This Month's Totals and Average
108.09 miles 59 locks 52.20 hrs 3.20 lmph

  August 2017

Thursday 31st August ~ Brentford to Bull's Bridge (en route to central London)

Lovely sunny morning, such an improvement on yesterday. Went to the CRT shower-block for showers (currently have a slight technical problem with ours). Moved off mid-morning bound for Bull's Bridge then Perivale. Noted "Rhoda May II" also pulling off for the services (they had been let loose from Teddington at the same time as us). Headed round to Clitheroe's Lock (full), then on to Osterley Lock (full). Found a top gate open and top paddles up. Corrected, and ascended. Just as we were ready to leave, noted "Rhoda May II" had caught us up so helped them up and moved on together for the Hanwell Flight. Ascended the flight together, great chatting with Mark & Ann in the locks, and much easier with the two boats. The whole flight (8 locks), unfortunately, was against us, with nothing coming down until Hanwell Top Lock. Got a large "bladeful" in the tail of the lock so a quick trip down the weed-hatch was called for. Volunteer lock-keeper on duty at Norwood Top Lock. Couple of short sharp showers of rain passed over. Continued, with lunch on the move, to Bull's Bridge where "catering" suddenly needed something at Tesco, so pulled in ahead of "Rhoda May II", just at the water point.

When "catering" returned, discussed the time and original plan, and elected to stay put. Remained sunny for the rest of the day. Ann dropped round late afternoon until dinnertime, then just finished eating and ready to connect to son's family on Skype®, when Libby from the boat four behind turned up - she had broken down on the tidal Thames and been towed to safety. We had helped her get moored and found she was another lover of teddies. She stayed until nearly bedtime.

5.19 miles 10 locks 4.79 hrs 3.17 lmph

Wednesday 30th August ~ Kingston-on Thames to Brentford (en route to central London)

After a fairly quiet night, up early (earlier than normal, anyway). Much cooler today, and overcast. Quick breakfast and let go for the run round to Teddington. Arrived just after 08:30 and were taken in, and down, immediately. Let loose on the tidal section of the Thames, we made good time down past Richmond to Brentford. Uneventful trip, with a fairly easy turn in to Thames Lock (tidal flow hadn't built up very much). Met by an open lockgate (change from last time we were here, when we waited over 30 minutes on a falling tide for the lock-keeper to arrive!) and we were taken up immediately by very friendly CRT staff. Headed round to the Gauging Locks where the same happened. Stopped at the services berth by the CRT office for the usual things, then moved up for an overnight berth. Rain had set in by this stage.

Lunch, then went for short walk along Brentford High Street. Oyster Cards topped up, and haircut obtained. Returned to "Paws" for a quiet afternoon. Rain non-stop all afternoon, although it did die out early evening.

7.93 miles 3 locks 2.33 hrs 4.70 lmph

Tuesday 29th August ~ Walton-on-Thames to Kingston-on Thames, via D'Oyly Carte Island (en route to central London)

Surprisingly quiet night considering we were right next to a pub but, since it was the last day of the holiday weekend, we think everyone went home early - the place was deserted by 22:00. Very humid night. On the move fairly quickly, and decided that we would do a circumnavigation of D'Oyly Carte Island before moving onward. Let go and headed upstream, taking the 'river' route to the north of the island - very picturesque and tranquil. Came out again just south of Shepperton Junction and returned south again via the Desborough Cut. Passed last night's mooring and continued out of Walton. Descended Sunbury Lock and continued for Molesey Lock. As we entered the lock cut, we noted an under-powered 'bathtub' with a person in the water right next to the weir. There was a large cruiser who was making no allowance, may not have seen them, and had no intention of making allowance or giving assistance. We moved over to get a rope to the 'casualty' but they managed to get the person aboard and clear of the weir. The cruiser, meantime, complained I was in their way and refused to back up. We eventually manoeuvred clear of each other and continued on our respective ways - neither party happy. Descended Molesey Lock with the hope of a mooring at Hampton Court Palace for a walk in the grounds and then overnight - none to be had so continued on to Kingston-on-Thames. Found a mooring on the west side (same charges as EA moorings, but operated by Historic Royal Palaces).

