clearing and Emma`s visit.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Made it to Kingston

We have never seen another boat called Petroc on our travels,
but today we came close....
We have reached the furthest point on our travels for this year.....Kingston was our goal....well at least it was my goal...not sure it was Geoff's.....but he has been heard to mutter that the Thames is OK in places!!

Boats of all shapes and sizes today...

Must belong to a Beetles fan

We sometimes have to weave our way through the rowers

Anyone for a paddle
We passed the Fuel Barge Merchant today but he was out of fuel....he has promised to visit us tomorrow when he has stocked up.

There was plenty of room on the Barge Walk moorings, lots of grass for Barney and good walking.  The town is just across the river and two stations nearby, Kingston and Hampton Wick.  What more could we want.

The moorings are similar to the River Thames Moorings.  However where the River Thames Mooring are 1 night free and then £5 a night for up to two further nights, these are 1 night free and £8 a night for up to 5 nights.  Like Hampton Court these seem to be managed by a site called and when you go online to book and pay it takes to to a site call Parkonomy.  So we have booked to stay until Friday as I am off to Emma`s again tomorrow and will stay the night and return on Thursday.

Total distance:2.26 miles Elapsed time:0h50m44s Locks:Bridges:0 
Average speed:2.67 mph (2.67 lock/mph) 

Sunday, 12 August 2018

I hate computers

I sometimes wonder if it would have been better to have set sail in Petroc minus TV and computer!

Just over a week ago my computer decided to misbehave.  The short story is that it has involved 2 refreshes of the whole windows system (the first one didn`t work properly!) guided on the lengthy phone calls to PC World help desk.  I have always paid a monthly fee against my better judgement for this service......

This procedure wipes out all your programs BUT not all your data.  However putting all my programs back and more to the point getting them working is a task which is not for the faint hearted.

I am slowly getting there with the help of various other phone calls and with the help of my computer Guru, John (NB Epiphany)

Unfortunately the one that is defeating me at the moment is Microsoft Money which I have used for our personal finances for over 10 years and has a huge history.  I have managed to get the program back on successfully but it wont restore my data.   No chance of any help here as the program was discontinued in 2009 and support withdrawn in 2011.  I would happily go to a new program but that still loses all my historical data.  GrrrrrrrrH!!!

However life has not been all bad as I have had several visits to my grand daughter.  We continue to station hop to enable visits to be made.  After leaving Staines we had 3 nights at Shepperton lock which is close to Weybridge and 3 nights at the end of Desborough Island which is close to Walton on Thames.   Close to these places but not within my walking distance so taxi rides were called for.

Thankfully the heat has finally left us and we have had some good downpours of rain.  During that debilitating heat I did promise never to complain about the rain again........I must remember.   We moored here at Hampton Court in less than ideal conditions.   However thankfully the really heavy stuff saved itself for later.

Later on we were collected by friends Gavin & Celia and whisked off to their place for supper and in my case for a lovely long soak in their bath with a glass of Prosecco at my side.  All much appreciated after yet another afternoon wrestling with my computer.

Yesterday (Saturday) we had a visit from Kensa,
Dave and Emma and Kensa`s Granny Pat

We had an enjoyable few hours sitting on the terrace of the Mitre Hotel right by the river, followed by Kensa`s first visit to Petroc.  Barney showed very little interest in her, although he did manage a small welcoming lick eventually.

So here we are moored right outside Hampton Court Palace.  If we want to go in and visit it will cost us a cool £20 and that is  for old codgers........not sure I will bother, but Geoff is muttering that he might.
Total distance:5.43 miles Elapsed time:2h34m0s
Average speed:2.11 mph (2.89 lock/mph) 

Friday, 3 August 2018

To hot to even write my blog!!

So a long weekend in Windsor provided the only rain we have seen for weeks. 

Mike and Mary came as arranged on Sunday morning and I joined them for Morning Service in St Georges Chapel.  Geoff elected to go to a nearby church for Holy Communion.   All met for lunch in a much better pub than last year.  The Royal Windsor is just by the Windsor Riverside station and would definitely return there.

Sunday was a day of rain so it was out with umbrellas and macs...what a change.  

Bridge across to Eton...wet roads...haven`t seen that for a while.
Monday saw me on the train to Emmas for more cuddles with the new one.

Tuesday was travelling day and a rather glowery start to the day

also somewhat breezy but not as bad as the last trip.

Good view through the trees of the castle as we went down the river.

 We weren`t sure what we would find mooring wise in Staines which was the possible destination.

But chatting with a fellow boater in the locks led us to a rather pleasant spot by Lammas park.  Sadly no shade for Petroc but trees for us to linger beneath and have we needed is unbearably hot and impossible to do anything except very early in the morning.  Luckily there is a nice walk nearby for Barney around some lakes which is largely in the shade during the morning.

Wednesday saw me in London again.  The station is a good 20/25 minute walk so that ensures my exercise for the day.  However before leaving on Wednesday morning as I sat having my breakfast I suddenly saw a pool of water under the front step.   We already have a leak in the shower so have to keep turning the water off when not what.?  When Geoff investigated he discovered our water pump was leaking.....AAAHHH!!!   The good news was that we have a replacement on board.  A good few years ago Geoff had successfully changed the pump........quite a feat for someone who if not DIY minded at all.   It looked as though his skills were to be called upon again.   I did offer not to go to London but thankfully my offer was refused.   Poor Geoff spent the best part of the day in the heat to-ing and fro-ing to Halfords to get various bits and eventually he had success.  I was told the job was accompanied by a lot of swearing, sore fingers and one pair of broken glasses....what a good job I was away.

Instead of my going to London on Friday Geoff decided that he ought to pay his new grand daughter a visit so he braved the heat and British Rail.   In fact, the trains from here are new trains and all air conditioned.  Provided you travel outside rush hour it is OK.
Geoff's tummy makes a good pillow
Tomorrow is moving on time.......with the goal of Kingston about next weekend.....the trick is to find some moorings in the shade which may prove difficult.  The hot weather is die to last until next Wednesday at least....roll on Autumn....
A very early start is planned to beat the heat.

Total distance:7.52 miles Elapsed time:2h54m5s
Average speed:2.59 mph (3.63 lock/mph)