At about 05:45 David was up and making the tea. He really loves these early mornings not only because the weather is at it's best but because no one else is up and about, we have the river to ourselves.
Today was no exception.
As we slipped away from the mooring the skies were blue just how I like it. All was calm all was quiet.
For those of you that do not know The Bounty, here it is.
A collection of olde woldy buildings, I don't know how long it is older than my mother.
I didn't see it this year but on our first visit there was a mooring sign saying "Breast up and be prepared to be breasted up against" One of the best signs I feel.
Here are a few shots of what the river looks like early, before anyone has had a chance to ruffle it.
|View behind us of the early sun.
|Love these early morning ripples.
Sorry to bore you with Grebes, but I liked all these shots for different reasons.
At Marlow lock I went ahead this time to prep the lock, easy as it was empty.
|Around the corner she comes.
|Nicely in George, no bumps or tinks,
|So handy having two crew, I popped the ropes on, mind you the lock keepers seem not to these days....
|Pretty fierce flow in too on self service, Amanda is a big strong girl though and had it sorted.
I know I took photos of Marlow coming down but that was days ago and just look how fabulous it looks today.
|David and I are very fond of purple and green Beech trees, we have a hedge in this fashion at home.
We topped up with water again at Hurley lock and David did the cassettes. There was a lady runner and as I operated the lock in a customary red life jacket she must have thought me the lock keeper, she asked me to open the toilets, her face fell when I said I couldn't but that the lock keeper arrived in 17 minutes.... Later I released that the doors were not locked anyway, hope she made it to a bush.
In past I had had an unexpected and nasty experience at a lock way down river. It was a side filling lock as opposed to one having gate paddles. WaL had veered across the lock towards a NEWLY restored wooden classic boat the owner was charming but I had been terrified of damaging it. In the event, we didn't but I had been unable to hold WaL against the force of the water pushing us against the other boat.
I had remonstrated with the lock keeper at the time for not warning me as I now know they do at the other two side filling locks.
It's all in the past now but something I have never forgotten. The last lock of today was Hambledon lock, the last of the side fillers.
On this occasion, the lock keeper was on duty and had already said to double wrap the ropes. I had weeks ago talked to Carol about this exact thing, Carol had reassured me that by putting the rope under the huge cleat I would have no problem and so it was.
So nice when what you are dreading turns out to be fine.
Totally unexpectedly, there was the last Regatta of Henley's calendar going on today. To accommodate the racing boats they had put the "Through traffic" into one third of the river, fine in a narrow boat but needs a bit more thought in a wide beam when faced with zonking great cruisers coming towards you.
Luckily David didn't listen to me saying get on the first mooring, as he went on and got virtually the same spot as before near the finish line.
We squeezed into the nice spot and relaxed.
Henley is my favourite. Here are some Regatta shots.
|Two umpires elegant craft in the foreground it is going off to the start line, in the background to the left the umpire standing watching the unseen competitors from behind to see if they infringe on lanes.
|The engines make the most curious sound as if they are constantly stalling.
|On the right competitors going up to the start and the steam day boat Alaska taking Fine Company on a jaunt.
Here's a lovely youtube interview with the owner of Alaska, Peter Green.
She was built in 1883, that makes her 136 years old this year.
|Oh my word a real stunner.
|Very close finish
We cycled together to the cars which were parked together. As we individually set the sat nav in our own cars, her to Norfolk and mine to Windsor.... We departed at exactly the same time.
See you soon deary.
Now I am off to get the next batch of visitors. Dearest darlings Verity and Mitch, our daughter and her husband.