Lunch on arrival, then a quiet afternoon before the tidal transit first thing tomorrow morning.

10.67 miles 2 locks 3.66 hrs 3.46 lmph

Monday 28th August ~ Shepperton to Walton-on-Thames (en route to central London)

After another very quiet night at that mooring, another sunny morning dawned. Took our time getting on the move as we knew we only had a short run to our next planned overnight. Left the berth mid-morning and headed downstream again to Shepperton Lock. Descended then headed along the Desborough Cut to Walton-on-Thames. We had hoped to get a mooring along the towpath just upstream of the pub but, unfortunately, there were no spaces. 'Catering' said she needed to get something at Sainsbury's and we found a space (still under the EA mooring) right outside the "Anglers" pub. Moored with the intention of getting the shopping then, hopefully, getting a better mooring for the night.

Had lunch on return from shopping, but no changes in the boats on the towpath section. Eventually decided that if we moved we would lose our space, and may not get another, so elected to just stay put. Remained hot again all afternoon.

2.16 miles 1 locks 1.13 hrs 2.79 lmph

Sunday 27th August ~ Weybridge to Shepperton (en route to central London)

Sun streaming in through the portholes by 06:00. Up promptly, and on the go just as another two boats came past. Descended Town Lock with one and continued to Thames Lock. Descended alongside the same boat, with the aid of the lock-keepers and moved round to the Pound Lock mooring (doubling as a water point). The other boat cleared the lock while we took water. The boat tailing came down through Thames Lock as we finished and we exited together. Crossed the wide area, slaloming between skulls, safety boats, fishing boats, and two swimmers! Obviously off the country lane and back to the motorway! Turned left into Shepperton Lock and ascended. Cleared the loo as we left, then moved round to Dockett Eddy mooring for the remainder of the day.

Just clearing lunch when the fuelboat "Merchant" came past so topped up. Remained very hot the whole day. Checked our planning for the next few days. Very busy on the river - probably the bank holiday weekend to blame (...but its good weather; how can that be??)

1.90 miles 3 locks 1.78 hrs 2.75 lmph

Saturday 26th August ~ Weybridge (en route to central London)

Plenty of tawny owls around overnight - heard both male and females calling. Lazy start to day, knowing we had the chemist in the afternoon. Very pleasant surprise as we looked out the side door - kingfisher sitting on a reed on the opposite bank (unfortunately flew off before I could get the camera). Very quiet morning doing IT maintenance.

Went into town after lunch to collect prescription, and intended to get haircut but could only find unisex salons and high-end hairdressers (no old-fashioned barber) so went without. 'Cruise Director' decided we would stay a 2nd night rather than risk no mooring on the Thames. Very hot afternoon with strong sun and no breeze.

Friday 25th August ~ Pyrford to Weybridge (en route to central London)

Beautiful cool, fresh morning, with sun through a layer of thin cloud. Took our time getting away, but on the move by mid-morning. Continued towards the Thames, through Byfleet, and past the end of the Basingstoke Canal at Woodham Junction. Descended through New Haw and Coxes Locks to Town Lock, mooring just above for lunch.

Walk into Weybridge in the afternoon for stores, mail and Amazon parcel. Mail contained my prescription, but the chemist didn't have the stuff in - will have to go back in again tomorrow after 12:00.

3.76 miles 2 locks 1.73 hrs 3.32 lmph

Thursday 24th August ~ Send to Pyrford (en route to central London)

Sun streaming in at 06:00, but had gone behind light cloud by breakfast time. Set off again downstream, passing through the Worsfold floodgates and the town of Send. Continued down Papercourt and Newark Locks (noting the old Priory at Newark ) then through the Walsham floodgates. Sun had come out again during the morning, making for a beautiful run on the river sections. Arrived at Pyrford Lock and stopped for services above the lock.

Descended the lock and moored at the end of the piled section past the pub. Lunch aboard, then routine duties for the afternoon. Dinner out at The Anchor , followed by a Skype® call with son and family (a few wee niggles to iron out from our first real use, but generally worked well).

