We waited for the rain to pass before we moved from Runnymede Meadow. Passing Queen Elizabeth’s bronze statue in commemoration of 800 years of the Magna Carta.
Weather was rather more blustery than I like for boating, and the wind was a bit chilly too at times, but it was still a lovely day.
Passing the now redundant Anglican chapel last used to serve the bargemen on the Thames, though there has been a church on this site since the Norman Conquest, and fabric from a 12th century church can still be found in the building… more information….
Our first lock of the day was ‘Old Windsor Lock’, which was luckily for us manned. Once through the lock we were on Her Majesty’s turf.
We’re a bit disappointed as there doesn’t appear to be many suitable mooring places, there would be more moorings if boaters moored closer to other boats (it would obviously help them too).
We travelled through Romney and Boveney Locks which were manned by very helpful lockies. Though we did stop for sanny services just before Boveney Lock, except we didn’t stop for water as the water point was just below a weir, and as the flow of water was quite strong, we gave topping up with water a miss (after I pleaded with John!). For the next 30 miles, until we get to Mapleduram, the Thames is still on yellow alerts; “Caution Strong Stream Decreasing”
At (our last lock of the day) the un-manned Bray Lock, we had a sticky moment or two. There were two Caversham boats going into the lock before us, as we’ve shared locks with them before we didn’t think there’d be a problem sharing. Not so, Bray lock is much smaller than the other locks we’d passed through, and it was clear there was no room for us. We realised before we got to the gates we had to reverse back onto the lock landing. Great theory, but in practice with the strong flow coming from the weir, Cyan’s bow started to turn in the wrong direction. It was a bit hairy for a few moments, I managed to jump off from the stern with the centre line, and yanked Cyan’s bow back to the lock’s landing, where she got firmly tied. John made fun of me as I’d wrapped the centre line about 10 times around the bollard – Cyan was going nowhere!
We eventually moored, using our ‘new technique’ for mooring, just before ‘Maidenhead Railway Bridge’. The mooring wasn’t at all ‘big dog’ friendly, Rusty had to be encouraged to jump from the boat, over the 2ft mooring platform, and onto a wall. Big dogs have to have ‘landing’ space when they jump. We’d like to move tomorrow for Rusty’s sake, but looking at the weather forecast it’s going to rain all day.
What’s our ‘new technique’ for mooring? Normally when we moor, I jump off the stern with the centre line, holding Cyan steady while John moors Cyan with pins, chains, or bollards. This method doesn’t work on a river, so now I jump from the bow with the bow’s mooring rope, giving us much more control of Cyan, and stopping her bow being pushed out by the river’s flow. I’ve no idea how single handed boaters cope mooring their boat against a river flow, especially with a strong wind blowing.
We’ve travelled 12.25 miles today, and 4 locks.