Tuesday 6 August 2019

Rowers, reflections and no I'm sorry she's at Balmoral already.

David had declared last night that it was an early start today to get to Windsor.  Amanda was up dressed and standing by her bed for inspection very early to impress the captain at about 06:15, I am not nearly so scared of him so I was slower to react.  However, I was dressed in time.

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.

Marlow weir.

Fearless swans.

Happy visiting crew.

Below Marlow lock, we were the first boat on the water here today. 

Nice reflection thing going on here.

Now Marlow Lock is a tad annoying, I mean who designed it?  The lock landing is NOT connected  to the lock!  So David had to tentatively push SR's nose onto the tiny portage point drop off Amanda, who leapt out with those long legs of hers, and hope for the best.  
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.


  1. Hi Lisa,
    I reckon that Amanda is just naturally less slothful than you and me, unless we are motivated to get out of bed early. In my case, that can be facilitated by delivery of cups of tea.
    Now I think that the cuboid boat house was designed to match the cuboid shape of the house, don't you?
    And as for the rowers! Well, it was when they came towards me backwards that it gave me the shivers. I used to use Waka Huia's Mack truck horn as gently as possible (not easy ...) to notify them of our presence in the general vicinity.
    At least you are not having to stop every few minutes for weed removal - and I think a stray rower and craft would be easier to remove from the bow somehow!

    Big hugs, M&Dxx

  2. Hi Marilyn,
    Slothful..... i prefer the term relaxed. I can relax extremely well. I certainly wouldn't get out of bed without a cup of.
    The rowers are something else, that day there were about 20 of them, they knew we were there alright and they succeeded in scaring me just fine. I will ask George how he deals with them. It is possible that in a narrowboat you can dodge them a bit easier by keeping to the edges, I don't know.
    I don't want to see another rower until Tokyo 2020!

    1. I am hoping the NZ crews win the day/s in Tokyo!

      Slothful, relaxed - two different meanings to me. I am slothful when it comes to getting out of bed before I want to (have been known to stay in bed reading and napping till after 5pm).
      I am not particularly relaxed though when in getting moving mode, and I am just a wee bit known for my impatience, according to a certain person ...


    2. Impatience.....? I simply don't believe it.