4.42 miles 3 locks 2.25 hrs 3.30 lmph

Wednesday 23rd August ~ Guildford (Shalford Meadows) to Send (en route to central London)

Still humid this morning, with a dampness in the air. Went for a walk around the town, including shops and castle grounds. Pat also visited museum before we both returned to "Paws" for late lunch. Sun breaking through.

Let go after lunch and headed back downstream, through the town and descended Millmead Lock - very busy. Continued onto the broader river section. Descended Stoke, Bower's and Trigg's Locks, all with someone coming up, taking us to the meadows south of Send where we moored for the night. Sunny afternoon, but cloud increasing by the time we moored. Tawny owls heard hooting after dark.

6.17 miles 4 locks 3.34 hrs 3.04 lmph

Tuesday 22nd August ~ Guildford (Shalford Meadows) (en route to central London)

Up promptly and out straight after breakfast. Day out at RHS Wisley . Initially quite dull, and rather humid, but no precipitation. Took the bus from Guildford bus station to the end of the Wisley road. Pleased to find a discount for travelling there by bus - just produce your bus ticket to get a "green" reduction of £4.00 on standard adult price. Whilst it was rather late in the season for a lot of colour, we still had a great day, learning a lot, particularly in the herb garden. The local great tits have obviously realised they can get a free meal at the café, some nearly sitting on the tables! Sun starting to break through by late afternoon.

Monday 21st August ~ Guildford (Dapdune) to Godalming, and return to Guildford (Shalford Meadows)

Rain continued through the night, not very heavy, and dying to a light drizzle by breakfast. Got under way and headed through the town, initially with the backs of offices and industrial units and under the many bridges spanning the river. Ascended Millmead Lock and headed out past the meadows, and the twisted section south of them. The drizzle had completely stopped by this time. Continued up through St Catherine's Lock and under the very low Broadford Road bridge  which takes the A248 over the river. With one eye on river levels now, continued past the junction with the (now derelict) Wey & Arun Junction Canal, and up through Unstead Lock towards Godalming. Ascended the final lock, Catteshall Lock, on the outskirts of Godalming and headed into the town. Edged past the final winding hole to see if there were any moorings before the head of navigation, but found none. Reversed to the winding hole at the Wharf, turned and stopped for services (allowing 'catering' to get into Sainsbury's, canalside. With the selection of banking offered, we elected to simply return to Guildford.

With lunch on the move, headed back down the three locks to the meadows. Beautiful scenic run to Godalming and back - a little disappointed not to have had a walk round town, but now safe in the knowledge we could not get trapped above the bridge with rising river levels. Beautiful mooring at the meadows, with a plan set up for the next couple of days.

8.85 miles 7 locks 4.98 hrs 3.18 lmph

Sunday 20th August ~ Guildford (Dapdune)

Beautiful mooring, so quiet. Wind had died overnight and we woke to another sunny morning. Walked into town for the service at St Mary's - lovely service, most welcoming congregation. Ended up chatting for longer than planned before returning to "Paws" for lunch. Just ready to set off, when a family stopped to ask about our boat. This prompted others, and we ended up doing imprompu tours till mid-afternoon. Went to the National Trust office and asked if there was any chance we could stay over another night - they were most accommodating. Welcomed other visitors and chatted until nearly dinner time. Rain arrived just after dinner and continued into the night.

Saturday 19th August ~ Send to Guildford (Dapdune)

Nice sunny morning again, although the wind had picked up a little. Took our time getting going, then continued upstream around the side of Send. Passed through the Worsfold floodgates out onto another river section (more open, wider and deeper than the canal sections) to arrive at our first lock of the day, Trigg's Lock. The river section continued, with some twisted parts and very sharp bends. Bower's Lock has a nasty tight turn into it, with the weir outfall running across the turn - could be difficult if there was any degree of flow. The canal runs almost parallel to the A3 at this point, although it can't really be seen (it can still be heard, though) as we approach Guildford. Ascended Stoke Lock - there was quite a smell around this area as we were passing a sewage works. A short run past the Kayak Club and housing took us to the retail park. Passed under the A3, then past the Sea Cadets to arrive at Dapdune Wharf, where we moored up for services. Contacted the National Trust office, who said we could stay for the night as there were no boats booked in.

