Thursday, 18 September 2014

Home Counties Cruise: Day 13

We slept a bit later again today, and it was almost 9 before we set off.  We stopped after about 10 minutes at Cartbridge Wharf, to fill the water tank and start a wash load.  A while before we left, a little National Trust tug had passed, pushing a wide flat piled with stones.  When we got to Papercourt Lock, it was moored up, and the guys with it were just heading off over a field.

The majority of the locks were in our favour today.  At Pyrford Lock there's an elsan in a little shed, with a hand pump on the outside.  This apparently brings up river water for rinsing -- but I couldn't get anything out of it at all.

As we passed a field of steers, one of them seemed to be in a very bad mood.  It chased a swan, which of course just took to the river.  A dog walker seemed a bit concerned it might take against her black labrador.  In one pound I was surprised that a heron stayed exactly where he was as we approached; they normally take off and land just in front of the boat.  Then as I passed, it caught a fish.

Just before Parvis Bridge is a little boat yard which is rather attractive.  The other side of the bridge is the Byfleet Boat Club; a man there said he'd been told by Kathryn from Stoke Bruerne to ask me something -- but couldn't remember what it was!

Just before New Haw Lock, three swans took off and headed towards us, before landing again.

We stopped for lunch just below Town Lock in Weybridge, partly because we knew the lock keeper at Thames Lock would be on his lunch break.  As we were getting ready to set off again, a towpath walker stopped to talk; he complemented us on the boat, saying it was very subtle.  He said it didn't scream 'look at me I'm retired', or 'look at me, I haven't got a job'!

Just before Thames Lock is a block of rather attractive flats.  We particularly liked the long balcony on the top floor.

At Thames Lock we could go straight in.  It's a two stage process, as outside the lock is another pound of varying water levels, to ensure boats can get over the cill of the lock.  Once in that pound, more paddles have to be raised, and another big gate opened.  One of the lock keepers commented that the Thames seems very low at the moment.

As we've got a few days in hand, we've decided to spend the weekend on the Thames.  So we turned left straight into Shepperton Lock, which was open and ready.  I said to the lock keeper that we needed to buy a licence, so he said to tie up the boat and go to his office to do the paperwork while the lock filled.  We bought a week, which isn't much more than a daily licence.  Next to the lock is a cafe, and as the sun was now out, there were plenty of people enjoying tea and cake.

We moored for the day a little further along on Sheperton.  It's been really hot this afternoon, and various people have talked to us as they sat on the bench alongside the boat.  We've been busy, washing the roof and the towpath side of the boat, both of which were very dusty after such dry weather.

10 miles, 8 locks.  (155 miles, 108 locks)

1 comment:

Leo No2 said...

Adam and Adrian - it was my very food friend Rodney who only had to say 'hello' from me - you just can't get the staff these days!