Sunday 23 June 2013

Kingston-on-Thames to Chertsey

Kingston-on-Thames to Chertsey : 11 miles, 3 locks
To date : 430 miles, 257 locks

We had a peaceful night for the most part.  There weren't many passing boats after dark, only a loud party boat with flashing lights and dance floor.  It was moving slowly so didn't create any waves.  Mick had his head on the pillow for about 5 minutes before it went by and he didn't hear a thing!  He did wake in the night to the sound of a woman out on the path beside the boat yelling and swearing.  I slept through that one.  It rained during the night and we woke to the little path we were moored against being awash with water.

Mick and I went to have a look at the little market at Kingston-on-Thames this morning.  We bought some lovely fresh fruit and veg.  It's quite a nice town centre, as so many towns in England are.  It has a few streets where cars aren't allowed and all the usual suspects in the way of larger stores.  There was a Marks and Spencer so we did what we usually do when we encounter one and bought some nibbly things (today was prawns and vegetable dips) for our lunch and some fresh bread rolls.  Isn't it funny how you get into new habits so quickly.  At Sainsbury's we always buy tomato juice, at Tesco it's the loo paper, at M&S it's their 3 for £6 deal!

We had told Barry... who poked his head out of the boat half asleep as we left to go shopping... that we'd be back at 10am to head off.  After our shopping we'd walked along the promenade opposite our mooring to take a photo of the boats and saw Barry out putting his tiller on!  Oops... we better get back.  It was 10.15 when we left so we weren't all that late.

There are lots of little islands on the Thames and they often have boat clubs or even houses on them.  To access the islands they use a small boat.  As we passed one island based boat club a little motor boat shot out straight in front of us to collect someone from the other side.  They collected their passenger and I'm sure they were about to do the same to Winton's Folly and dart in front of them, but thought the better of it at the last moment and waited until they'd passed.  They were a pair of young lads and I'm sure it was sport to them to do such a silly thing.

We stopped on the moorings at Hampton Court Palace but having decided against the entrance fee we just went for a walk, made a cup of coffee and Carol had a chat to some passersby.  By the time we'd passed through Molesey Lock and pulled in to top up the water tanks it was lunchtime so we made lunch while the tanks filled.  As it turned out the tanks were full before the lunch was made as there was fantastic water pressure.  At Sunbury Lock we shared the lock with a little wooden boat.  It went out ahead of us and turned out to be a bit of a nuisance.  It felt like they were deliberately matching their speed to ours so that they were constantly right in front of us and then slowing down.  It seemed forever before we happily overtook them while they were distracted on a wide sweep of the river.

It began to rain and we were grateful that we had our pram cover up.  It can stay up for two weeks now.  We take the side windows out for cruising during the day but it helps with the wind and rain.  And, it was a very windy day.  You can see in some of the photos that the trees are being whipped by the wind.  So were we.

We had originally planned to moor at Shepperton having overshot the last free mooring before the lock... that was Barry... we decided to go on through Shepperton lock and moor after that.  We have a lovely spot just past Docket Eddy.  As we approached the moorings we saw nb Betty Eccles who breasted up with us while waiting for the Thames lock at Brentford.  The fellow kindly came out in the rain to grab a mooring rope as we came in.  Thanks!

Another good day.  We're used to the big locks now and have become proficient at getting a rope around a bollard once we're in the lock.  We're starting to enjoy being on the river.


Adam said...

That last houseboat you've pictured is Astoria, and it's a recording studio owned by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd.

Elly and Mick said...

Thanks Adam.
We knew we'd seen it on tv and it was something like that but we couldn't remember what or who!