Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Mystery Craft, Fifth Form Nants, a Duck and a Hurricane

After our quick trip home we made the decision to stay one more night in the Marina leaving nb Cleddau and crew to move on alone.  We were later back than they were and had jobs to do - well that is our excuse rather than we did not want to get wet!

Saturday 15th August 2015
Pyford Marina to Fiveways Weybridge
2.75 miles, 4 locks

The day dawned dry bright and sunny, but before we left the marina Monty had to say goodbye to two new friends - a collie senior citizen who was happy to watch

the youngsters playing.  Suki is an 18 month old GSD who is gorgeous and  a very good girl.  Sadly for Monty, where we live there is a GSD who is very aggressive to him and he had a fear of all GSDs.  When he first saw Suki he cowered and ran, but by the time we left they were playing very happily together.

This is for one of our grandsons - we were moored opposite this boat in the marina

We met up with nb Apfelkorn 2 at the first lock, but at the second (Coxes lock) they went into it with a cruiser, which meant it was our first solo broad lock, so Chris had to do some work!!

The height of this mill building caught my eye.  With thanks to  Boatwif's blog I have learnt that this is the tallest non-ecclesiastical/civic building in the South-East of England outside of London pre-dating about 1880.

Go round to the side and you can see it is very deep.

We caught up with nb Apfelkorn at the next lock as the cruiser had moored up and we continued with them to Thames lock and to the end of the River Wey.  Whilst waiting to go into Thames lock two boats emerged coming onto the River Wey.  I was a bit slow with the camera, but the first was nb Yarwood and the other

nb What a Lark, both fellow bloggers.

 We said farewell to nb Apfelkorn as we entered the River Thames.  The Wey was over for us.  We loved it and will be back again one day.

As we were mooring up at Fiveways for the night.  Moorings were scarce, but as we hovered a boat moved off and we moved in!

We took the 'Official Thames Path Ferry' across to the other side to "Nauticalia".  We got a couple of things we wanted for the boat, but in the main they sold mostly 'fancy goods' with a nautical theme.

This was us from the other side of the river - the cruiser in front moored after we did!

We took the ferry back and went for a walk along Desborough Cut - long and straight and not very interesting, but Monty was happy.

We did come across this man paddling his board oblivious to all around him.

Sunday 16th August 2015
Weybridge to Runnymede
8 miles, 4 locks

As we left in the morning the canoes were busy on the slalom course

Last year we saw a travelling mynah bird on one boat and an owl on another - this year is is a parakeet.

Second lock of the day (Penton Hook) and we caught up with Apfelkorn 2 again

Then we spotted - well what was it?  It looked like a yellow submarine from a distance, but with heads - it was a mystery.

It turned out to be a floating hot tub!!  Mr Google has revealed that it started at Runnymede Hotel and is available for hire by hotel guests at weekends and to anyone in the week.  A mere £120 for one hour for six people.  What we want to know is how this chap found five lovely lasses to share with?

These are the robes left for the hot tub users when they return!  The most 'surprising' bit of info on the website is that the craft does not go into locks!!

 Runnymede park was very busy with many people enjoying a wonderful summer Sunday afternoon.

We had thought we might moor just past Bell Weir lock, but the moorings were all full - we sailed on past nb Apfelkorn.

Now we all go aground occasionally, but how often do we request a crew member to climb overboard to push us off?!  They managed to get him back, so all was well.

 The moorings at Runnymede were full, so we went past to wind (turn round) just to have another look, however as we decided to wind there were, inevitably, boats everywhere!

Back we went and as we went past, in our opinion, the prime spot where a big cruiser was moored, out of the corner of my eye I spotted the lady had a rope in her hand.  We reversed - our luck was in, they were indeed going.  It is in a cul de sac on the Thames Path, so no passing footfall, so very private.  As we wanted to be there for two nights, it was perfect.

We had a quiet day on Monday with some domestics in the morning a lovely walk in the afternoon.

Tuesday 18th August 2015
Runnymede to Windsor via Boveney Lock
9 miles, 2 locks

I took this shot as we moved away from our lovely mooring at Runnymede.  You do have to pay, but to us, it was worth the money and we consider ourselves lucky to get it.  The young man who came to collect our fees was very friendly and quite chatty.

Today we were just going to Windsor as we are due to meet friends here tomorrow, however, we needed water and services, so went on to Boveney Lock and then went back to Windsor.  Mind what a difference a day makes - shorts yesterday and winter coat and gloves today.  The sun stayed hidden all day and it was really chilly at the helm.

We had to stop after Romney lock as there was something round the prop - fishing twine.  Whilst there I noticed this boat that we had seen on the Wey and I did wonder who 'Mrs Woman' is?  Is the owner hedging his bets in case he changes one wife for another??

 There was a queue for water at Boveney lock, so Monty and I left Chris to it and went for a walk back along the Thames Way towards Windsor.  My eye was caught by this large block of stone

It states 'This bathing place of Athens was presented to Eton College by Hiatt C Baker in memory of his son John Lionel Baker a brilliant swimmer who spent here many of his happiest hours of his boyhood.  He was killed in a flying accident in August 1917 whilst a member of The School.'

I went round to the other side of the bench to look at the water and found these wonderful rules from 1921 relating to 'Fifth Form Nants'! The only way I could take this picture was to sit on the bench and lean over and under to get the shot.  Now whoever said that southerners keep themselves to themselves did not come across the lady cyclist who went past as I was leaning at such an oblique angle - she stopped her bike and came back to enquire if I was all right.  Her concern was appreciated - I did discover that she had no idea the memorial was there despite cycling past many times, so I hope I repaid her concern with new knowledge.

When we finally went past in the boat you can see how far the drop is to the water which is very shallow - I can only assume there might have been ladders when 'the boys' swam here with or without their clothes!

So back to Windsor and we found a mooring near Alexandra Gardens - good access to the town and just a few minutes walk from a car park for our friends tomorrow.

And the duck - it is one of these - my daughter in law, eldest granddaughter and I went on one of these in London before the two accidents that occurred last year, one in Liverpool and one in London.  Presumably they have a clean bill of health again.

And so to a very fleeting visit to Windsor - a place we have visited before, so we were happy to just pop in to find some supplies.  First past a Jubilee fountain.

 A maze with great instructions for some good games.

Wonderful floral displays

A glimpse of the Castle with Queen Victoria looking on

Past the station which also has a range of shops

Past the Town Hall, built by Wren in 1689-90 after a design by Sir Thomas Fitch, which has the usual open ground floor.

The front is supported by external columns with four internal ones supporting the ceiling which, however,

Stop two inches short - a private joke of the architect's at the expense of the doubting mayor

How appropriate to be moored within sight of a full size replica of a Hawker Hurricane on this day when there was a flypast of Hurricanes and Spitfires to commemorate the longest and "hardest" day of the Battle of Britain 75 years ago.  The designer of the Hurricane, Sydney Camm attended the Royal Free School in Bachelors Acre, Windsor. He was a keen model aircraft designer who sold his wares to the boys at Eton College, delivered under the cover of darkness to avoid detection!  He is recognised as being one of the most prolific aircraft designers of all time.

Tomorrow we are expecting visitors who have promised to bring the sun.  The weatherman has just confirmed that they may be right, but at present it is raining, so we shall see. We will also meet up with nb Cleddau tomorrow here in Windsor for our joint cruise to continue.

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