Saturday, 24 June 2017

Post Chatham

Since returning from the rally trip, it's all seemed a bit dull. We didn't really have any plans as to what to do next!

We spent the following weekend on the boat, we've had a leak into the engine room from our waste discharge pipe, the Piper guys have fixed it for us, but it was a most unpleasant job, I've cleaned the area again and we've an odour neutralizer in the bilge, hopefully that will sort it.

I've been tinkering with some bits and pieces and making sure we carry adequate spares to survive a long trip without any serious grief!

We're going to cruise by the regatta at Henley next weekend and we're in the process of organizing long weekend trips with various family and friends, so my PCD is receding as we get some shape back into our cruising plans.

I'm very keen to hear about Providence's trip to the Norfolk Broads, I really fancy that for next year when we set off for ur 4 Months aboard in the summer, something to really look forward to.

We need to find a way of raising the back of our chartplotter so the screen can be seen more easily, especially by Penny. We also need to think about things we might want on board for a long trip, such as tender & outboard, stern anchor, gadget to assist with mooring to a buoy and I'm sure much, much more. We'd also like a couple of bikes and maybe a BBQ, but it's where to put it all, something to have a think on over the winter!!

See you soon, Tim & Penny.

Monday, 22 May 2017

DBA Chatham Rally Trip

Our first DBA Rally with our own boat, actually it's our second, we were at the Bisham Abbey Rally in 2015 but on foot.

We've really been looking forward to this, we've taken 3 weeks off, a real boat trip!

I'm going to blog it all in this one post, but will do a few days at a time, so don't forget to come back for the latest updates!

Here we go with the first installment:

Obviously we start from out mooring in Caversham, we arrive at the boat late morning on Friday 19th May, having been to Tesco for provisions, emptied the house of anything useful, oh, and collected the cat! We load up and do the usual setting up stuff and set off for Henley. The only unusual thing about this trip to Henley is all the locks are manned! A first for us.

In Henley we see Piper Barge 'Ascension', there's no one home so we go for a stroll around town. We see there is some sort of festival happening tomorrow, this is a shame as we have to be in Maidenhead tomorrow, this is happening  lot!

On our return Shaun and Tracey (as we discover) on Ascension are in so we have a bit of a natter, we return to Deep Thought to see 'Happy Chance' arriving, I pop up ad invite them down for drinks (it's our turn!) We have a few glasses and a good chat about boats Piper and stuff, Claire & Jeremy return to Happy Chance & we get on with our dinner.

I'm in the wheelhouse having coffee the following morning and I hear a strange roaring noise, I investigate and discover the cause:
 I assume it had just taken off, but thought it was about to put down in the river, fortunately it gained height and flew away!

We set off before the mooring warden came to collect our £10, Naughty! A goodbye wave to Happy Chance & Ascension and a cruise along the nearly completed regatta course. Coming out of Hambledon lock there was an approaching narrowboat waving at us, I was unsure as to what the signals meant until we sa it was Phil & Carol on Water Lily on their trip to Ripon! Then, before we got ot Hurley we had a hat trick of Piper's, La Bamba, Skylark Song & Eadlin all in about 10 minutes.

We continue to Marlow. passing Tom Kerridge's 'Pub in the Park with, to our surprise, several available moorings! It rains a lot as we pass 'Rock the Moor' at Cookham, we feel quite smug looking out from the comfort of our wheelhouse, we know a few people who are there! There's a lot going on by the river this weekend!

We cruise very slowly along the Cookham lock cut hoping the rain will stop before we get to the lock, and behold, it stops!

Passing through Boulters Lock I have a discussion with the keeper about my 'dodgy' looking licence, he's quite happy, but I decide to get onto CRT to see if they'll give me a 'proper' one. In no time at all I'm on familiar ground from my childhood and we're tied up just downstream of Brunel's famous railway bridge:

We take a walk into Maidenhead, it's the first time I've done this for a long time! It doesn't seem to have changed at all - it's still a right dump!! We buy some beer, some fruit from a High Street market stall and a couple of bits from Waitrose and return to Deep Thought. Later, my long standing friend Stephen arrives bearing a take away curry (his wife is one of those at Rock the Moor) We enjoy the curry and a couple of beers and have a good long catch up.  some time later after Stephen has left and we're about to go to bed, Penny thinks the boat is on the tilt, I take a look and she's right, the lines are very tight and we're aground, seems the water levels have dropped a bit and it was a bit shallow to start with! I loosen the lines and after a lot of shoving I manage to push Deep Thought afloat! Off to bed we go!

