Monday, 29 June 2015

Cleeve Lock to Day's Lock

We were moored up today above Day’s Lock by 2.45pm. We had intended to keep going to Clifton Hampden but called it quits here. 
Isn't this a beautiful spot?
Since we arrived, the farmer has kindly come around and removed all of the hay bales for us.
See? Such a different method than I remember when back in Taranaki as a teenager, where bales were thrown on to the back of the truck by sweaty, muscly young men ... Now one teenager hoons around with the loader and another drives the tractor and trailer. I guess the beers bill isn't so big for the current method though.
We have decided that we do love the Thames, and this morning we were congratulating ourselves on finally accomplishing getting the ropes over the bollards by ourselves in the locks. Last week, Fred, the relief lockkeeper at Cleeve, had taught David how to hold and throw the rope, and he’s definitely got it sussed now.

But, as they say, there’s many a slip between cup and lip … Because David was operating the lock (it was early, so on self service) we used the middle rope, and because it’s a fairly long way from the middle back to me, we agreed he’d loop the rope fully around the bollard rather than just over it so it didn’t slip off. And because I was keeping it taut as we rose up in the world, the rope caught on itself on the bollard. As David walked forward to open the top gates I noticed we had developed quite a list. Oh bugger!

We could not release the rope and while I was keen to use the scissors, it was decided that we would travel down in the lock again to release the rope and then come back up. Fortunately we didn’t waste any water, as there was a boat coming in from the top and one coming up from below.

So note to selves: Never tie up in the lock, even if going up!

It wasn’t very dangerous but it was a good lesson. And it added half an hour to our journey. But that was a cheap price for a lesson.

After a brief stop at Wallingford for me to walk to Waitrose (gu puddings, ham, salami) and for David to stay onboard and sort out some banking stuff online, we moved on up here to Day’s Lock. We were delighted at Benson Lock to see Fred again – he is the relief lock keeper, so we have now seen him at Goring, Cleeve and Benson. And I have only once thrown a rope at his head and spat tea over him. He is not aware quite how lucky he is really ...

On the way here, we came through Shillingford Bridge and a variety of housing from quite stately to a static caravan site. It was good to see that some ordinary people get to have riverside views! 
This boat house is not one for the ordinary people but it is beautiful.
If you look closely you can see the decorative brickwork. Beautiful.
Shillingford Bridge
Just in case you aren't sure, this is NOT a static caravan
One of the numerous bunkers we've seen on this trip - they always make me think of the heroic efforts of the British people during the war.

We’ve had a quiet weekend moored on the meadows below Cleeve Lock although there was a constant stream of boats coming past on Saturday and far fewer yesterday – I think the weather had something to do with it! Fine & sunny on Saturday and a bit of rain yesterday, although it cleared in the afternoon and we walked to Streatley – a lovely village across the river from Goring.
A representative of the weekend's neighbours. If you look closely you can see that Mel is studiously ignoring her.
We are off on our walk.
Down the tree-lined public path he goes.
The view from the public path - the last three photos are taken from the same place, proving I can turn in circles with the best of them
Across the field of maize
Poppies growing in the verge
Where are the chocolates to go with this cottage?

David has developed a cold so is not feeling fabulous - a quiet weekend and an easy day today have helped. I think it may be because I cut his hair – didn’t Samson fall apart from that? And David does look like it hurts ...
It's a selfie but doesn't he look like it's all too terribly painful?
I swear I didn't cut him, only his hair! I'm not sure if he's reaching for rescuing arms or taking a photo ...
The end result. Lesley says she'd trust me to give her a trim...


Ken and Sheena said...

Hi Marilyn and David. It is indeed a beautiful river, and very easy to fall in love with. I'm sorry I didn't have the time to teach you the "throwing rope trick", but am glad to hear you've now mastered it. I'm glad you're getting to see the Thames at its fabulous best. It can be quite angry sometimes.

Marilyn McDonald said...

Hi Ken and Sheena, No worries about the rope throwing tuition - David has mastered it but I need to practise more at the same time as steering in and getting the boat still enough to be able to let go of the tiller to take hold of the rope, arrange it properly for throwing and then throw. Seems easier to hand it to the lock keeper or David ... We are pleased we have been on the river at its best. We are definitely coming back!

Sue said...

We are going to pass you tomorrow.. :D