Yesterday we left our mooring at Hampton Court and were soon turning off onto the River Wey (at Weybridge surprisingly!).
Sharing with nb ‘Wee Dram’ (with single boater Paul) we got through the stop lock and were then helped through the first (Thames) lock by the lock keeper, collected our ‘special’ windlass (which is the same as ours but more awkward to use!) and paid our £64 for the week, eight pounds less than normal as we’re National Trust members. After Thames lock (pictured in the distance) we shared the next few locks with ‘Wee Dram’, where Paul was very helpful to us, testing our bow thruster battery as it was showing signs of giving up the ghost after only a week! Paul also tested the charging system and it seems to be working, so we arranged for a replacement battery form the Wokingham branch of the original supplier (delivery promised for tomorrow in Send)
Here we are at Coxes Lock with the wonderfully restored Coxes Mill in the background.
Unusual boats crop up now and then and they’re often worth recording.
Passing the entrance to the Basingstoke Canal.
Quite a lot of the river so far is lined with rhododendrons and bamboo.
The wildlife is in abundance – we’ve seen three Jays and an American Mink (!) in the first day. Here, this lovely old jack heron stands guard.
From the lock of the same name, Newark Abby stands proud in the next field.
Just after Newark New Bridge we found our mooring for the night. The very strong wind was straining our front and back ropes and we had heavy rain for the rest of the evening (luckily we managed to get settled in before it started.
Today we moved the very short distance to moor outside the New Inn at Send where we’d arranged to meet friends Maddie and Ivy, who’d travelled form Selsey, to see us for the day. We had a really good lunch in the New Inn (joined by a couple of Maddie’s family) and finished with lemon torte and coffee on ‘Chance’. As the weather improved during the afternoon, and the sun showed itself occasionally, we went for a little jaunt down the river and back. PS. The replacement battery turned up as soon as we got moored in the morning!
Maddie, Ivy and Doug enjoying a sunny period.
Our jaunt included Papercourt Lock…………
………after which James winded at the point where the cut joins the river again – always a bit awkward with the river flow. Doug found it easier to stay at the lock and wait for our return – hence the pic. The bullocks weren’t very interested in James’ skilful manoeuvre.
‘Chance’ looks a lot longer than its 58 feet as we enter back into the lock.
After we got back to Send and had tea and cake on board ‘Chance’, we said goodbye to Maddie and Ivy having had a great day with them. Thank you both for making the trip to see us.
We moved a short distance from the pub moorings and found this idyllic setting for tonight. We’ve seen two boats on the move today – it’s incredibly quiet on the navigation at the moment. Perhaps if the National Trust reduced the charge to £40 / week there might be more takers.