We're still floating in the morning, so this is a good thing. We're taking my Mother and Stepfather for a ride today, My middle son Tom and his partner Laura collect them by car and we cruise up to Jenner's cafe to meet them. With all safely aboard we turn round and head downstream towards Windsor. We crack a couple of jokes about Rolf Harris (he lives in one of the houses along here) and arrive to find our first proper lock delay of the year! There's a ton of boats at Bray Lock, we're soon through though and find a similar queue at Bovney, we get to Windsor and tie up by the leisure centre for lunch, we nearly get away without paying, but the warden shows up 10 minutes before we set off, an expensive lunch stop!

We continue through Windsor and turn round just past the bridge. It's a much quieter return cruise, a lot less boats about now and we get back to Jenner's just after 4pm. We say our goodbyes and set off again. We're unsure as to where to moor for the night, after a bit of a discussion we head back to Windsor to make good use of the mooring ticket we bought at lunchtime. We pas through Bray & Bovney for the third time today, the keeper at Bray has a joke about 'frequent locking miles' and before we know it we're tied up at the leisure centre again. Turns out to be surprisingly quiet here. We have a dinner of assorted leftovers from yesterday and today and have the aforementioned quiet night.

Windsor to Chatham:

So, installment number two, not sure I can remember back to Monday last, it's been a whole week!!

We go shopping in Windsor the next morning, I get a long awaited new pair of trainers, so we set off about mid morning. All is fairly uneventful until we get to Old Windsor Lock:

It's bust! So we have lunch while the EA crew turn up and take about 3 hours or so to replace the bracket which holds the top gate in place, I must say - very impressive! We cruise on, only Chertsey Lock is on self serve, and end up on the 'Lady Lindsay Lawn' mooring below Shepperton Lock, a jolly nice spot.

The following day (Tuesday I think?) we head for Teddington. Shortly after rejoining the main river from our backwater mooring we spot another Piper boat ahead, soon enough we catch up with Phil and Alison on 'Alphi' at Sunbury Lock. We wanted to top off our drinking water tank, but I'd misread the guide book and it was only a small tap here, so we locked through with Alphi.

At Molesey the water is at the end of the lock landing and there were already two boats there, we had no choice but to wait. One finished as we arrived and the other, yet another Piper 'Josephine H' moved up and that gave us enough landing to get a rope on. Eventually we got the tank topped off and dropped through the last lock before Teddington. We got onto a mooring at Kingston, we apparently needed to do more shopping and had lunch while we were there. This mooring was one supposedly under control of the new 'Thames Visitor Mooring' scheme. I tried to register our arrival with them online, didn't work! Then I phoned and got an answer machine which cut off while I was half way through giving them the required details. Sod it! I tried.
We trundled on down the last couple of miles to Teddington to find another 7 or so barges already there. We were welcomed by the DBA chairman Andy, then, after paying the mooring fe at the lock office, went off for a stroll into Teddington. Never been here before, it was  quite interesting, plenty of restaurants and other interesting shops, most definitely worth the walk.

Here we are at Teddington:

Now it starts to get interesting!
We attend the skippers briefing, safety, weather, convoy order and a whole load of other stuff. We are to be number two in line as we lock down for the cruise down the tideway to West India Dock. It all starts to go horribly wrong pretty much immediately! All of us (8 barges I think?) were to lock down together in the enormous barge lock, but, only 3 of us lock down and wait for the others to lock down in the smaller lock. We cruise really slowly punching the last of the incoming tide while everybody gets locked down. PLA launch 'Richmond' shows up and starts to escort us down the river. We then encounter problem number 2, the Richmond (the place not the launch!) half tide barrier is still down so we have to wait until it is lifted:

Then it's stop start, a couple of boats have trouble keeping up so we stop and wait for them to catch up. Then 'Vios' breaks down with gearbox trouble, but eventually we all seem to get going and head at a reasonable pace into London with the now outgoing tide. We call Claire and Jeremy (Piper boat Happy Chance) as they live near to Chiswick and come down to wave us past.

Some pictures of tideway trip part 1:

For a couple miles from the Palace of Westminster to Tower Bridge it got pretty choppy, a few wave onto the roof and a bit of pitching and rolling, but after Tower Bridge it calmed down. There was a bit of a close shave with one of the big yellow mooring buoys, the tide was taking us sideways towards it, along with several of the following barges, but fortunately we all missed it!

