Day two of there and back again!
After waking up somewhat disoriented in Shepperton we headed on up river! Through Chertsey lock, past Dennett's, through Penton Hook and on to Staines.
Under the M25 and then through to Bell Weir Lock just past the Runneymede hotel.
We now happen upon a lovely stretch of the Thames! A brief straight towards Wraysbury Canoe and Skiff club (an old Dragonboat and DW stomping ground for me) and then the river curves to the left around Runneymede Pleasure Ground then a tight right bend before another long straight alongside the historic Magna Carta Island.
Then a gentle curve to the right past the Bells of Ouzeley pub followed some great boat and house ogling before easing to the left bank to get into Old Windsor Lock. The weather was great. I saw my old friend Trish Corless out on her 01 (where else) before we had a tussle with over hanging trees as we waited to get into the lock.
After old Windsor Lock its another lovely stretch past Windsor Royal park on the left (definitely no mooring allowed ) and Datchet to the right. Next the really rather snug Romney Lock. Quite a tight one for Annanetta as its a turn to the left as you come in. It was a little windy and one of the more stressful lock of the day. Not least because there was a man with a big camera right by the lock gate who kept oohing and aaahing as we nudged in.
Once through Romney it's then past Eton on the right, through Windsor on the left and under that worrisome bridge, its low with a nasty curve. Of course Windsor is chock full of pleasure craft, little rentals and big trippers, its dead slow and all on full alert!!
After the road and rail bridges the river cuts a mean 120 degree turn to the right then back to the left. Exposed banks with the cattle looking on from the right bank, Windsor race course and Marina on the left.
We are on to the next lock quite quickly, Boveney Lock. It's our last lock of the day!! The weather is clearing, from grey to light grey. Its been over a week since I've seen the girls and they're waiting up ahead!
Our destination is Oakley Court Hotel. Emma and I had done a reccy on her birthday back in May and while Annanetta was booked in and Emma's parents had a room we were full of uncertainty. When we'd gone in May they had left us a little underwhelmed as to their service (admittedly it was day 1 post lockdown) and additionally we didn't know whether there was enough water on their gorgeous mooring to accommodate Annanetta's 4ft 6 draft. On one count our fears were unfound, on the other they were not!!
As we nudged into the mooring it quickly became apparent that we weren't going to get anywhere near the bank. Our bow was sticking fast a good six feet out. This was my biggest fear. The girls were on the bank with their grandparents. Excited to see us and their home and bouncing with usually knicker wetting joy. However we were'nt going to get to them!! We weren't going to be able to moor up!
However the staff at Oakley Court quickly dispersed our previous concerns and played an absolute blinder!! We tried and tried again, gently nudging in, getting stuck on the bow and then edging out. We tried a couple of different spots under the direction from the shore staff all to no avail.
Then the Oakley Court team kindly agreed to move their electric craft from the pontoon and allowed us to slip onto that.
Even that wasn't straight forward but it was close enough to embark and disembark! Phew!
The team at Oakley Court really pushed the boat out for us, or rather pulled the boat in for us!.
Gorgeous garden and lovely hotel but the real excitement is having these 2 little critters back on board!!
We're booked in to the hotel restaurant to celebrate my father-in-law Mick's birthday! We enjoy a great meal again great service and the girls do us proud with delightful behaviour!
It's been a great day, a little stressful at times but we've ended up where we wanted to be with the people we wanted to be with and no damage to Annanetta!