Sunday, 14 October 2018

An unusual day ... to say the least!

Shepperton sunrise at 7am on Tuesday (9th) and a 'mirror' river promises a good day
I've walked to Shepperton Lock to set the lock as George leaves our Thames Court mooring of last night ... and it's still only 7:45!

At 8:30 as we approach Sunbury we could see a boat leaving the Environment Agency's dock ...
and that he was towing something ... 
out came a hopper with what looked like a dredger on it ...
and behind that came an empty hopper.   
We had to slow down to almost tick-over as we followed them towards Sunbury Lock ...
passing the weir and the spire of St Mary's Church ...
and entering the lock cut

Fortunately Sunbury lock is long enough to fit in all three vessels and ...
the EA officer in charge was able to change the lock setting so that it operated more quickly, changing it back to self-service mode before leaving.
I asked the officer what was going on and he explained that they were going to remove abandoned/sunken boats from the reach below.  The dredger/grabber would lift and crush the boats and then put them into the what is now the empty hopper.  

The short video above shows them leaving Sunbury Lock.
It took about 15 minutes to get the boats through and now it's our turn

So these wrecks may be gone by the time we come back upstream

The convoy of salvage boats have pulled into the bank opposite Platts Ait ...
and we've cruised past the island on the other side, here looking back we've come down the left-hand side.  

By this time George and I are in t-shirts and jeans it is so warm for mid-October!
The church of St Mary at Sunbury is mainly Victorian and was extensively restored in 1972 and has a ring of six bells.  In 1859 Charles Dickens writes about Sunbury church in 'Oliver Twist' chapter 21
The rather posh house and sunroom next door to Dave Gilmour's recording studio, house boat Astoria.  Click here to see 'Three men in a boat' with Dave on Astoria.

The slum boats are now all moored above Moseley Lock at Hampton Court and although one of them appears to have been smartened up with a fresh coat of white paint, they are still moored and trading illegally. 

Looking towards Moseley Lock ... what a beautiful day!

This plank on the weir's safety barrier was being fixed back in position in May, they perhaps didn't make a very good job of it!
Leaving the lock ...

and approaching tonight's mooring ... will there be space?

Wow! and loads of space!

Hampton Court Palace moorings ... with brilliant views all around us

We had a bit of trouble trying to register on the mooring site ... this was the information sign on the wall, but when George went to the 'where2moor' site it didn't recognise where we were even using the postcode shown.  We knew one of the boaters moored here so George asked their advice and was told that this is a Parkonomy mooring and has nothing to do with 'where2moor'.  We tried that and were able to book in.
After lunch we had a short walk around the Palace gardens

The Rose Garden is my favourite

Pomegranates in the Kitchen Garden ... I didn't even know that they grew in this country!

When we returned to Still Rockin' we sat in the warm sunshine on the deck ... long may this weather continue ... I'm sure you'll all agree (?)


Herbie Neil said...

That’s what I call A good day out.


Carol said...

Thanks Neil, for both your comments!