Saturday, 13 October 2018

Moving on from Runnymede ...

We woke up early on Monday (Oct 8th); the river had dropped about 6" and Still Rockin' was slightly tipped, her bottom resting on the bottom of the Thames.  We're leaving today anyway so just before 8:30 it was time to let go the ropes ... not as easy as it sounds as you will see in the photos above.  The lines are tight and well away from the bank and the boat in front is very close, we need to be careful.

Pulling away from our mooring in front of the cruiser you can see that it's moored right in the middle of the site and as I said when we arrived I wished that he'd had the courtesy to move back to allow us to moor up better.
We're continuing our journey downstream ... heading into the rising sun as we approach the bend and Egham

Arriving at Bell Weir Lock and were surprised and pleased to see that the gates were open as it was still on self service.  George dropped me off so that I could go up to the lock to see what was happening and found a small (traditional) rowing boat.  The couple lived on a small island not far away and were off to have breakfast in Staines!  I suggested that he returned to his boat while I closed the gates and sluices after Still Rockin' was in.  Luckily I didn't need to close up afterwards as there was a narrowboat waiting to come up.
Looking back upstream from Bell Weir Lock
A German ex-police boat for sale if anyone is interested!
Staines Parish Church of St Peter with it's distinctive steeple ...

were the parakeets looked as if they were nesting inside!

Changing lanes as we approach Penton Hook Lock ...
and rounding the bend as we approach the M4 motorway bridge ...
and Chertsey Lock with the pretty Chertsey Bridge beyond.  Although it's on self-service (see the blue sign on the left?) I can see someone on the lock control, it looks like an EA officer, there must be a boat in the lock coming up.
To our right we can see a Le Boat (hire craft) on the other side of the weir and couldn't understand why he was there ... had he thought that he could by-pass the lock?
George is patiently waiting as the Tug and hopper leave the lock, the EA appear to be working on the weir here.
As I'm letting Still Rockin' down the lock a narrowboat arrives and ties up on the water point (right) and two Le Boats arrive from round the weir stream and tie up on the left so I indicate to George that I'll descend the steps in the lock and re-board as there is now no room for him to pull over and pick me up outside the lock.
A very sociable looking galleon style house boat ...

and a rather nice dutch barge for sale

A near miss!
Plenty of mooring space at Spellthorne if we need it, but hopefully we'll find what we want a little further on

End of garden work going on here using the river to supply access and we can see that there is also lots of space for us outside Thames Court Hotel ... brilliant!
As we step off the boat to moor up a man asks how long we'll be staying and George tells him 'overnight'.  He is the operator of a tug moored at the end asks us if we'd be kind enough to move right to the end of the moorings as he needed the space to take a delivery later, so we moved further along and he brought his tug to where we had originally intended to moor.

The Huf Haus across the river looks to be blending in a bit more with the mature trees in front but work is still ongoing ... maybe a slipway?
We're both a bit tired and cold and I've still got a rotten cold and sore throat so we decide to go to the pub for dinner (at lunch time) to save cooking later.

A couple of hours later the delivery arrives ...

the guy with the tug has brought the hopper from which the men were working at the end of the garden back to the wharf to unload.
At 5pm hotel boat Magna Carta arrives and backs in to Shepperton Lock moorings for the night
The evening sun disappearing over the river.

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