Monday, 31 October 2016

Penultimate cruise

... well for this year anyway!
 Leaving (get that?) Marlow Lock yesterday morning in quite a thick mist
 We've got Still Rockin's headlight and navigation lights on for the first time ... ever!
 Canoeists waiting for us to pass before entering the pea soup!
An hour and half and two locks later we're at our destination on the meadow at Medmenham.

The mist didn't lift all day but that's ok we weren't going anywhere except inside where the fire was lit and we got comfy.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

A family day out!

It was dark, damp, drizzly and raining and not too warm either and we could barely discern Clivedon House through the murk as we left our mooring at about 9:30 yesterday morning
You may remember last time we came this way I posted this picture of Clivedon's Boathouse which was being renovated
... because it was in a really sorry state of repair
 It now looks amazing, a new roof and new paintwork; I quite like the red tiles and the plummy/brown paint.
Flood lines on the boathouse wall show the age of the building.

Contining on to Cookham where we see one of the new le boat hire boats, plenty of fending-off wrapped around it too!

... and the family day out?
... moving three small boats from the lock cut to the local slipway took a bit of doing but worked well in the end.
Lots of different craft on the reach above Clivedon, youngsters learning about steering on the river
... and more experienced rowers out in force
... and a two-man canoe even though this only shows the one in front!

We soon arrived below Marlow Lock where we pulled over, tied up, lit the fire and relaxed once again.

Friday, 28 October 2016

A fab day!

Leaving Dorney this morning ...
 ... and saying cheerio to Sue and Vic once again we set off for Marlow, 10 miles and 4 locks away.
Passing Oakley Court resplendent with virginia creeper 

... and this rather strange 'sculpture'?

Monkey Island ... the lawn is being main-tained but I wonder what will become of the property
 Lovely lock house at Bray, a bit different from the usual Thames Conservancy lock houses.
 Maidenhead was busy with rowers
 ... and I've been wondering what this development was all about, so now I know, a restaurant, residential properties ... and a marina!
 Really lovely to see some flowers still blooming ...
Cosmos, one of my favourites
 ... Nasturtiums 
 ... and Rose of Sharon.
 Through Bray and Maidenhead and those who know us and the Thames they'll know where this is ...
 ... Clivedon ... where we decided that it was such a lovely day both for cruising and/or walking 
... we would pull into one of our very favourite moorings, go for a walk and stay the night ... Marlow will still be there tomorrow!
We thoroughly enjoyed shuffling through the fallen autumn leaves up the hill
... where we came across lots and lots of families partaking of a halloween trail looking for ghosts and ghouls and anything frightening!
 We always enjoy walking on the National Trust land here
 ... where the views never fail to amaze.
Back to Still Rockin', a glass of wine on the stern deck and relax after a fantastic day.

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).