Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Heart stopping locks

We set off this morning at about 09:30 and it was overcast but was supposed to be a dry day.

The first lock of the day was Marsh Lock and there were I think four boats coming in; Moore 2 Life and ourselves were told to go to the end bollard in the lock.  I certainly don’t like this position because when the gates start to open the boat generally moves forward and it’s sometimes difficult to hold the boat back.  That is what happened today with Ann (M2L) shouting to the lock keeper that the gates were going to go close onto her boat, I also called up to say stop the gates as our bow button was also going past the safe area and into the space where the open gates sit.  The lock keeper was quick to react and no harm was done except that both Ann and I had quite a scare.
 This is the first house boat I’ve seen so far on the Thames this time

Henley Rowing Club established in 1839!

Big boats including The New Orleans Steam Paddle boat at their Henley Mooring 

St Mary’s Church Henley ...

... and Henley Bridge ...

... through which we can see where the Henley Regatta takes place
 Such an attractive waterside town

A bit different from the last time we came this way

Moore 2 Life about to pass in front of Temple Island ... 

 The Temple was built in 1771 by James Wyatt as a fishing lodge!

 But I can’t find out whose statue this is

The cormorants are happy there are is no mooring here - it’s their drying point

She’s keeping these chicks in line!

Understated elegance

Entering Hambledon Lock ...

... and passing some unusual properties ...

Danesfield House, built at the turn of the 20th century by a Manchester millionaire

Just as well it wasn’t a sweltering day there was no-one to serve us with an ice cream!

The approach to Hurley Lock is under this footbridge on a bend and as Moore 2 Life entered the lock must have just emptied because ...

... a whole row of big cruisers came towards and past him ...

... some of them barely able to get under the bridge - we stopped, reversed and waited while they went past us we were in no hurry to be squeezed in that bridge.

Safely in the lock and descending and out the other side ...

... and another of those footbridges on a bend but thank goodness no boats coming from the other direction!

Hurley is soon followed by Temple Lock - sharp left under the footbridge - and it’s now absolutely chucking it down!

Looks as they’re going to be doing some celebrating here
 All Saints Church and Marlow Suspension Bridge

a MacDonalds Hotel!
Marlow Lock and the second incident of the day - a really scary one indeed for Ann.
As the water descended in the lock Ann was standing in the well deck (at front of boat) holding the boat steady with the ropes round the bollards as you can see in the photo below ...

... suddenly Moore 2 Life became stuck as if it had caught on the wall of the lock and the boat started to tip - alarmingly. Ann was screaming and hanging onto the rope even tighter and I called to the lockie to stop - he also reacted swiftly and reversed the flow, letting water back into the lock - suddenly the boat righted itself with such a splash - it was absolutely terrifying - for me and so much worse for Ann, but it took a little while for Ann to get her breath back. A couple of dishes fell from the kitchen side during the incident but didn’t even break!

I could smell these roses from a couple of miles away!

Our mooring for tonight is at Bourne End which was certainly much quieter and wetter than last time see the pictures here
swimmers opposite the mooring
 Looking towards the Bourne End Marina from our moorings ...

... and looking at our moorings from the marina!

The day turned out to be rather wet but as we moored up the sun did come out for a short time, I hope that tomorrow will be dry(er)!


  1. Oh gosh.

    I have found that the boat is able to catch the side of the lock by the steps as the water drops. Sometimes there is a bit of a wider brick just at the top of the steps. Keep an eye on that. Glad all is OK, please take care and keep those boats just off the sides.

  2. Great photos. I've never thought to visit Henley but must say, after those pix, it looks worth a visit, delightful. Hope the weather is with you.