We pass Limehouse, my previous limit of downstream navigation and turn round the big bend passing Greenwich and with the O2 arena to starboard (that's right to the non boaty) start to turn into the entrance to West India Dock Lock. It is big. Very, very big. All of the barges still in convoy raft up and there is room for at least this many more! I said it was big.

The barges behind us in the lock:

Looking forwards:

 We lock up to find another 5 or so barges already there and we all wriggle in and raft up for the night.

That's not one of us!

An hour or so later, the previously broken down 'Vios' locks in, we are all surprised!

And now it gets really interesting!!
We attend the skippers briefing for the run to Chatham, pretty much the same as yesterday, I do feel a bit nervous, but the exciting type I like to think!

Just before lunchtime on Thursday we all head for the lock, all except Vios who still has issues with the gearbox, so 13 (I think?) barges lock down to the river, with probably room for a further 13!! A long line heads for the Thames Barrier:

And through charlie span we go!

The river just gets wider and deeper as we go further down, in no time at all we are going under the QE2 bridge, no issues with air draft here:

We pass old and big:

Some of the other members of the convoy:

And even bigger:

It's a whole new experience of reconciling my navigation theory with the reality of following the chart from mark to mark, attention has to be paid as we'll be returning on our own!

We reach the Nore Swatch buoy which is kind of where the Thames becomes the sea and where we turn to starboard for the 12 mile run up the Medway to Chatham a couple of miles up one of the barges loses it's engine and comes to a stop. Angela Dawn is soon on the case and takes them in tow. The marks pass quickly and in just under a couple of hours we are approaching the lock for the marina at Chatham, it's about 1930 and 13 barges, plus a small number of other vessels all want to lock in, a sort of chaos follows! 2 barges lock in and I notice it takes nearly 30 minutes to turn the lock, hmmmm I think! Not helped by the fact that we can only hear the marina on the radio, not the other half of the conversation so it's quite difficult to work out what's going on. We float up the river for about an hour an have dinner as we're starving. Eventually i get onto the radio channel we've been using for 'ship to ship' to try to find out what's happening, John from the DBA is on his way to the lock to try to help. It's starting to get a bit dark and we are called into the lock with barge Patricia and one of the Dunkirk little ships, I have to say I'm quite relieved, even at the expense of nearly losing a fender which I caught on the lock gate going in! We lock up to the marina and find the heritage pontoon which is to be our home until Tuesday. We raft up alongside fellow Piper boat 'Dea Latis' It's nearly 2230 when the last barges arrive, they've been on the river outside the lock entrance for some 3 hours! Piper boat 'Providence' rafts up on the outside of us.

Time for bed.

Here we are in the cool light of day the following morning:

I'll tell you about the weekend in Chatham tomorrow.

We were in the docks at Chatham from Thursday evening until Tuesday lunchtime. Last night (Thursday) I gave the boat a bit of a hosing as we were covered in salt from the journey down. After a lazy start, us and others are washing yet more salt away and cleaning off accumulated grime to make our boats look their best for the weekend. We're in a raft of 4 Piper's (not organised, just how it worked out) Otium on the inside was launched yesterday and will have about 2 hours on the engine.

I took a walk over to the marina office to try to find out more about our intended trip up to Allington, the non-tidal part of the Medway, but they were no help, I booked a provisional mooring here for Friday, at £3.40 a meter, ouch! (that's £51 for the night!). We wandered around the selection of shops here, there's quite a few, then went over to the Copper Rivet Gin Distillery at 1800 for our complimentary Gin and cold buffet with all of the DBA attendees. There was a small tour of the very impressive distilling hall, they have 2 stills there, one for whiskey and a larger one for vodka. I didn't know that gin was in fact botanically flavoured vodka! They had a 3rd shiny copper vessel which infuses / macerates the flavour into the vodka to make it gin. So after much boaty chat we return to DT for the night having picked up fish & chips on the way as the cold buffet didn't really do the job as an evening meal, nice as it was.

Rally barges with historic tug 'Kent':

A shot looking from the other end:

Saturday is the first day of the Chatham Maritime Festival, We have a wander along the selection of stalls quite early on, which is very pleasant as there's not too many people about just yet so you can get to see everything and chat with the stallholders. We buy a couple of nice looking things for lunch from the Italian bakery stall and return to DT to consume for lunch. Can't remember what we did in the afternoon, I probably should have been updating the blog!!