After a belated lunch, went back to the office and 'checked in' for a visit to the museum - they were also hosting an open-day for Astolat Model Railway Club. Very interesting afternoon all round. Wind continued to freshen.

6.12 miles 3 locks 2.93 hrs 3.11 lmph

Friday 18th August ~ Pyrford to Send (en route to Guildford)

The only sound encroaching on the silence overnight was an tawny owl chatting to its mate - and another downpour of heavy rain! Rain cleared again by breakfast. Took our time getting going, but finally on the move mid-morning after saying goodbye to James & Hazel. Services as we ascended Pyrford Lock (rubbish by the pub below, water on the right and elsan on the left immediately above), then continued upstream. Passed John Donne's summerhouse at Pyrford Place, then through the floodgates at Walsham. This took us onto a river section round to Newark Lock. Walsham Meadows above the lock give a number of good places to moor, although very open. Next comes Papercourt Lock, then a run round to Send. We moored just beside Highbridge footbridge on the northern outskirts - room for two boats.

Very late lunch, but moored before the thunderstorm broke over us. Rain eventually cleared by late afternoon.

3.26 miles 3 locks 2.48 hrs 2.53 lmph

Thursday 17th August ~ Byfleet to Pyrford (en route to Guildford)

Another great night, although woken briefly by heavy rain. Rain cleared to light drizzle by breakfast. 'Catering' decided she needed a few extra stores so took the bus back to Brooklands Tesco.

James & Hazel moved off mid-morning to wind and head to Pyrford, and passed us again just as Pat returned from shopping. Let go and followed them. Lovely run through the tree-lined avenue shielding us (visually, if not audibly) from the motorway. Caught up with "Gabriel" at the entrance to the marina - they had turned again ready for tomorrow and were moored up. We pulled in as well, and had lunch. Clouds still thinning and sun getting through. Quiet afternoon pottering.

1.28 miles 2 locks 0.67 hrs 1.91 lmph

Wednesday 16th August ~ Byfleet (en route to Guildford)

Up promptly and ready for 'day out'. Met up with James & Hazel and took the bus to Brooklands. Initially visited the museum of Mercedes-Benz cars inside the dealership, then walked across to the Brooklands Museum . These are both within the confines of the old racetrack. We had a great relaxed day, then returned on the bus. Only occasional clouds and sun was hot.

Tuesday 15th August ~ Weybridge to Byfleet (en route to Guildford)

Extremely peaceful night. Set off fairly promptly, heading upstream past Weybridge Business Park and the outskirts of Addlestone. Ascended Coxes Lock, taking us out more into the countryside. Saw a roe deer jump into the canal just ahead of us (but couldn't get the camera quick enough). It then climbed back out again and disappeared through the hedge. Ascended New Haw Lock and into the suburbs of Byfleet. Passed under the M25, and across the junction with the Basingstoke Canal. They have had problems with lack of water this year and have been closed for periods. Open now, but we think we will bypass going up this year and return early or late season another year. A short distance brought us to Byfleet Boat Club which, according to the National Trust booklet, is the best place for mooring to visit Brooklands. Moored with the permission of the Vice-Commodore of the club, but it was now lunchtime so said we would go tomorrow. James & Hazel arrived aboard "Gabriel" arrived shortly afterwards.

Lunch, then some routine chores. James & Hazel visited for a cuppa and to pass on their local knowledge of moorings and facilities - very grateful. Arranged to meet up tomorrow morning for a trip to Brooklands.

