Well we are now well into the second part of our Summer cruise.
At Lechlade (after a brief return home), we returned to Cormorant II in rain of Biblical proportions, we enjoyed a very pleasant evening with Mo and Tony observing the Club traditions of Pimms (or equivalent) food, friendship and much laughter.
Saturday June 11th saw us wave cheerio to our friends Carole and Andy, then with Mo and Mike (our fellow Club Members, travelling companions and good friends), in NB ‘The Great Escape,’ we made our way to the true head of Thames Navigation at Inglesham, where 4C’s rules (I made it up there and then) only allow turning in the mouth of the Thames and Severn Canal!
Oh to be able to exit there from Saul, just 37 miles and not the 174 we had just travelled!
Now downstream and onwards to London. Our first stop was just about an hour away at Kelmscott Manor. We had a fascinating visit there, the one-time summer home of William Morris.
These days of self-imposed short cruising time, rain dodging before the start or after the day’s travel then became the norm as travel continued downriver through the lovely quiet countryside. Moorings are often problematic on the Thames it we always managed to find somewhere. The cost varies, sometimes free, but usually between £4.00 and £10:00, though one night was £15:00!!!!
All the rainfall had swelled the river a bit, and most days we were at just above tickover – yet still making about 5mph or more! In Oxford, a violent thunderstorm made us glad of our Faraday cage! More rain dodging and Abingdon comes – and goes, while by some miracle, we stay dry.
At Goring on Thames, we grab the last 2 moorings – at 13:00 hrs! A visit to the “Miller of Mansfield”, a nice little pub with good beer too. Another NB ‘Wombat 2’ was looking for a mooring so we get them breasted up to C2. Their mooring is in Stafford Boat club, just a few berths from Mo and Mike!
After a long day trying to get to Henley to meet Neil and Polly and their new Dutch Barge MicMac, we moored on a dreadful EA mooring, just glad to stop. Shortly after arrival, it rained again, and the water dripping from the trees drove me mad! Next morning, we left to find Polly and Neil, and after an hour, in the rain, down the Henley rowing course, we found them. We then had a great afternoon and evening together; even better when Mike and Mo braved the sunshine and moored alongside us!
Next, we headed for Windsor, still zooming along on the current, with fierce weir streams at lock exits, speed over 6mph queues of plastic boats and now a new hazard of trip boats!
Eventually, we made Windsor, turned upstream to moor then spent a second evening on board MicMac for a BBQ feast, fun and great company.
Today we have largely idled away, though we had a huge shopping expedition to Waitrose.
That’s all for now folks, shortly a trip down the Wey and Arun.
Bob & Lynn Hallam