We're invited to 'Providence' for drinks at 1830 along with the other Piper crews, then we go over to the Ship & Trades pub for the DBA 25 year celebration dinner, there's one table left and all the Piper crews end up on it!! A reasonable meal and more wine and lots of boaty chat, my sort of evening.

Now it's Sunday already!
It's all becoming a bit of a blur! Could be the wine? Who knows? Penny's brother David and Partner Louise come to visit, their first to the boat! We wander off through the festival stalls - again, and end up at the stage where there is live music, so we have lunch and cider in the glorious sunshine. The dragon boat racing is also happening today, there are a few DBA members in the crew of one of the boats and they seem to have made the final! So we watch them come in fifth, a fine effort. David and Louise depart and another great day draws to a close.

On Monday morning we go off for a walk around St Mary's Island, it's really interesting with lots of information boards about the Dutch invasion, prison ships and riots. After lunch (purchased from a nearby food stall) our daughter Tasha, recently returned from Mexico (yesterday) comes to visit, the primary reason being to pick up our cat who's been living under our duvet for he past week and a half! At 1800 we have the other Piper crews (except Dea Latis & Angela Dawn as they've left for Queenborough) over for drinks and a good time is had by all, then we go for an early birthday dinner this evening in the Ship & Trades (it's my birthday tomorrow). Very nice,

When I wake up on Tuesday, Penny (very unusually!) is in the wheelhouse watching most of the remaining barges leave for the lock and the return trip to London, very soon there are only 3 of us left, it all seems very quiet and lonely now. Tasha leaves for home with the cat, we do a couple of loads of washing now we can access the shoreline and top off the drinking water tank. I get on the radio and book the lock for us and Providence, we are going upstream, Providence downstream and over to the Norfolk Broads! Very brave.

1200 soon arrives and we head for the lock, Providence in first and us behind, in a few moments the water is gone and we wave goodbye to Providence as they head for Queenborough for tonight and an 0430 departure in the morning. We turn left and head into unknown waters (to us) towards Allington, a 12 mile trip along the remaining part of the tidal Medway.

I spend the next 3 to 4 hours with my eyes glued to the chart plotter and the depth gauge, and before I continue, here is some background:

The Medway from above Chatham to Allington gets more and more shallow the further you go, it nearly dries out completely in a couple of places! This is then further complicated by a bridge at Aylesford, just a mile before Allington, which is a bit low! So, we need enough water in the river so as not to go aground, but not so much as we need to get under the bridge! I sought advice from someone who'd done it before, and the lock keeper at Allington was very helpful!

Ok, here goes, this is what happened:
The first piece of advice was to leave just after low water on the rising tide and cruise up very slowly.
The advice from the lock keeper was to leave at 1330, getting us to Aylesford with plenty of headroom, then the lock with enough water over the cill.

Low water was at 1130, so I decided to split the difference on the above advice, as you've read above we locked at 1200 and this put us onto the river at 1220 (see what I mean about splitting the difference?) Upstream we went, eyes glued to the chart and the depth gauge, all went very well, ok, the water was a bit low in places but about 9 miles up, by Burham Marshes, the depth gauge did the plummet, there was a scraping sound and we were aground. Hmmm... We were in tickover and as soon as I thought the inevitable was going to happen I put us into neutral. We sat there for 10 or 15 minutes I think, then the boat started to move a bit and we were off again, it was still pretty shallow but we were floating and continuing upstream, for about half a mile! Then the inevitable happened again, but this time we were stuck for about half an hour. We were on the inside of a bend and it took the tide the half hour to lift us from the bottom an push us round the corner. I'd deliberately erred slightly to the inside, thinking that if we did get caught, this is what would happen. I felt that if we got stuck near the outside, the tide would push us further to the outside making it difficult to float off. I'm no expert, but this was my thinking.

Eventually the tide pushed and lifted us off again, I think we touched bottom briefly once more, but I'm not sure it's worthy of mention!