2.53 miles 2 locks 1.84 hrs 2.46 lmph

Monday 14th August ~ Shepperton to Weybridge (en route to Guildford)

Aircraft noise slightly less overnight, and fewer boats causing a wake. Woke to another sunny morning. Said goodbye to David & Kathy who left straight after breakfast, then chatted on with Mike & Lorraine till midmorning when we both decided we'd better get moving. Let go and accompanied them back round to Shepperton Lock, and descended. Said our goodbyes and left them to continue downstream as we turned right for the Wey Navigation - like turning off the motorway onto a country lane!

Arrived at Thames Lock and moored to allow us to get our Wey licence (£90.00 as an NT member), and a briefing on the National Trust's requirements (they own and administer the waterway). Lock-keeper very friendly, helpful and knowledgable.

There is a shelf which runs across just below the lock and boats with draft over 1' 9" cannot get over it. There is a 'pound lock gate' below it with a landing stage. The Thames Lock team close the gate and increase the depth in the pound for these boats before they are allowed to enter the main lock. After our briefing, they raised the pound for us, and worked us through the main lock. We then continued upstream in the quiet narrower channel amongst the trees. Dropped the 'locking crew' between the Old and New Bridges then negotiated the very sharp right turn into Town Lock. Ascended and moored just above the lock.

Took a walk into Weybridge for a look round and some lunch, then collected a few emergency stores before returning to "Paws". Spent the rest of the afternoon digesting the very comprehensive info-pack supplied by the National Trust.

1.51 miles 3 locks 1.44 hrs 3.13 lmph

Sunday 13th August ~ Laleham to Shepperton (en route to Guildford)

Another lovely sunny day. Took our time getting up and preparing for departure. Washed down the quayside where the unruly child from another boat had left chalk scrawlings over it. Eventually let go mid-morning and headed round to Chertsey Lock, past the park, campsite and sports ground. Descended the lock, then took water before continuing. Continued through the town and on past Chertsey Meads to Pharaoh's Island and Shepperton Lock. Moored above the lock for services, then turned. Returned towards the Meads, mooring at the Dockett Eddy Council-run moorings on the east side.

Later in the afternoon, we collected quite a BCF 'party' - David & Kathy aboard "Interlock" and Mike & Lorraine on "Annie & Walt" both moored up alongside. Great chat with everyone.

3.85 miles 1 locks 1.80 hrs 2.69 lmph

Saturday 12th August ~ Laleham (en route to Guildford)

Decided we would stay put for the day. Nice and sunny all day. Chatted with a lovely family on holiday from Northern Ireland, staying in a local B&B. 'Housekeeping' clear the backlog of ironing (whatever that is), while 'IT' put in some more work on the website interactive map. A walk around the village, for exercise, took some of the afternoon. Otherwise, a quiet day. Chatted with one of the local residents about boats and moorings and licences - we agreed on most things ☺.

Friday 11th August ~ Runnymede to Laleham (en route to Guildford)

A fairly noisy night under the flightpath of planes taking off from Heathrow, but could be a very pleasant mooring with the wind in another direction. Lovely sunny morning, and it stayed that way all day. Fairly prompt departure, and followed the parkland of Runnymede round to Bell Weir Lock. Descended and passed under the M25, continuing to Staines. Moored at Staines Bridge Moorings (free for 24 hrs) and walked across the bridge for major storing at Sainsbury.

Had lunch before moving off again, but were interupted by the skipper of the cruiser behind asking us to stop our engine due fumes. Did so, but felt it was a little out of order to ask for anything considering he was moored on a disabled-only mooring (and not disabled).

Continued after lunch through the remainder of Staines and descended Penton Hook Lock to the southeast suburb of Laleham, where we moored at Town Quay Moorings (EA operated). Took a very short walk into the village, finding a small local store (great for emergency purchases). Quiet remainder to the afternoon. Watched the John Wilson BBC Prom in the evening.

4.60 miles 2 locks 1.88 hrs 3.51 lmph

Thursday 10th August ~ Windsor to Runnymede via Boveney (en route to Guildford)

Far better morning today - sun shining and barely a breeze. Advised that although it may be possible to leave the cut by the north side, it is suggested the south side is safer. Found that we couldn't spin "Paws" in the width of the cut so reversed out to the main channel, noting that John & Barbara on "Ichthus" were moored at the outer end of the cut. Headed off upstream for services at Boveney Lock.

