Thursday, 13 August 2015

Easy does it

Monday 10th August 2015
Broad Oak Bridge to Ashburton Foot Bridge, Send
1.75 miles, 1 lock

Monty and I headed off to walk to the first lock (well the only lock) of the day - Triggs Lock to find a single hander who was glad of a helping hand.  I was intrigued by the boat names - both past and present.  You could also still see a faint outline of the original name 'The Ledge'.  I just had to ask - The Ledge was, the current owner gathers, was in tribute to Fairport Convention's 1968 song 'Meet on the Ledge'.  Having done a bit of research about 'Meet on the Ledge' I have discovered that the song's title comes from a large, low hanging tree limb on which Richard Thompson used to play as a child, and which he and his friends had dubbed 'The Ledge'. And the current name 'President Wensleydale - the owner likes the cheese, is a fan of Wallace and Grommit and apparently there was a character in the TV children's programme 'Rastamouse' called President Wensley Dale!  Well I did ask!

Now how Boatwif and I missed this gate on our way south I have no idea - we can only assume the lock was open, so we never had to wind the paddles.  Not just two paddles, but six!  Fortunately four are locked.

There they are again - Retirement No Problem - we pulled along side for a chat - one day we will manage to moor in the same place at the same time.

Meg and one of the visiting Labradors were enjoying the morning sun.

As we approached Worsfold flood gates there was a lady busy mowing the grass - it is certainly very neat and tidy.

Something else I missed on the way south - just past the above gates we caught intriguing glimpses of very large garden sculptures - where were they we wondered.

Another miss - this sunken overgrown wooden barge.

Once we had moored and had had lunch we both succumbed to a 'nap' (very unusual for me, so I must have needed it).  When we woke it was action stations - despite cross pins, our stern was on the other side of the cut.  This bit of the River Wey is actually canal and we think people forget how shallow it is, so they don't slow down!  Even the Sea Otter behind us had it's pins moved and they are very light being made of aluminium.  nb Cleddau had to re-pin - they even heard one boat accelerate as they came past!

Fully refreshed and re-pinned we headed off with Monty and decided to see if we could see more of the garden sculptures.  They are all in one very large garden which I would love to be able to walk round.

We then followed a raised footpath - we assumed to keep it above any flooding

Past some unnavigable parts of the river

When it suddenly ended in this large field.  There were paths that have been trodden so we followed one

Sadly it did not go anywhere as it ends in a private estate with no public access.  We re-traced our steps and followed a few more paths before heading back to the boat with a nicely tired dog.

Tuesday 11th August 2015
Ashburton Foot Bridge,  Send to The Anchor, Pyrford
4 miles, 3 locks

As we were preparing to leave this boat came into view
George and Carol
on Still Rockin
They had been moored round the corner and we did stop and pass the time of day with them on the way back from our walk yesterday.

Today's trip was easy and pleasant - past Newark Meadows where we moored on the way south.  I am glad to say that the rubbish left by the fishermen has gone - I got two replies from the National Trust - one immediate to acknowledge my email and one when the job was done.  Now that is what I call service.

Something else I missed going south - Well I did see this farm machinery, but not in time to take a photo.

All three locks were ready for us

Newark Abbey, besides Newark Lock - something else I failed to take a photo of on the way south

We moored outside The Anchor, Pyford - good mooring, but oh so sandy and once it rained - well it was everywhere!

Supplies were running low, so we had lunch in the pub, whilst Monty waited very patiently.  We were already booked in for dinner as we were meeting our brother in law.  So a very easy day for us.

Wednesday 12th August 2015
To Pyrford Marina and then home
Around 120 miles and 3 Motorways!

We pulled pins at about 09:30 and moved just across the river to Pyrford Marina (the picture was taken from our bow from our mooring).  We reported in, then moved across to the service area.  Both boat engines were serviced, a lot of cleaning and some packing was done and we then moved to our moorings for the next two days.  A decision had been made that we should go to our respective homes and attend to some boring 'grown up' things!!

Two hire cars were collected and we headed off around 16:30, to travel, quickly we hoped, along three motorways to get home. What should have taken around 2 hours, took nearer 3.5 hours. I am sorry to say that the M25 did not disappoint (I wish it had!) - I have never seen a sign below 40 before!  The incident - a stranded vehicle on a slip road, but even after we had passed that things did not get a lot better.

We are used to 2, 3 and 4 mph, so maybe we should have been excited to get to 5mph!!

We made it home eventually, the washing has been done, prescriptions collected, doctor visited, hair cut and the boiler has been serviced.  Computers have been updated, electoral roll sorted - shopping will be done this afternoon and we are having dinner with our daughter and her family, so not all boring stuff.  The grass - well we have moles again - see here for the 50 or so we had last summer!. We only have nine this time, but still a nuisance.  Heavy rain was forecast for around 8am today, so Chris was out cutting the grass at 07:15 - it is now 13:30 and there is still no rain!

We are going back to Pyrford tomorrow and the cruise will either resume in the afternoon or on Saturday morning, depending on how time goes.

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