Saturday, 20 July 2013


After an initially somewhat cloudy, but still warm day, we have arrived at the limit of navigation that is the town of Godalming.

We upped pin's at eight this morning and had a steady chug up river. Some of the locks are challenging to say the least, going up. Whilst we have seen a number of boats moored up in what appear favourite locations, these appear to be locals escaping the marina. During the whole day just five boats passed us and two were in pairs sharing the locks.

Being on our own added to the lock challenge as the boat has to be secured stem and stern and the engine off. This made added work for Ali and even for me running through the boat after the stern was secure to throw up the bow rope. I really would not like to see the consequences of not tightening up as the locks fill at a tremendous rate, even with one paddle half raised!  Good fun though.

Newark Priory

Going up! With only half one paddle open and this is the result

The actual channel can at times also be a little challenging, as in " Where is it?". But we soon got used to the rather diminutive markers often hidden by foliage.  The system of leaving the exit gates open just does not seem right, but it is the custom and so we abided by it. This did mean that at times the lock gates had to be closed before Ali could empty the lock, but on the other hand a few were in our favour so I suppose it balanced out.

The Wey navigation does have a charm all of it's own and we are so glad we took the opportunity to navigate it whilst down this way! Thanks for the recommendation, " The Sunshine Boy's", (Doug & James. N.B. Chance) and everyone else who told us to come.

We were a little worried about our air draft due to the Height restriction at Broadford bridge and it's neighbour at Unstead. Arriving at Guildford, we attended the services and brimmed the water tank in order to reduce this as much as possible. When full, we estimate our air draft to be 6' 2". The Bridge is 6' 4", so we should have been fine!  Guildford itself is a strange place and apart from the rather good National Trust info centre at the services, perhaps does not show it's best side to the navigation. Surprisingly clean though. We were inundated by Gongoozlers at Millmead lock in the town though!


The much dreaded Broadford bridge soon hove into view.  We had a cunning plan.... I would approach in stealth mode whilst Ali perched on the Bow locker, so to judge the height of course, but also to provide a little extra, well ballast I suppose!!!  (Ali - I did think John would provide more ballast!!, but I decided that if I hit the bridge I would never hear the end of it.......)

We crept towards it, heck it looked low, but slowly slowly we approached and started to creep under. The top of the cratch had all of 1" clearance. With sighs of relief we carried on and found Unstead bridge not to be a problem at all, cleared by a foot. No photo this leg, carping myself just too much to take one!

Then down in glorious sunshine to Godalming. We stopped at the services in order to recce out the moorings. The winding hole is literally just beyond and on a bend. We decided that the meadow near to town bridge looked good, so I winded and reversed back to within yards of the extreme limit of navigation and here we are moored for the night. Think tomorrow, when we begin the return trip and descent to the Thames, we may do just a short hop.

Miles 12
Locks 10

1 comment:

  1. So glad you have enjoyed the Wey guys, we loved it, so quiet and peaceful. Enjoy London when you get there.


Thank you for your comments