Another two and a half miles of progress brings us to the bridges at Aylesford, no idea as to what the fuss is all about, there is loads of headroom!! The trickiest bit is avoiding the pillars with the fast incoming tide, complicated by the large amounts of floating debris coming with it! Somehow I squeaked us through, I thought I was going to hit the left side bridge pillar, I've no idea how we didn't, it must have been very close! Normally I would have used a blast of bow thruster, but just as we were lining up we encountered a large mass of floating debris and I didn't want to break the thruster just yet! The Allington lock keeper had asked us to call him as we passed Aylesford, which I duly did, only to be told that there was currently not enough water for us to get over the cill into the lock, he said to go real slow (no easy task as we were running with the incoming tide) and call him again from the final (motorway) bridge. We managed to make this last mile take about an hour, eventually the motorway bridge appeared and I called Allington again, all was now well as just around the corner from the bridge was the very welcome sight of Allington lock with a boat just leaving. Into the lock we go, our ropes being taken or us, a bit of a discussion about licences (they had never seen a CRT / EA gold licence before! And a discussion about mooring (we were done for the day) And we tied up for the night on EA moorings just above the lock.. phew!

I was too busy focussing my mind on navigating us without mishap to take many pictures, but here's a couple of Allington lock, we really liked it here, the old toll house was a cafe, lots of boats, a pub & everyone seemed really friendly.

Looking downstream to the lock:

The lock;

Now to relax for a few days.

We had a lazy start to the day after the trauma of yesterday, I checked with the lockie about the mooring situation on the Medway and also booked our departure for Friday morning, 0600 or when there was enough water on the rising tide to get us over the cill.

So onto the Medway, up through Maidstone meeting the trip boat and on to East Farleigh, I'll let the pictures tell the story:

The sign on the lock beam amused me:

As you can see, all we get to do is about 5 miles of the Medway! The lock closure (which we knew about) didn't really make any difference because just above it is East Farleigh bridge:
Which I'm pretty certain we wouldn't have got through I'd have tried if we could have got to it, but we couldn't.

The lockie at Allington said we could use the lock landing as a mooring:
And a very pleasant mooring it was too, when the guys working on the lock knocked off for the day!

We took a walk back along the river into Maidstone and a wander about, the following morning we took a walk upstream to see what we were missing, all very pleasant.

The following day (Thursday) we head off after a lazy start and stop in Maidstone for a visit to Lidl to replenish supplies and then on to Allington to find nowhere to moor, so we tie up alongside a widebeam outside the pub. We go to the toll house for cake, they've sold out of cake so Penny is a bit disappointed, we have toasted teacake instead. We return to DT for dinner and set the alarm for 0500!!

At 0600 the following morning (Friday) we cruise into the lock, there's not enough water yet, so we wait. The lock is advertised as being available 3 hours before high water, chatting to the keeper it is realistically abut 1.5 hours before HW!

At about 0640 it is deemed that we can go, so we lock down and start our downstream return. We are pushing the last hour or two of the incoming tide, much easier to control the boat, the only concern is the amount of floating debris likely to cause a prop foul! We get to the Aylesford bridges, there was time for a picture this time:

And we cruise back without the worry of the depth of the water, the tide is still coming in and only turns when we know there is plenty of depth.

The Copper Rivet Gin Distillery at Chatham Marina from the river:

The entrance lock to the marina, we've decided not to go back here and are continuing down to Queenborough harbour to wait for the lunchtime tide on Saturday for the return up the Thames estuary:

A number of these sailing barges are about, there's a race tomorrow:

A fort further along the Medway Estuary:

Us doing some navigating, you really have to be careful as much of the estuary dries out at low water and you need to keep an eye on the chart and marks, here's a port lateral:
(so why are we leaving it to starboard?)

We also saw a seal, but no picture. We navigate out way to Queenborough, pretty good I thought as we'd never been here before and get all tied up on the town quay. We're in yachtie world here, so a whole bunch of boats we're not used to mixing with!

We took a walk into Queenborough, lots of pubs & we eventually found a Morrisons some miles away! We stopped for ice cream on the way back to DT.

We spent the following morning watching the sailing barges (12 I think) head out into the estuary. At 1300 we start to ready ourselves for departure and at 1315 we cast off and head back down this bit of the Swale to the Medway estuary. There's quite a lot of boats about so we keep a careful watch on them as well as finding our way back into the Thames, we can see the Montgomery and all of the sailing barges further out. Soon after getting onto the right course for the Thames, the water is pretty calm, a large container ship comes steaming along heading for open sea. This makes a series of large waves which we just manage to steer into, there's a lot of crashing from inside the boat and the bow digs into the third wave, there's water everywhere, but fortunately all outside of the boat, just where it's supposed to be!

