We need to return to Kingston early next week to pick up an Amazon order at the local Post Office
... so at 7:45 yesterday morning we left Hampton Court
... with the early morning sun making those chimneys glow and continued upstream
... where the Hampton Ferry crossed our bows
This is the first time that we've passed the boatyard at Tagg's Island and seen the dock open, it may be useful knowledge to wide beam/nb boaters to know that it's there.
Unusual storage facility on this hopper moored on the end of Tagg's Island
I love the full zoom facility on my camera as I can check on what's happening ahead ... like yesterday to check on the situation at
Which was a good job because boats Sirius and Margaret Ann were moored on the lock landing and getting in and out of the space they'd left would have been awkward to say the least!
Breasted-up Historic working boats Brighton and Nuneaton were waiting to enter the lock as we left
Not noticed the house on D'Oyly Carte Island before and wonder if anyone lives in it these days.
Before the 1890's the island was known as Folly Island until it was purchased by Richard D'Oyly Carte who was the producer of Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas between 1875-1896.
Approaching Shepperton look
... which really is in a beautiful setting
Unusual roof tiles, I think I like them!
Molly in her cruising place, snug as a bug in a rug.
Trying to turn a cruiser into a motor home or maybe a motor home into a cruiser. Whichever ... me thinks it's a bit heavy on the stern!
No Problem XL waiting for deliveries at Staines, we'll see Sue and Vic again at the weekend
Using my camera zoom again as we approach Bell Weir Lock I can see the blue sign through the leaves that denote the lock is on self service so we pull up on the lock landing and I step off to operate the lock.
George and I are both pleased with this arrangement as it means we don't have the bother of the grumpy lock keeper who appears to enjoy thrashing boats about in the lock which has side and gate sluices pushing the boats away from the wall as it ascends. It's ok if it's only you in the lock but if there are others, especially a tupperware boat it can be just a bit fraught attempting to prevent the boats banging into each other.
Well, I went along the landing and up the steps to the lockside and saw that Mr Grumpy was there seeing a cruiser down! Ok, I thought, he mustn't have had time to change the sign over. I returned to Still Rockin' and we waited for the lock to empty and the cruiser to come out, the lock keeper waved us in and that's what we did. It's quite a deep lock and so takes a quite a bit of concentration and effort to reach up the lock wall with the mooring rope on the end of the pole and wrap it around the bollard at the top of the wall and neither of us were expecting Mr Grumpy to come and help. That done, we waited, I looked back at George along the outside of the boat and he was looking at me ... 'did you see where the lockie went?' We couldn't see him anywhere and the lock gates were still open.
I fastened my mooring rope to the cleat at the bow and went through the boat onto the stern deck where I walked carefully along the gunwale trying not to touch the slimy lock wall until I reached the steps and stepped off. Once on the top of the lock I could see that Mr Grumpy was nowhere to be seen and the lock office was empty!
We assume he'd gone to lunch and had changed the sign to self service whilst letting the cruiser down, but why, why on earth didn't he indicate to us that we needed to operate the lock when he waved us in instead of leaving us deep in the lock with the gates open and no way of easily remedying the situation. He would have known it would be difficult for us to sort it out but perhaps that's why he did it.
We've had several encounters with this unpleasant man, he's ignorant, positively rude and couldn't care less about his customers. I've said it before and I'll say it again ... if he doesn't like his job he should do us all a favour and find another one. Rant over but I'm still fuming!
It was 1:45 when we reached our destination where there were spaces galore. We'll spend a few days here at Runnymede before retracing our steps once again to Kingston for that delivery.