Thursday, 31 July 2014

Catch'n Up.....part 1....







Having fellow Kiwis on the boat and tripping down the Thames has been down right time consuming.


Moored at Teddington lock awaiting the trip down the Thames the night befores sleep was broken about 3am by a bloody good electrical storm. The thunder and lightning was spectacular followed by some heavy rain which managed to splatter shit off the towpath all along the side of the NB...

Got the camera against the bedroom window....




Lightning thunder and rain....

We had to be in the lock by 7.15am.....



Cup of coffee and compulsory live jackets for the tidal Thames....

In the Teddington lock......



With 7 other NB,s.....

We ended up leading the pack....



There's Leaders and Folllowers.... some turned off at Brentford lock....

After days of stinkin hot weather it was fairly cool with a gusty wind and then a shower of rain appeared...

Nat decided to rug up and...

 


Give her best impression of a Blowfly........

With the houses of Parliament and Big Ben approaching it was time to.....



Smarten up Bruces appearance..... Remove those large Grey hairs in the eyebrow line.....
Without a local.......


The rain didn't last long and.....
 


The closer we got to London the less the wind blew.... and a bit of sun broke through.....
Captain and 2nd Mate...... Passing Westminster......

Every one does things in their life that they can look back on, some with pride and amazement, others with disgust or regret. If someone had said to me 5 years ago I'd be passing under the Tower Bridge on a NB I would have said "Yeah Rite" you need certifying.....
So to have done it twice in 2 months is something I will look back on with no regrets...only wonder... even relegates memories of doing laps around town on Friday, late shopping, night in the two tone MK111 Zephyr farther back in the memory bank....

It was then up too.....




Bruce and Nat to steer under the Tower Bridge...... Bruce with the "I see a new Land" look....
Nat with the " A strong wind blowing from behind" look.....

Through the centre and....




Out the other side....

Then hand over the controls....




 
 We were there doing it again......
 

Maybe a Dream job for a sign company.....



Wrap a warship in vinyl........

There was a fair bit of a chop and waves on the river at times....


 
A following NB ploughs through.....

By the time we reached Limehouse the tide had dropped several feet and the plan to enter the open awaiting lock is to pass the lock, turn into the outgoing tide then steer for the gap between the concrete walls...

The first NB.....


Approaching the entry... the water looks deceptively calm here but there is strong currents, eddyies, bouncing off the walls both sides and one has to get the NB in the right spot.....

I didn't by 1 metre......



And the current took control of the front of the boat and gave the imposing wall a "Bit of a Pash"....
no damage....

Was going to stay the night at Limehouse but as it was only about 11.30am we decided to push on to Paddington, about 9 miles and 12 locks.....

Passing through the....




Islington tunnel was another first for our crew...... spot the Opposum in the Headlights.........

As the day and journey progressed it got real hot.... By the time we reached Paddington basin it was 31 celcius....

Which was a good enough reason for.....



This "Gonk Head," pissed,  aged and naked man to swim in the canal... he tried to get out but couldn't so swam along,"Dragging Weed", to a narrow bridge hole to try there.... Just the right place to get squashed by a passing NB... We just turned the next bend as he again tried to get out of the canal so there's no Apendage shots.....

At Camden market locks.....



There was a large crowd watching and asking questions as we waited for the locks to fill...

Also at Camden there was plenty of Crap in the canal which caused a lack of propulsion...
So.....



Down the weed hatch with a sharp blade... Nat lent her hand to Pulling.... I did the cutting....

And in no time......



The prop, was free and we regained forward momentum.....

We arrived at Paddington basin, London Central, about 5pm and pulled into the last vacant mooring. The dude on the boat in front said it had been vacant all day.....

The evening was spent replenishing the lost fluid levels on the rear deck  with....



Live streaming of the World Match play darts from Blackpool on the roof... Perfect some would say......

Next day we had a visit from Leonie's cousin from Hastings, NZ who has actually been living in Denmark for about 12 years....

Doing the London visit.....



Jason and Ben.... partaking in food and liquid refreshments.....

And having......



A real good time....

Late in the evening......




Ben says to his dad "time to go, c.mon you gotta stop drinking all their beers"...

"Okay Okay".......

 
"You lead the way"......was great catching up....... Jason & Ben........


 
 
 

 



Monday, 21 July 2014

Hot as on the Thames....



