And we're off!
So yesterday morning (Wed 25th) we left Kingston on our epic voyage to Henley! All being well we won't be back until Tuesday 31st!
That's Emma there at the wheel. A few minutes after this photo we hit something large and submerged. It made a hell of a bang and I thought our trip was over before it had begun. However things settled down, no issues with the engines, no undue vibration, no loss of steering, just raised blood pressure that settled as time past. The sun even came out and stayed out.
We had 3 locks to cover, Molesy, Sunbury and Shepperton. The river was busy but not crazy with a brief wait for the lock at Molesey while the lock emptied and some hire craft ambled in. Then up past Hampton and the historic but recently fire damaged WW2 sheds at Platts Eyot.
Here Thornycroft started its operations in 1904 making assorted pleasure craft - many of which were electric!
They then moved on to Admiralty commissioned Motor Torpedo boats. Fortunately the really large sheds were spared the fire although it looks like time still has a death grip on their future.
After Platts Eyot it was up to Sunbury lock where again we had a short wait. Emma expertly "hovered" us in the light stream as the lock again disgorged its contents and a hire craft and narrow boat wandered in before we took up the rear. Out of Sunbury Lock it's a narrow treelined lock cut till the large weir on the right and admiring looks from the clients at the Weir Pub. Then on past Walton (I should have taken more pictures) up the Desborough cut and past D'Oly Carte Island. D'Oly Carte island is the island made famous by Gilbert and Sullivan. A fantastic house that has been left abandoned for many years. We were delighted to hear from the friendly Ferry man that is has now been bought and will be returned to its rightful condition. Look forward to seeing that!! Then quickly into the very picturesque Shepperton Lock, a mecca for Gongozzlers Gongoozler - Wikipedia
Then on to our planned mooring for the night outside Thames Court Pub.
BUT the pub was shut! So we got the ferry across to the Weybridge side and had some decent pub grub at The Minnow before repairing to the aft deck.
Today was the 11th anniversary of our lovely Dad Bernard's death so we raised a glass in his memory. Dad (and Mum) would have loved all this. In his later years it would have made him all rather anxious but his younger years building ski chalets in Canada this would have been right up his street.
We miss him.