Pesky rowers are the main hazard on the Thames in the mornings. Something is written somewhere in the Rowers Rule Book that between the hours of 05:30 and 08:00 that they own the river and are answerable to none.
Now this is marvellous at the Olympics when Gold Medals are being dished out to the GB team and our joint chests swell with pride but frankly Reader in July and August Rowers can get right up your nose.
This was the case today. One rowing boat containing four mature women, (All with slim muscular figures which make me consider rowing for fitness) but they arrive from nowhere, hover in the shipping lanes and well whatever you do they scowl at you alarmingly without moving out of the way.
Maybe they are waiting for other boats to join them and do times but they are enough to try the patience of a saint let alone David.
In the end you just have to elbow your way out, albeit slowly and be assertive. I mean who's the biggest anyway?
|I have wondered about the shoe box summerhouse, I mean its a distinctive look ok but...
|It is actually floating.
|Marlow Bridge, another just like it in Budapest and those pesky rowers.
|Lock Landing with no access to the lock. Only in recent years have the locks been operated on self service so it didn't matter before but it is annoying.
|Amanda doing her best while David hovered.
|Happy visiting crew.
|Below Marlow lock, we were the first boat on the water here today.
|Nice reflection thing going on here.
The best wasn't much as nothing happened.. It was bright sunlight this morning, too shiny to read the the indicator lights on the control panel. Eventually after no action, a contractor at the other end (Yes it was very early in the morning for workmen to be out) yelled up to her that he had closed the downstream paddles for her, the previous user should have closed gates and paddles on leaving the lock but hadn't.
We came gently in and secured the lines. All went well and we picked Amanda up again below the lock on the landing which down below Marlow Lock is attached to the lock.
A nice gentle run down through Bourne End, Cookham and then into Maidenhead.
It was here the Rowing drama continued. So it's the school holidays now and school boys were the instructors of even younger children who were all in individual boats and simply surrounded us, getting very close then rowing ahead, becoming unseen around the bows. It was very unnerving and frightening that you may run one child over....
We didn't. I said for David to hold his line and let them avoid SR but this was impossible as up ahead they just seem to gather and stop in the centre of the river again and play chicken with the boats, they mostly win too.
I'm not sure if there has ever been a fatality but it wouldn't surprise me.
Now here for your pleasure is a wee gallery of gorgeous vintage wooden boats, some are older than David and that's saying something as he is 84.
But they are sooooooo very very beautiful and to my mind thousands of times more lovely and the plastic gin palaces that frequent the Thames today.
|Loving this old property still in tact unlike many others that have been demolished and horrid ugly carbuncles built in their place.
|Just above Bouters Lock in Maidenhead this place....
|Is this the old man himself...?
We arrived in Windsor and it really is a stunning vista of the castle above you as you arrive by boat. I know you can see it from the M4 but it's not the same. We managed to get onto Eton meadows on our second attempt, we have moored in exactly the same spot a few years ago on What-a-Lark which we think has a medium draft (Depth) but SR seemed too deep or perhaps the river is lower?
Eventually with the help of nice Canadians on the boat next door we were in, staked and having breakfast with one of the best views in the country while they went off to visit the Queen.
The light on the castle was quite dramatic this afternoon and evening.
|The it rained and they all went away.
|Sunset tonight making the castle orange.
It was quite warm and the bike ride plan evaporated quite quickly, it was replaced by a sunny afternoon's reading, resting and napping in the sun. I had no interest to go up to the castle as its about £500 to get in and is knee deep in tourists.
The was a Fair on the meadows quite close to us. I knew it wouldn't be too late, then a 747 Jumbo Jet or equivalent flew overhead from Heathrow airport and the music started up at the Fair at about 2pm.... Amanda called her husband and could hardly hear him, ah the peace and quiet of the countryside.
Sadly for the Fair, it started raining and the customers fled, the music went off soon after and we all slept well.