Friday, 28 October 2016

Back to where we were!

At Staines yesterday morning - this huge craft passed us just as we were about to pull our from our mooring, glad we didn't set off a few minutes earlier, but as luck would have it we did meet it again in Old Windsor Lock Cut!  Sod's Law!
Taking our coal delivery

We had a good run back, two of the locks were on self service and two, including Grumpy's lock were attended.  Grumpy didn't make eye contact or speak at all but at least he didn't disappear on us, although he did open all the sluices in one go, side and gate sluices!
 So now we're back where we started at Dorney
... behind Sue and Vic on NPXL
... with a lovely sunset behind the trees

... and the moon this morning at 7 o'clock

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Problems ..... and solutions .....

I forgot to add this to my posting when Sue and I walked through Dorney to the garden centre on Saturday ... a lovely picture.

We didn't expect to be winding (turning) and moving back to this mooring on Tuesday morning ...
... and we also didn't expect George to have to go and have a word with the reception staff at Eton College Lakes Boathouse ... why?

On Friday when we'd left Windsor and moored up just beyond Dorney Lakes George was concerned that the domestic batteries weren't charging as they should; the charging current was only 34 amps instead of 80!  Houston, we have a problem!   We nursed the batteries over the weekend, no washing done, no tv etc., but with a few amps in from the solar panels. On Monday George contacted Beta who confirmed it would be the alternator. Unfortunately now out of warranty he agreed to purchase a new one at an extremely good price from Beta for goodwill as it was only 18months ago that this one was fitted under warranty.  Beta will take the unserviceable alternator back to investigate the problem.  Beta sent the new alternator to Marcus Marine and we had a call from Marcus in the evening to let us know that he'd be with us about lunchtime on Tuesday.  Great!  All sorted!  Now we can get on with our journey to our winter mooring at Hambledon.

Wednesday morning ... we didn't expect to be continuing downstream through Boveney Lock

... and we certainly didn't expect to be seeing the castle again until about April 2017!  Why?

A few weeks ago we took on diesel from Chris on nb Merchant and he agreed that he'd catch up with us towards the end of October to refill our tank before we settle in for the winter.  George contacted him on Wednesday morning to arrange the meeting but unfortunately because of an emergency stoppage on the reach above Old Windsor Lock which starts on November 1st and will last for three months he would be unable to service Still Rockin'.  Houston, we have another problem! Our tank is less that half full!  After a quick discussion we decided to continue downstream to Staines where Chris was currently moored for diesel and coal.

Through Romney Lock on self service but operated today by a boater waiting to come up the lock after we leave it.

This house has fascinated me for years because the left half appears to be falling away from the rightside and now it's up for sale complete with the whole island and planning permission for a large house (click for better images).  Sorry but I couldn't find the estate agent's details of the property!
When the sun started burning through the clouds it became quite warm but soon clouded over again
Beautiful autumn as we cruise through the Crown Estate

The house at Magna Carta island (the island where it's believed that the actual document was signed by King John) is having a rather sub-stantial makeover.

We've filled our fuel tank and are now pulling away from Merchant Fuel Boat but Houston we have yet another problem!  Why?
Chris has run out of coal! But he's getting a delivery first thing Thursday morning, so instead of cruising back upstream to Dorney, we've moored up near the town centre and will return to Merchant this morning for 10 bags of coal (6 for us and 4 for Sue and Vic).

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Meeting up again

A late start yesterday morning, shopping to do in Windsor and then the water tank to fill before we set off on another very short cruise
 The yellow duck trips continue
... and the trip boats are still tripping, and not too slowly either.  
The river will probably be busier this week as it's half-term holidays for the kids.
Just the one lock today at Boveney and the lockie is on duty here
 Half a mile further and we see our mooring but that's not the boat we expected to see!
 Oh, there they are! Sue is just pulling out ...
... and passing us ...
 ... and Vic has come to wait for her to bring NPXL in behind the dutch barge

 ... so that we can moor up in front as Still Rockin' a bit longer than No Problem, so here we are together again for the weekend.
Lovely sunset through the trees as the bbq is lit after Sue and I and her two canines returned from our walk of approx 4 1/2 miles round trip to the garden centre at Dorney, I needed some pots for a future project.

The bbq was as good as ever and the mushrooms we'd picked were perfect.  We ate on the back deck of Still Rockin' and because George had banked the fire and closed all the pram hood covers it was cosy up there.  But one problem ... although I'd lit loads of candles and we had a hanging light, it was a bit on the dark side, so I'll investigate some suitable overhead LED lighting for next time.

To round off another good, fine weather, not too cold day someone very kindly put on a firework show for us ...

Not perfect pictures, but you get the idea!  I like this last one though very much!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Last visit to Windsor for this year

 Saying cheerio to Ray yesterday morning at Shepperton, it was good to see him again.
Our cruise yesterday took us to Runnymede but not to our very special moorings but to the council mooring where we were able to receive our Tesco delivery in the afternoon.
Not far to go today, here we are passing below the airforces memorial on the approach to those special moorings which were today available but not needed.
 Albert Bridge is the start of Windsor Castle grounds, and below pictures of the Castle as we enter the town

... and Her Majesty is in residence.