On completion, returned downstream and back through Windsor, passing "Ichthus" heading up - greetings passed. Descended Romney Lock and wound our way past the grounds of the Royal Palace , and through Datchet to Old Windsor. Descended the Lock and continued to the park area at Runnymede. Moored just opposite the Magna Carta Memorial , on one of the dedicated spaces (wood-fendered pilings with wooden posts as bollards). Noted that the National Trust have decided that Members are no longer entitled to reduced rates at their moorings (cars of members still park for free). Went for walk round park and monuments, paid for mooring, but personally rather disappointed in what I found - think the NT could have made more of something with such international significance.

8.21 miles 2 locks 2.86 hrs 3.58 lmph

Wednesday 9th August ~ Windsor (en route to Guildford)

The railway workers were back again this morning, but there was an up-side - looked out the porthole and saw an urban fox purposefully trotting along the towpath. The forecast rain arrived just before breakfast and remained for the rest of the day.

'Catering' spent most of the day trying out the new mixer, so plenty of baking to eat. 'IT' continued with the webpage interactive map, completing the routes of the Cotswold canals.

Tuesday 8th August ~ Windsor (re-routed to Guildford)

Dull but fair morning today. Quite noisy overnight as there was work being done on the railway bridge nearby.

After discussions last night, we went back up to town to purchase a replacement mixer (more compact). Forecast for rain later so returned by lunchtime.

Major planning meeting in afternoon. Due weather forecast, we stay an extra night here. Due tidal situation, we do the run from Teddington to Brentford 16th, 17th or 30th. Due amount of 'free' time between now and 3rd Sept, we hope to visit the Wey before running to Brentford (30th).

After a couple of slight showers, rain cleared to dull, cool evening.

Monday 7th August ~ Boveney to Windsor via Romney (en route to central London)

Woken to a sunny morning at 06:40 by a gentleman who said his boat battery was dead, needed to ring someone but his phone battery was dead - could we help. Yes we could! - put his phone on charge, offered our mobile (which he declined), and loaned him our car-start 'brick'. Unfortunately the 'brick' wouldn't turn his engine so he had to wait for his phone charging. Phone returned at 08:30 and we set off for the day, initially moving round to Boveney Lock. Descended and stopped at the services - water on one side and elsan at the other (with a very slow rinse-water tap).

Moved on again and headed through Windsor, checking for possible moorings as we went. Continued to the lock-landing for Romney Lock where we met up with Kaye who had brought some of our parts for us (they couldn't get the others). Reversed back out of the lock-cut and winded. Returned to Windsor and moored at the back of Baths Island (wood-fendered pilings with rings).

Went for walk into Windsor  and Eton, including a visit to the Parish Church of St John the Baptist . Lunch ashore. Apart from a couple of very short periods of light drizzle, a mostly sunny day. Until late afternoon!

Having had ice-cream on the walk back, we just arrived back as the warden came round for his £16.00 for a two-night planned stay. Very heavy rain arrived just before dinner, but did clear before bedtime.

3.89 miles 1 locks 1.55 hrs 3.15 lmph

Sunday 6th August ~ Boveney (en route to central London)

Lovely and sunny all day. Busy day with traffic on the river, mostly going too fast. Quiet day for us, pleasant time chatting with the changing boats at the mooring.

Saturday 5th August ~ Maidenhead to Boveney (en route to central London)

Woken at 05:30 by rain hammering on the roof. Fortunately cleared by breakfast to lovely sunny morning. Up and on the move promptly to try to beat the start of a regatta, but apparently they had started at 07:00! No problems passing by the course, and continued on towards Bray. Descended the lock, and passed under the M4. At the north end of Queen's Eyot, there was a steamer coming north and two fibreglass cruisers came out from Bray Marina. Neither gave way and one continued his attempt to overtake, despite the lack of room (he was give-way vessel a. because he was overtaking the steamer and b. because we were going downstream) - nearly caused a serious accident! Continued along the side of Dorney Lake, and turned the corner at Water Oakley. Moored at Boveney Lock Moorings at the end of the rowing course - lovely mooring with wood-fendered sides and bollards, the grass area a great place for a barbeque.

