Friday, 31 August 2012

Watch out for snakes!




We left Godalming this morning and after filling the water tank came to Catteshall Lock where first time boaters were receiving lock training for their day out ...


... The member of Farncombe Boat staff now appears to be giving steering advice as the day boat leaves the lock, presumably she will escort the family up to Godalming, showing them how to wind (turn) and descend a lock too.  Very good training indeed.




We continued down the three locks and moored up just below the weir at St Catherine’s Lock ...






... a snug fit ...



... with the weir behind us, but hubby George didn’t feel too happy being there, thought the noise from the weir would disturb us ...















... so we moved from over there ...


  



... to over here on the off-side of the river just below the lock (there was a day boat moored here when we arrived) ...



... on Shalford Water Meadows.  Once settled we walked round the natural course of the River Wey shown on the map here ... 






... it was rather overgrown in places - lots of nettles ... 


... and some unusual plants - these are like the tiniest toadstools or mushrooms ...




... but best of all we saw ...





 ... a grass snake - it was at least two and a half feet long ...

 ... basking in the sun - we were so lucky to see him (and not to tread on him)
The view across the meadow as I sit here posting this blog ...

... from my new posh chair!!

Yesterday

was quiet ... stroll around the High Street ... a few small jobs on the RnR and relax!

Others were working though ...

 2pm and the towing horse (not sure if this is Ben or Rosie) goes by to wait on the opposite side of the river for ...






... Packet boat Iona which the helmsman has ‘poled’ off into mid-river ...




... where he throws the towing rope to the horses handlers who attach it to the harness to tow the barge on its daily trip down the Wey.





Just before 4pm and they’re back, the horse has been unhitched from the packet boat ...




... and heading for some affection from an admiring public before being taken back to his stables
The sun is setting earlier and earlier now - this is 6pm last night.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

That mad ....

... bird!

Turn up your sound and watch for the finale ...

video

A brilliant exhibition to watch ...
but not to be woken up by at 06:30!!

Itchy Feet ...

... time to move on ... we left our mooring on the Guildford meadows yesterday morning and headed towards Godalming, the furthest south possible to navigate on the connecting rivers and canals.
First lock of the day ...





... where Al and Del caught us up and shared the lockings

Passing the weir where pilings are being inserted - this was probably the cause of the very low water on the reach above Millmead Lock last week when I rang the lengths man to say there was a problem (RnR was very, very tilted) and within a couple of hours it was remedied although not sure it was the result of my phone call! What we did know though, it was the cause of the low water here today, but with care both boats made it to Unstead Lock with not too much ‘scraping the bottom'





Couldn’t agree more!!









The bridge above is Broadford Bridge and Nicholson’s Guide does not tell you that at ‘normal’ river levels the clearance is only 6’ 4” - but as you can see we got under ok ...





... and so did Derwent6 much to Al’s relief!







Although double locks they’re narrower that those on the Grand Union etc., only a few inches between the boats



It is from the River Wey Navigation Information booklet given to us when entering the river that gave us the bridge heights etc., but even that source didn’t tell us that Trower’s Footbridge was also very low!

This is Cattershal - the last lock on the River Wey with these strange alcoves in the walls - any ideas out there that could tell me what they would have been used for please?

Derwent6 has stopped at the services so we continued into the town to collect water ....





... where we met this swan with a severe case of OCD .... once he started attacking the boat ...







... he couldn’t stop! Up and down he went pecking at the side and stirring up a wake in the water like a mad thing!
After an unsuccessful attempt to moor half way between the town and the lock we reversed into a nice space opposite the long-term moorings.  Al and Del had a disposable BBQ taking up space so invited ourselves and Ann and Chas to bring along our sausages and burgers, salad and wine and make good use of that BBQ!

A perfect end to a perfect day!


 10 am this morning the view from the back deck - you may just be able to see the bridge marking the end of navigation on this river in the middle of the picture in the trees.

and this is what it was like at half twelve - and has been ever since!
Don’t care though, we’re snug inside very relaxed!!

Monday, 27 August 2012

River Pirates

 Ann and Chas upped-sticks this morning to cruise down to Godalming to check out where best to meet up with their grandsons next weekend leaving an empty space between Rock ’n’ Roll and Derwent 6

 Out for a walk this afternoon ... St Catherine’s Priory high on the hill ...





... and river pirates ... 







... having a great time!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Dapdune

 Visitors today - we took them on a short cruise to Dapdune Wharf to fill the water tank and returned to the meadows ...





The Carpenter’s Shed where seasoned oak is stored ready to replace planks on Reliance - a Wey Barge






Wow, these look good ....






... hand made too - very beautiful ...




... made by this gentleman - a NT volunteer ...
also in the picture is George’s sister Diane and hubby Paul - and Molly of course!







Relaxed but industrious






Dapdune Wharf’s Blacksmith Shop




Wey barge Reliance was built at Dapdune in 1931 -32 but had a rather short career when she hit a bridge on the River Thames in 1968 and sank





Reliance’s cabin
Paul, George and Di - great to see you both again.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Recycling ...

Yesterday Ann and I walked up Quarry Hill to visit the Castle - unfortunately I forgot my camera so today I’m recycling ones I made earlier!


Guildford Clock ...
... and one original - early rowers on the river this morning.