Friday, 20 October 2017

A very strange day on new waters

 Monday (16 Oct) by 8:15 we were on the move again, leaving behind a sleeping Newlands and the lovely Hampton Court Palace. 

It's going to be another warm day as we continue our journey upstream under Molesey Bridge and past the Riverside Hotel
 ... to Molesey Lock still on self service and full so needed to be emptied before we could use it
There is a problem with the lock as you can see from the notice, so I press the button to open the sluices and just the left one rises and I wait for two minutes while nothing happens and then press the same button again.  Ten minutes after starting the operation the gates can be opened and George can bring her in.

In the meantime I wander round the lock taking pictures ...
 The sun coming over the bridge and SR on the lock landing (right)

 Looking towards the weir
 The lock is not even half empty yet.  The green man is watching.

Still Rockin' is now in the lock and it's filling up, fortunately much faster than it emptied.  Once through we stop on the service to empty and fill as necessary and we're on our way again
The scruffy boat moored illegally and probably has no licence that is at the centre of a court procedure with the Environment Agency is still moored for free above the lock; he's been there for months now.

 Passing Platt's Eyot where a house boat is under construction and on the other side of the river another waits for maintenance.  The Islet has a wonderful history going back to the 16th century.

In 1904 John Isaac Thornycroft created a boatyard there and was commissioned by the Admiralty in 1916 to secretly build high-speed torpedo-carrying motor launches.  So it's appropriate that although MTB 208 was not actually built here, it is moored on the island.
 Huge barge also moored at Platt's Eyot

Young rowers are out and about too getting under our feet!
 Just to prove to you what a very warm day it was, lightweight summer clothes and short sleeves!

 Certainly not as bad as being on the canals, but those autumn leaves in the water still play havoc with the prop as we approach Sunbury Lock
This is where we meet new waters (for us anyway).  To the left is Desborough Cut which is straight and leads directly to Shepperton Lock, but today we chose to go the long way round, around Desborough Island as we understand that there are quite a few mooring opportunities on both sides.
These are the first ones in front of us as we turn right.  The mooring notice on the left above is where the little boat is in the photo (a definate 'no'), and the notice on the right are for Thames Visitor Moorings but we don't stop here today as we want to see what else is available.
 It's very pretty round these meandering loops

We know someone who's moored here before and given the pub their patronage for an overnight mooring, but we'll give that one a miss too.

 That'll do us, nice clear signage too

... and a pretty good outlook as well.
George checks the prop via the weed hatch to make sure those pesky leaves have all gone, the river is crystal clear.

It was only 11:15 when we were moored up so we sit in the sunshine with our lunch and a cuppa and watch the world go by
 ... including this Jay who was not at all shy.

Now this is when our world turned strange ...
By 2:30 and the sky has gone dark; we wondered if there was a big storm on the way as the wind had risen considerably. I checked on line and the first thing that came up was a headline in a daily newspaper announcing The End of the World! As you probably already know, this was not the case but the result of hurricane Ophelia, the sand from the Sahara and ash from forest fires in Iberia!
The sky lightened just a little by 3:30 so we walked into Shepperton as we needed bread
 ... the grass has been cut today and the mower has left a maze of leaves.
 A weird sun as we walk

... and a weird sunset too when we return to the boat.

An interesting day all round!

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