Four In The Lock, And The Little One Said.. 2nd August

Papercourt Meadows to Pyrford Marina

Ornate roof for work boat

We woke with that sloaping feeling. The slight list we’d achieved when mooring yesterday had increased overnight, whether this was down to river levels changing we don’t know as things looked the same. Tilly was allowed out as we were in no rush to get anywhere today and we sat having breakfast thankfully our cereal staying in our bowls, but it is a touch unnerving sitting at an angle.

Time came to push off. Most times pushing the back out and engaging reverse does the job. However today Oleanna would move a touch but she always returned to where she’d started off, we seemed to have got behind a mound of silt that wasn’t going to let her free without a tussle. The barge pole was deployed, a push, then a bigger push, followed by an even bigger push, the stern was free and was pushed as far as the pole would reach out into the channel. A good blast of reverse got us clear and the bow out from where she’d settled and we could carry on downstream.

Waterway Routes back at the stern

Last night Mick had spent ages trying to get Memory Map working on the new tablet for the stern, all that was left to do this morning was decide which case it should go in, red or blue. Red won of course. It’s nice to be able to see where we’re going again on a bigger screen than that of a phone. We just need a longer lead for it as the power socket is on the opposite side to the old one.

Newark Priory

Not far to Newark Lock which sits close to the ruins of Newark Priory. There were plenty of people around the lock, as I walked up I could see why. There were four boats in the lock, two day boats and two short boats. The day boats were discussing that maybe the order to which they had entered the lock should be altered next time to afford a bit more space, the two longer boats were one in front of the other. This all suggested that it was a big group outing, maybe for someones birthday.

Four in the lock

As the day boats pulled out from the lock it then became apparent that the other boats had just happened upon them. ‘Hold back! We’ll stay here for a while, let them get ahead. Don’t want to be with them all day!’ The last boat to leave the lock a sea otter had quite a crew, ten on board in total. Quiet now returned to the river and we carried on down by ourselves.

Entering the flood lock, turf on either side

There was more time to look at Walsham Flood Gates today, the telephone bells having been noted on our way upstream. This is the last of the turf locks on the River Wey. Stone ends to the lock where the gates are positioned, in between there is just earth and vegetation which slopes away, we’ll come across a few more of these this summer.

Someone has vanished!

At Pryford Lock a boat was ascending and a group of young lads helped with the gates, they helped as we descended. It actually looked like they were set in for the day with a picnic blanket laid out alongside the lock.

A busy pub

The Anchor pub was heaving and the smell of chips was enticing but we held off, turning into Pryford Marina onto the service mooring.

I can see now

A fill up of diesel before we hit the Thames and an opportunity to wash the port side windows, Tilly appreciated her better view. Then we reversed back out onto the river and found a suitable mooring so that Tilly could have the remainder of the day out and about in the trees. Here is just far enough away from the M25, tomorrow we’ll end up mooring almost alongside it, for a time anyway. The afternoon was spent listening to the test match and I baked Mick a loaf of bread, it’s the first time I’ve had to knead bread in quite sometime.

2 locks, 2.1 miles, 1 left, 1 pole, 1 roof on a boat, 1 pair of specs, 2 personless shoes, 4 in a lock, 10 on one boat, 0 space to swing a cat, 83.66 litres, 4 clean windows, 8 hours shore leave, 0 rude woofers, 1 multi seeded loaf.

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