Monday, 15 July 2013


Another 8 am start from our moorings in Cookham. Last night we dined in the Bel and The Dragon. This is a lovely old building on the main street, all low beams and inglenooks in the original part, then going back into some very tasteful modern additions.  These then lead on to a secluded garden, and it was there under the shade of an awning that we dined.

The food was superb. I had calamari with a sweet chili sauce dip for starters, whilst Ali had a Duck salad. Then I had a steak, whilst Ali went for roast Suckling pig with all the trimmings. The food and ambiance was brilliant.

So we set off down river in glorious sunshine. Under Cookham bridge, then a left down the lock approach channel. Before locking, both we and Lady E took the opportunity of filling with water.  Most of the water points on the Thames seem to be designed with motor cruisers in mind rather than "Sewer Tubes", but a bit of shuffling saw us both brimming and ready for a washing machine fest between locks. Cookham lock was on self service and so Ali operated this, allowing a large dutch barge and a cruiser down as we watered, then re filling and dropping us down.  I could quite see Ali as a lock keeper!

As we cruised and washed the clothing, Ali became aware of a coxless double Rowing scull travelling at speed towards our stern, so intent were the rowers that they had not seen us.  A quick holler, disaster for them avoided!  The reduction in boat traffic after the weekend has been noticeable. Note to self, avoid weekend travel on the Thames were possible.

After the first lock, the rest were manned and so easy passage was made. Boating on the river is just so easy in comparison with the canals and I can well see why well heeled silver top's in massive gin palaces, prefer to go back and forth, never leaving their home waters. Some of the boats here cost more than a street of terraced houses "Up't North"....and they do not like us narrowboats, take up just too much mooring space!

The properties are becoming more and more impressive. Not just by their value, but also in the variety of architectural styles displayed.

So Now we are moored on an island in Royal Windsor, opposite us, mounted on a pole is a Hawker Hurricane, a tribute I think to it's designer, Sidney Camm.  Only one small problem, cannot get the arse end in to the bank (boat!), but hey ho, story of my life!

Having a chill out whilst Ali takes a walk around. Looks like we are hitting the tourist trail tomorrow and visiting the castle  and it's environs.The weather is reminiscent of 1976, hope long may it continue. We have even travelled with the pram hood up, minus its sides, to give a little shade. Works a treat on the river.

First lock of the day, already getting warm

Seven Gables Cottage

& lovely steps down from it

Our first view of Windsor Castle

& zoomed in a bit

Our mooring this evening

Doug and James, nb Chance, have convinced us that coming all the way down here, we just cannot miss out on the River Wey. So, By the end of the week we will be giving it a go.

Miles 9
Locks 4

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