 
 
The days have been  sssssooooo  hot and fair Suck on the Sav, standing on the rear deck steering the boat has been challenging work...
Blazing sun, burnt feet on the deck, too much....
 
We pasted through Henley central, busy with shoppers and busy canal side pubs, then past the large marques that were still standing following the international rowing regatta last week.
An arrow pointed to go down the left but Leonie said "we came up that side last time you should go on the right"...
"Ok" then so we did...
 
 
 
 
 
Large marques canal side....
 
Travelling on the RH side.....
 

 

Along the "last weeks rowing course".....
 
"How come were the only boat motoring in this lane"??...
I'll tell you why.... Because when the men approached in the motorized rubber boat they yelled..
"Your holding up the canoe racing and swimming races",
"Get off the course at the first opportunity" which we did...
Nice one Leonie.....
 
 After passing through Henley and then Hambledon lock we moored up by tying off front and rear ropes to overhanging trees...





Bruce was in charge of tying  the front rope...

And then into the late afternoon, evening it was time for...



Sitting on the rear deck.... Nat, & Leonie.....

Quenching the thirst with some beers and..





Wine.....   Bruce can get two more drinks out of an empty bottle...

Next morning and the sun was strong again... First lock  we filled at the  water point  then joined the wait...


 

There was a line up waiting at Hurley lock...




So Bruce and Me pulled up a seat on the towpath while  waiting... contemplating going to work.....
NOT.......

Had a cruisey day plenty of sights as how the other half live and made it to the planned stopover....

 
Moored at Marlow ...... the trip boat approaches....
 
 We  had visitors for dinner and a beer or two while at Marlow.
John whom I worked with in Oxford, the bestes mechanic in the whole world, and his lovely
partner Mellisa spent an evening on the NB...
 
 
As well along came......

 
 

Daisy......



 

And Jaspa...... He's the one on the left...

Natallie steers....

 

Passed under the Cookham bridge.....

Passing through Maidenhead we excited  Boulters lock to find....




Men in funny costumes in row boats doing " Swan Upping"...
this is the procedure of catching and tagging swans with a numbered  steel  band on their leg.....
A  sensus of swans.........the swan are in the ownership of the British Monarch....
 
 

 

A large crowd had gathered on the bridge to watch...

We shared a lock with this Dutch Barge...




Leonie talked to the owner. The couple were from Perth and just brought the boat and were heading for France via the Thames barrier to spend maybe the next 10 years on the canals... Perfect.....

After a day on the Thames taking in the sights and sun rays it's eventually....


Time for bed... Bruce checks the phone to see "what day is it"...

Approaching Windsor....



Some canal art under  the bridge.....
 


A look around Windsor and Nat.....



Checks out the crooked house....





And a phone box fit for Royalty.... Apparently it's the phone box from where William used to ring Kate to arrange their secret  meetings  behind the castle walls...

The crooked house stands next to the....



Guildhall...1690...... Venue of the civil wedding of Prince "Charlie", to his mates, and Camilla Parker - Bowles on 09-04-2009.....

There was another civil service going on in the next street..




The celebration of a "Rose between two Thorns"....

Then onto Macca's for a Mcflurry, caramel of course....

But we had to...


 
Line up with a couple of the Castle guards....

The private hunting ground of the Castle of Windsor..... 5000 acres....



Is dissected by the "Long Walk" to the Castle......
 
Leaving Windsor the Castle.....



Is in view from the canal for several miles....

Getting closer to London




Time to quench a Thirst.... riverside mooring.....




And a riverside terrace....

Onto Weybridge and chucked out the anchor for the night....

A short stroll and.....




"The Old Crown" tripped us up.... a pub with Rugby memorabilia on the walls... a Nice change from the "Kick It With Your Head" stuff.....


Out side......


Leonie tried on a new hat for Ascot.....
 

And Then.....



Shared a hat with Nat.....

Next day heading for Teddington lock to join the tidal Thames....



Passed under the Walton bridge... sunny as again.....

And passed a NB which was Different in design....

 


The "Jury's out"..... could be a "Leggo" boat....

We had a bit of time to kill so moored in Kingston Upon Thames and had a look around....

A trip boat...

 

Exits the Kingston bridge...

We decided to move on when the evening cooled...




Cool Cruising about 9pm....

And as the.....



 

Sun set we moored at the lock awaiting the early start for the final part of the Thames expedition.....