A pair of rowers on a hired Thames Skiff stopped for a quick swim in the river - had a nice chat and offered them a cup of tea. Short sharp showers commenced just before lunch, and continued most of the afternoon (including a thunderstorm), but clearing by dinnertime.

4.57 miles 1 locks 1.56 hrs 3.57 lmph

Friday 4th August ~ Cookham to Maidenhead (en route to central London)

Wind died to flat-calm overnight, but had risen to a breeze again by morning. Sun was out with no sign of yesterday's showers. Took a walk into Cookham and Cookham Rise.

On return, let go and headed round to Cookham Lock and used the services before descending. Passed the scenic section by Cliveden, former home of the Astor family, now in the keeping of the National Trust. Lunch on the move. Continued through the outskirts of Maidenhead to Boulter's Lock. Descended then looked for a mooring. Took a run as far as the Bridge then returned to the best available spot along the wall.

Went across to the park and paid our mooring fee at the café, then went for a walk round the town. With the exception of a couple of minor showers, lovely sunny day throughout.

3.23 miles 2 locks 2.03 hrs 2.57 lmph

Thursday 3rd August ~ Marlow to Cookham (en route to central London)

Nice morning, if still windy. Left the mooring promptly and turned the corner to head north for Bourne End. Passed to the west of the islet and noted a fibreglass cruiser tucked into the trees of the islet. The young girl was waving madly so pulled across to investigate. It transpired that Kaye had taken out her father's boat and it had broken down. We offered to tow to Bourne End marina. Having hitched a line, we continued to the marina and saw "La Grue" safely alongside. Nipped into the chandlery but they didn't even have the engine oil we needed. Arranged with Kaye to collect at their yard in a few day's time. Continued round to Cookham and the Bell Rope Meadows moorings, our planned stop for today, to find the moorings full but widely spaced. Another boat offered to 'bunch up' and we got alongside. The moorings at Bell Rope Meadows have wood-fendered piling and rings, and run from the bridge as far as the sailing club. North of the sailing club is a field which also advertises mooring, but with no edging, and stakes would be required. Both cost the same (£6.00 per night).

Wind increased during the afternoon, with occasional showers. Mooring warden came round just after 18:00 for our fees - very friendly lady walking her dogs, covers both this mooring and the field further north.

4.76 miles 2 locks 1.73 hrs 2.75 lmph

Wednesday 2nd August ~ Hurley to Marlow (en route to central London)

After a quiet night, set off from the weir stream for the short run to Marlow. Cloudy and cool start, with poor forecast. Descended Temple Lock and headed past the leisure centre based around Bisham Abbey, then Bisham Church  standing river-side. Entering Marlow, there is a great view of the suspension bridge and All Saints Parish Church . Descended Marlow Lock and moored at the EA moorings below. Walked into town for stores and a look round, including the Church. Back for late lunch, just as the wind and heavy rain arrived.

2.47 miles 2 locks 1.15 hrs 3.89 lmph

Tuesday 1st August ~ Henley to Hurley (en route to central London)

The new month started well, with a sunny morning. Great mooring overnight. Slowish start as only a short day planned (as far as Hurley). Left the mooring and continued downstream, onto the course of the Regatta. Piling and markers were almost all away. Cleared Temple Island  and rounded the bend to Hambledon Lock. "Cruise Director" changes to Plan B, continue after services and head to Marlow. Descended the lock and continued along the very picturesque section past Medmenham . Stopped above Hurley Lock for services. Slight rain shower but quickly cleared. "Cruise Director" reverts to Plan A!

Descended the Lock and, on the instructions of the lock-keeper, turned back up the weir stream to the 'lock moorings' (owned by EA, managed by the lock, cost £8.90 per night). Good pontoon-style mooring. Lunch then walk into village. More boats joined us during the afternoon.

6.76 miles 2 locks 2.28 hrs 3.84 lmph

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