Hedgerow cuttings before we left Marlow
When we left Marlow visitor moorings at 9am this morning we saw a canoe leave the lock and leave the gates open for us. Once again the sign on the lock is wrong ... there is no lock keeper on duty at the moment.
George drops me off and I close the gates and sluices once he's in and open the top sluices. The flow of water is very strong into the lock but even so it takes about 10 minutes for the lock to fill.
In the meantime I check on the apple tree ... the fruits are coming along nicely ... perhaps we'll be back this way in September and maybe beg a few from the lockie!
George has picked me up from the lock side and we head off towards ...
Marlow suspension bridge from where we can see that there are no boats on these moorings ...
oops ... spoke too soon ... there's just the one!
Barge Angela Dawn has pulled out and follow us
Our next lock is Temple and I can see from our Thames information booklet that this lock is 17'11" wide and 134'7" long ... we're 62.5' and Angela Dawn can't be much longer ... will we both fit in?
Approaching Temple Lock ... the self-service sign is up and the gate is already open ...
Oh, there's the lockie now, he's just changed the sign over and the volunteer has waved us in ... George has been told to go to the end and the lock keeper comes round to the left to take my bow rope up to the very top bollard ... did we both fit in? We did, but it was a very tight squeeze and George had to put the engine back on to keep Still Rockin' from going back too far and hitting Angela Dawn's bow.
Hurley Lock is next and as you'll see from our information booklet this lock is 5' shorter than Temple and we know that Angela Dawn will not fit in there with us.
The sign on Hurley Lock said self-service and we saw a chap with a light blue EA top on, but as we've proved over the last few days we can't rely on those signs, so George drops me off and goes into the lock and I walk up and check with the volunteer lockie that he will take over ... 'sorry, no, I'm here doing a health and safety check' ... no problem. As I closed the tail gates and dropped the sluices the captain on Angela Dawn came up and offered to see us through ... brilliant.
I had a chat to the health and safety guy and asked if they checked the pathways from the lock landings to the lock as some are very overgrown and dangerous to boat crews ... Romney coming upstream being a bad one with brambles reaching over at head height and nettles to catch bare legs in the summer. He said that his team does ... I asked him if he would suggest at the next meeting I presume they have, that these pathways are included in the checks.
We had to slow right down for the swan family to move away from the front of Still Rockin' when we stopped above the lock to get rid of our rubbish
Paddle boarders and their pooches having fun.
The Thames gets a bit bendy here just where you'll expect to see an oncoming boat ... we had two in fact!
George says he must take off this panel to see if a lose wire is causing the rev counter to give intermittent false readings ... we were actually cruising at about 1500!
Passing the Abbey which now has a children's playground area ...
and a wild water swimmer as we approach our destination ...
Curious sheep and lambs ...
wide water and good views too
This little family nearly got squashed as we came in to moor but a few broken biscuits got them out of danger ...
and they came back for more later ... wholemeal bread this time ... Mum seems to have a disfigured beak.
The weather is set to change tomorrow ... very heavy prolonged rain and strong winds are forecast so we'll stay here for the weekend and baton down the hatches as they say.