Here are the sailing barges:

Some seals along the way:

It's fairly straightforward to find our way back, albeit a bit lonely as we're no longer with the convoy. We follow the small ships channel and cross the deep water channel at the correct point, back under the QE2 bridge, all pretty uneventful until just before Tilbury. I could see a container ship following and catching us up and just before Tilbury it calls us on the VHF to ask us to slow down so that they can pass us and turn across our bow into the lock for Tilbury docks. Exciting stuff.

The Norsky entering the lock for Tilbury Docks, and I thought some Thames locks were difficult:

We continue on after this moment of excitement and as we pass Margaretness we call London VTS for permission for the Thames barrier, I'm a bit surprised to be give 'Golf' span as everyone else seems to be getting 'Foxtrot' so I look up the detail and it's a smaller one, I assume for smaller vessels, it's still 30m wide though!

There's not much traffic about, it's about 7pm, the Woolwich ferry doesn't bother us and we start to encounter a couple of clippers and trip boats. As we pass Greenwich I call Limehouse to let them know we're nearly there and soon enough we're turning back into the tide for the turn into the lock entrance. They swing the bridge for us as it's a bit bumpy and the water is quite high. Before we know it we're all tied up in the basin.

A familiar landmark along the way:

We're staying in Limehouse until Tuesday morning, £51 for the additional 2 nights after our free one.

There's a bit of a moment at about 0230 when I wake up and hear voices, a couple of lads have taken it upon themselves to sit on our bow for a chat, all ok and no harm done.

Sunday sees us doing one of our treasure hunts around the West India docks area, very interesting and we learnt a thing or two. Lunch in Browns and some impromptu mini golf.

Monday sees us off to the V&A for my birthday present, we tube to Marble Arch and walk through Hyde Park to the museum. The Pink Floyd exhibition is just amazing, the most wonderful present.

On our way back to DT, we get a call from Penny's Dad, who with his friend Jean are joining us for the ride back to Caversham. They are in the pub waiting for us. No surprise there!

We have a meal in the Narrow, the pub by the marina entrance and I take a look at the river, it's very choppy and the wind is really gusting a lot, I don't say too much, but it's a bit worrying for the return tideway trip in the morning.

The morning arrives and I go to take a look at the river, it's raining and still windy, but the river looks very calm, that's a relief.

I worked out that we should lock onto the river at 1000, after talking to the lockie this was revised to 0930, we eventually locked down at 0915. We cruised fairly gently upstream, it was fairly hostile weatherwise, thank goodness for the wheelhouse! You can never get bored with the river trip through here, it's fascinating, all those famous london landmarks. There was a bit of a moment in the battersea area when a tug pushing some empty rubbish containers was fast approaching us from behind, he had priority for the bridge arch ahead but was heading for another one, probably because we were in the way, but it all got sorted and I learnt something for the next time I'm in that situation.

We get to Richmond and the half tide barrier is down:

I call the lock on the VHF and he says that by the time we've been locked through the barrier will be lifted, we tie up alongside the lock and wait. The moral of the story here is, that had we left at my time of 1000, it would have been perfect timing and no wait for the barrier, we did see it lifting though!

We pass Piper barge 'Ascension' just below Teddington:

There's a moment of confusion with Teddington lock in sight, the light is green so i make for the entrance, just as a boat exits!! No harm done!

It's still pretty windy so we decide to stay on the Teddington moorings for the night. Guess what? We end up in the pub again!!

Weather seems to be better for the rest of the week, the following morning we move on upstream.We pass the Pink Floyd recording studio barge 'Astoria' at Hampton:

We stop at Hampton Court and for some reason head off to do the maze, I've not been here since \i was a schoolboy! We get in for free as the till is broken. Getting to the middle was disappointingly easy.

We stop above Shepperton lock for a spot of lunch and end up in Windsor for the evening, I even manage to get DT into the Eton bank where it is quite shallow! Out for dinner again tonight, very nice.

 No need to label this one;

Back on familiar ground (oops, water!) now we stop at Marlow for lunch and end up in Henley for the night. Weather is a lot better:

And the final Friday arrives, we do the short trip back to Caversham, drop Mike and Jean at the station and set about cleaning the boat inside and out. A great trip, and I've no idea where we're going next. Watch this space.