Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Saying cheerio for now ...

 ... to Jill and Graham at 10:15 this morning, we'll let them get on with their day
 The river this morning is a bit livelier than it was yesterday and there's a strong blustery wind too but we're not going far.
 By half ten we could see our mooring space here at Cookham but it was a bit tricky getting in with that wind
 Good moorings though
...with fine views.
The sky clouded over as soon as put some washing out and we've had squally showers all afternoon.

Just a couple of miles

 We pulled away from Marlow's visitor mooring at 10 yesterday
 ... and again used the current to wind us downstream 
 ... heading for Marlow Bridge and Lock
 You'll see on the photo above these seals on the end of the bridge beams date back to 1860 when the original wooden bridge was built.
Stream warning boards are still displayed and all the sluices on Marlow weir were open
As we approach the lock we can see a very large Le Boat from Benson is on the lock landing.  We hoped to share the lock with them so George gently slid past their bow, dropped me off and reversed back to the landing you can see along this side of the hire boat (it's impossible to reach the lockside by foot from this landing).  I suggested that the Le Boat crew got back onboard so that they wouldn't have to stop after exiting the lock to pick them up and I would operate the lock.  They were dubious as to the length of the lock and would both boats fit.  George checked the length from our information and reasoned that of the 155' quoted 130 could be used safely and us being 62' and le boat 44' there'd be plenty of room.
 A lock full!
 As we left the lock I noticed these visitor mooring were still accessible (flood prevention works are underway above the moorings) with access to the town via the path over the meadow.
 Although we were following quite a distance behind Le Boat its wake was making Still Rockin' bob up and down.
10 minutes later we have our destination in sight.  It is is of course No Problem XL moored at Bourne End and we pulled in abreast.  We knew that Sue and Vic are not onboard but that boat sitters Jill and Graham were.  After a cup of tea and a catchup we had a relaxed afternoon followed by a walk with them to The Bounty for our evening meal; a lovely meal and great company.  They will be leaving NP soon for pastures new giving Sue and Vic their home back in the next week or so once all her health appointments are sorted.
Sunrise this morning at 6am at Bourne End is looking good although the forecast for the day is sun this morning and rain later ... oh joy!  We're not going far though today ...

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Cruising ...

6:30 yesterday morning just as the sun was rising
 ... there was a mist on the River Thames at Medmenham.

 We're were the move today, reversing away from the meadow and turning Still Rockin' using the current to bring the bow round
 ... to continue downstream.
 Approaching St Mary's Abbey also known as Medmenham Abbey a Cistercian Abbey build around 1755
 ... and Danesfield House high on the hill.  The property as we see it today was completed in 1901, but there has been a dwelling place here since before 1664.  It is currently a hotel and leisure centre.
 Sod's law ... always meet another boat at a bend or a bridge or often both.  This is as we approach Hurley Lock

The lock is on self service and the stream warning is on yellow meaning stream decreasing.  The boat we met at the bridge means that the lock should be full and ready for us but I had to top up the water before the gates would open whilst George brings SR in.

 Concentration as he expertly bring her into the side and ropes the bollard while I close the gates.  Once through he's waiting to pick me up.
 I need to be quick as yet again it's another awkward space to meet another boat!
 Looking back as we leave the lock cut at Harleyford House an 18th century Georgian Manor house restored to its current state in 1989 and seemingly under renovation today. 

Just a ¼ mile further under Temple Footbridge it's a sharp left into Temple Lock cut, also on self service

There were boats coming up so I took over the controls where the pink blossom here was glowing in the sunlight.
 George sorting out the mooring rope to hold SR still as the lock descends
 ... and of course there are boats approaching the lock cut as we're leaving the lock.  The weir stream here was coming fast from the right making it a little more difficult to cruise.  We did intend to moor just around that bend but decided that it would be too rough and noisy with the lock traffic and the strong weir stream.

 So we carried on passing Bisham Abbey Manor House built around 1260 for two Knights Templar
 ... and Bisham Parish Church whose Norman tower dates back to 1175
 We're soon approaching the grander riverside houses of Marlow and moored up on the 24-hour visitor moorings.
 The river was busy with boats and birds ... the adult swans were aggressively 'encouraging' the adolescents to be on their way!
Can't help repeating this photo each time we moor here - perfect!

Monday, 23 April 2018

It's all go here ...

Saturday (21st April) dawned with a
 milky sunshine but it was still very warm
 The river was busy today with all sorts of craft
 ... and yes, it was that hot!
 Hotel boat Magna Carta
 ... and events steamboat Alaska
 On the meadow lambing continues 
 ... with thirsty twins
 ... cute hey?
 Lovely old engine thumping away as James Brindley passes us by
and just after 3pm ... down comes the rain!
A similar picture but this one taken at 03:30 during the thunder storm that we could hear coming towards us, sat over us for about 10 minutes and which we listened to as it continued into the distance whilst we sat in bed with a cuppa tea (decaf at that time of night/morning)!