Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Unexpected move and visitors

Whilst moored at Weybridge yesterday we took the ferry over the river to see if the Thames Court allowed dogs inside and what time the ferry finished for the day.  Yes dogs are welcome in the bar area but the ferry finished at 6pm and that was too early, so we decided to move the boat up Shepparton Lock and moor outside the pub as 10 minutes before the moorings were empty.  And yes you know what happened, by the time we’d readied Still Rockin’ turned towards the lock and ascended the moorings were full! 
We continued on for a short distance and came to the next moorings which were empty so that was us!
 Early evening we walked to the pub where it was warm enough to sit outside ...
 … and had a very tasty lamb dish.
I’d spoken to Sue earlier to find out where they were and the decision was made that we’d meet up today at our mooring and spend a couple of days together before we continue up the Thames and she and Vic will enter the River Wey and cruise onto the Basingstoke Canal on Friday.

So we’ve spent a great afternoon together on Still Rockin' and enjoyed a bbq this evening. Tomorrow we’re of to the pub for lunch and later onto No Problem for nibbles, wine and a game of cards.  Looking forward to that; it’s great to meet up again.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Up river

 We left our mooring at Hampton Court yesterday morning just after 9.  The forecast was for clouds today and there were certainly plenty of them!

Molesey Lock was on self-service but that was no problem; we exited the lock and pulled over to use the services.
 We were soon once again passing Dave Gillmore’s (Pink Floyd) recording studio.  The same guy was cleaning as usual but at least today he acknowledged us with a wave and a smile!
 Approaching the outskirts of Sunbury
 Albino, mixed race or hybrid!
 Sunbury Lock also on self-service but this time operated by the tiny cruiser who was first in
 … a bit of a tight fit for all of us.
 Keeping away from the weir edge, there was a lot of fresh going over.
 Environment Agency Depot, everything is on a much larger scale than we see on the canals.
Lots and lots of youngsters out rowing above Sunbury, we’d just passed some youngsters lined up on the sailing club wharf for what appeared to be their first time in small ‘racing’ type rowboats with outriggers.  The first two were in their boats but were soon wobbling and tipped into the water, poor things, none of them were wearing life jackets.
Then we came across more learners … these were all over the place.  The nb (Ragtag) in front of us was taking avoiding action but they still didn’t see us coming until late - as we passed I pointed out to them that they need to watch our for other river users and that a boat of 34 tonnes does not stop very quickly!

Soon after the heavens opened on us and although the canopy was up we had wound up the front section and the rain came in horizontally but by the time we’d donned our waterproofs it had stopped!

We turned left before Shepparton Lock hoping for a mooring space on the Weybridge visitor moorings - were so lucky - there was no-one there at all.  This will do us for a couple of days.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Gardens, river and speeding trip boats

We took advantage of a break in the rain to get off Still Rockin’ and stretch our legs
… around Hampton Court’s Kitchen Garden
 … to look at what the future holds at the Court
… and the fantastically decorated chimneys

We usually love to moor here, we love the palace and gardens and Home Park for walking Molly, but we shall be glad to leave tomorrow … the reason ...

These trip boats, all belonging to the Turks company have been plying their trade as usual up and down past Hampton Court, but over the past few days they have all created so much wake that it has literally ‘banged’ the boat into the concrete edge of the mooring as it approached and left the length of Still Rockin’ actually bursting the fenders.  The boats have certainly been travelling faster than the supposed limit of 5mph without slowing down past moored boats even though they pull into their halt a few hundred yards away.  We’ve sent an e-mail of complaint to the company and will also report the incidents to the Environment Agency.  We shall certainly think twice before mooring here again during the busy summer months.

Deer in Home Park

Making the most of the sunshine on Friday we went for walk number two
The deer are not at all perturbed by the golfers

Saturday, 25 July 2015

The Palace gardens

 Beech trees and a Yew hedge give a tantalising glimpse of Hampton Court Palace
 Rose John Clare “Auscent'
Beautiful colours and scents

Rose Geoff Hamilton

Wonderfully carved plaques to commemorate the restoration of the Royal Kitchen Garden
 Traditional Herb Garden

Deck Chairs for the use of - and they’re free to sit a while!
After an ice cream it’s time to head back to Still Rockin’ - another walk this afternoon though.