Godalming Wharf to Quarry Hill Footbridge Meadows
Being close to a water point meant a day of chores before we pushed off. Oleanna hasn’t had a wash down in months, so it was about time. Mick even used the word ‘we’ in relation to the job. On NB Winding Down, our share boat, we would have to leave her spotless after each trip, which meant a grumpy last day on board. I enjoy returning the roof to it’s original colour, where as Mick follows instructions and any suggestion that he’s not quite doing it right is followed by his cloth being slapped back into the bucket. As you can understand we don’t spend our lives washing Oleanna down as some boat owners do.
A boat had beaten us to the water point, so the washing machine went on instead. Once they had moved away we pushed over. The hose was set to refill our tank, then a couple of buckets were made ready. Everything was removed from the roof, it was swept down and we set to work. This of course coincided with another boat pulling up! They breasted up and headed off to do some shopping whilst our tank filled and we washed the roof. Blimey it was filthy!
On their return our tank had not long since filled, a boat tucked into the corner had left, so we suggested that we slip out and take that space. They could do their necessaries and when the time came for them to wind we would return back to the service mooring leaving the winding hole totally clear.
The tap is a slow one! As they filled their tank a horse box arrived with Alizee, the packet boat was made ready for a trip out, a coach arrived, passengers climbed onboard Iona, Alizee was walked around to the towpath, the health and safety talk was given, Alizee was toggled up to the rope and off the trip boat went, all the time we washed Oleanna, moving down to the starboard cabin side. At last their tank was full so we swapped positions so that they could wind with ease.
As we returned all the poles and brushes to the roof a friendly Australian couple came for a chat. There was lots to talk about with them and we were glad, Mick more than me, for a break from the washing! I’d wanted to get the stern and well deck looking nice today too before we headed back towards Guildford, but it wasn’t to be. Not the Australians fault but a blank spot in my vision, the start of another migraine!
So we returned to the mooring by the winding hole and Mick tucked us in tightly whilst I retired below with some pills. No more washing and no going anywhere.
Monday morning and I certainly wasn’t going to be rushing around for anyone. We took our time, ran the washing machine again and then moved back to the water point to top the tank up. With this done we slowly made our way down stream. Catteshall Lock needed resetting, the two of us operating paddles and gates as plenty of gongoozlers looked on.
Trowers Footbridge was busy, two lads jumping into the river, had they seen us coming? A short toot of our horns and they knew we were there. We pulled in at the pub mooring for some food and then decided to carry on.
The sun was out and so was everyone. Approaching Unstead Lock we could see that we were following someone who was already on their way down. A dozen or so young people stood around the lock, music in the back ground, all a touch damp around the edges. As we approached, the bottom gates were being closed by them, brilliant we could fill the lock. They helped with the gates and watched patiently as we dropped down the lock. As soon as we were out of the way the gates were closed again and a figure at the top gates could be seen winding the paddles up. They’d been waiting to get their swimming pool back again. Each of them harmless, wanting to have fun, we just hope they understand the dangers of locks.
At Broadford Bridge I waited in the bow with tape measure in hand. Mick slowed Oleanna right down so that the gap between our horns and the underside of the bridge could be measured. The gap was between 5 and 6 inches from this and the height board from the bridge I could work out our height above the water. We’ve had a height given to us before, but today with a full water tank and a half diesel tank we could do our own maths. 6ft 2ish, give or take half an inch, well if the river level board was correct.
6ft 2inches is the maximum height of Standedge Tunnel. Before the chimney was trimmed it sat at a similar height to the top of the horns, it being off centre had always worried us, hence it having been trimmed. We now know that when the time comes we’ll need to remove the horns from their bracket, giving us around 4 to 5 inches leeway.
St Catherines Lock basked in the sunshine again and then we were down in the reach of the river we planned on mooring in. My head and I could now take it easy. More swimmers and bridge jumpers were expected and they didn’t disappoint.
We pulled in opposite the big posh houses/flats on the off side by the meadows. Further to walk into town from here but far more pleasant for Tilly, just so long as she keepst her tail down away from the electric fence!
3 locks, 600ft back and forth, 3.57 miles, 1 clean roof and side, 1 left, 2 pink pills, 4 none yellow yellow pills, 2nd horse, 14 swimmers, 6ft 2, 1 clean kettle, 1 sour dough woken up, 250 grams mince in the bin, 1 head on the mend.
£379,000 for two bedrooms with painted floorboards and wonky walls.https://www.hamptons.co.uk/buy/property/2-bedroom-semi-detached-house-in-surrey,gu7-ref-4822884/