I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Friday 17 July 2015

Henley (River Thames) – Thursday 16th July

I didn’t feel too bright this morning but couldn’t really understand why.  I belong to a lovely Facebook page for ladies on the canals and rivers and put a post on there.  They all came back with the same thing – I am grieving for my Mother.  Grief, it seems, manifests itself in many ways and after some research I do feel better knowing that I am not really being pathetic, it is quite normal.

We set off aiming for Hurley.  Through Bray, Boulters and Cookham Locks. 

We passed the entrance to the Jubilee River just above Boulters Lock.  I didn’t really understand what it was all about except that residents in Wraysbury and Old Windsor said that the flooding in February 2014 was made worse by the river.  The new river was constructed in the late 1990s and early 2000s to take overflow from the Thames and so alleviate flooding to areas in and around the towns of Maidenhead, Windsor, and Eton. It takes the water from above Boulter's Lock and returns it downstream of Eton.  Hm – I think I agree with the people of Wraysbury and Old Windsor! 

As we approached Marlow Lock the gates were open and the two motor cruisers who we had been sharing locks with were in there.  The volunteer lockie shut the gates in our face even though there was room.  As we waited to go in the lock a single hander in a 60 foot narrowboat came along.  He asked us if he could go on the left side which was fine by us.  We went into the lock and tied up.  The single hander came in and was struggling to get his rope as it had got tangled up with his chimney.  He climbed the steps and had hold of the stern rope.  While all this struggling was going on the VL was chatting away to a couple of men – he never offered to help if he even noticed.  The VL said goodbye to his friends and went and opened the paddles.  Marlow lock is pretty violent at the best of times but when you are still trying to tie your boat up it is hopeless.  The single hander yelled out and the VL finally looked into the lock and quickly shut the paddles and slowly walked to help the single hander.  The shouting brought the Lock Keeper out of his office.  It could have been a nasty accident just because the VL wasn’t paying attention and he was a miserable bugger too!

After Marlow Lock it was Temple Lock and then up to Hurley.  However after a pow wow we decided to continue to Henley (reason to follow).  There was just Hambledon Lock to go then down the straight into Henley.  I say down the straight as the course is still set for the Henley Royal Regatta.  Even though the Royal Regatta was at the beginning of the month last weekend was the Henley Masters Regatta so maybe they will take the course, stands and marquees down now.

This weekend, in Henley, there is the Traditional Boat Festival and already there are some lovely, shiny wooden boats tied up there.

We continued up river until we found our reason for getting to Henley – Ray and Diane on Ferndale :-)  Also with them are Andy and Sue on Festina Lente who strangely enough used to live in Shepperton!  We managed to find a mooring spot just in front of them and tied up.  Diane has done some research on the boat festival and it looks really good so we have decided to stay here until Sunday.

I don't think the owner of this boat wants seagulls on his stern!

20 miles

7 locks

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