Friday, 30 May 2014

Weybridge to Henley

Sun 18th May  Hazel’s Birthday

BBC to Weybridge Wall

Another late start after a tiring day yesterday. Hazel saw the mouse that Hugo had brought in yesterday, so we had a bit of a hunt before catching it and releasing it.  There were also the remains of another to add to the tally.

We had planned to take the boat to Town Lock and come back by bus to collect the car, but instead, James drove to New Haw lock while Hazel took the boat.  A boat was just coming up which was handy, setting the lock for us.

Car and boat again to Coxes lock, where two boats were coming up.  A third was waiting so James was able to get on Gabriel and go to the water point where the car was.  After filling the water tank, Hazel drove to the Town Lock Car Park, while James took the boat and moored just above the lock.

We drove to church where people were surprised to see us.  We had brought cake as it was Hazel’s birthday.  Then we drove to Portmore Quays for the last time, where we assembled all the items to do with the car.  We went to number 7 for a lovely lunchtime send off from the neighbours.

Portmore Quays send off party

Tricia and Suzanne

Sid, Trevor, Christine
Paul and Rosie
Birthday girl

James in the shade

Dave and Caryl came to collect the car and we completed the paperwork.

Boats were getting stuck on the sandbank in the middle, and this caused a bit of a lock queue.  Fortunately when we finally brought Gabriel through we avoided an undignified grounding, and departed with much hooting of horns and brandishing of football rattles.

Boats getting stuck on the sandbank

At Town Lock we handed in our Wey Licence for a pro-rata refund, and moored on the Weybridge Wall.  We noticed quite a strong flow.

5 locks, 4 miles, 2 mice

Mon 19th May

Weybridge to Staines-upon-Thames

We cruised over to Shepperton Lock where we discovered some maintenance work still continuing, so there was a wait for the lock.  We emptied a cassette, and disposed of the rubbish and bought a 2 week licence (£139) for the Thames
Shepperton Lock
When we finally got going, we headed up through Chertsey Meads, where we noticed a high water mark on the information boards, left over from the winter flooding.  We could see similar marks on the walls of some of the houses as we passed.

We visited Penton Hook Marina for fuel, where we had to wait while a diesel tanker made a delivery. We moored alongside a Dutch barge Laura-Jo, owned by Lynne and Dave.  They had brought this boat through the Kennett and Avon Canal.  They said they would never do that again. They had had to get the steam pumps working at Crofton to raise them off the bottom. They gave us a coffee. Lovely hospitable people, unofficially resident in the marina, who don’t allow liveaboards.

Being friendly in Penton Hook Marina
We went also to the chandlery, but they were closed. James left a cheque for the invoice he had received. We have decided that the estimate of £700 to fix the Webasto is outrageously expensive, so we will try to find an alternative engineer, who returns phone calls and emails.

Penton Hook Lock was on self service – this gave us time for an ice cream as it was very hot and sunny.

We cruised up through Staines to our usual Lammas Lands mooring.  The river levels were fluctuating, causing the boat to  list at one point, so we slackened the ropes.

 Our Lammas Lands mooring in Staines-upon-Thames

We had a phone call from Mick regarding the solar panel regulator and the Webasto heater. The Webasto is to be done under warranty which is good news, but it needs to be sorted out by Stephen, the engineer at Chertsey Marine. This could mean delaying a bit more, which is a bit of a shame as we were hoping to get to Lechlade and back with our 2 week licence. We will call them in the morning.  The new regulator is to be sent to us by Mick for me to fit.  We are gradually getting things sorted out.

We sat in the shade under the trees in our comfy chairs.  Later we walked to the folk club in “the Bells”  We sang “A long way down”, “Well well well”, and  “Miles and miles of poly”.  Mary Sibley came.  A good evening.

Tue 20th May

A day in Staines.

Cruised to mooring behind town hall. Going downstream much easier than going upstream. Phoned Chertsey Marine.  Stephen not in yet. Left message for him to call.

Bought bible study book at Canaan.  Bought Hazel’s earrings, and some food supplies. 

Phoned Chertsey Marine.  Stephen replied.  James explained our timing schedule, trying to get to Lechlade and back to Oxford on our 2 week licence. Stephen promised to take the old one away this afternoon for cleaning and testing.

Had buffet lunch at Pizza Hut. Back to boat for zzzzzzzz.

Stephen phoned to say change of plan: he will install the new burner as he takes out the old one, probably on Thursday in Windsor area.

Heavy rain shower around 8pm.

0 locks,  1 mile,  0hr10

Wed 21st May

Staines to Dorney

Shopping first.  BHS / Debenhams etc for a throw to cover our dinette cushions. The one we have now is marginally too small.  No success.  Market day.  Bacon roll at Greggs – not v good.

Then cruise to the Sainsbury’s mooring and a visit to Homebase.  No turn buttons.  Bought a doormat.

Then cruised through Bell Weir Lock.  We saw some Dunkirk Little Ships travelling downstream near Runnymede.

Dunkirk Little Ships at Runnymede

A yellow amphibian vessel in Windsor

Through Old Windsor, Romney and Boveney, mooring at PG point by the Dorney rowing lake.  Lots of long grass for Hugo.  It is not marked as PG Point on any maps that I have seen. Someone has painted the name on the piling.  Perhaps the initials PG are the guy who installed the piling? No idea.

Flourishing rape plants on the Thames Path at Dorney

Walked back to the EA mooring to check car park arrangements for Webasto engineer – looks possible for him to park fairly close to the boat.

4 locks,  10 miles,  3hr50

Thu 22nd May

Two boats left from the EA mooring, so we left PG point and cruised 10 minutes back to moor up more conveniently for access by Webasto engineer.

Heavy rain for most of the day, so we caught up with some changes of address correspondence.

Chris and Diana on Ultreya came downstream and paused for a chat, dripping in their wet gear, standing under our canopy at the stern. It was good to see them. They are on their way to Little Venice / Paddington.

0 locks,  0 miles, 0hr10

Fri 23rd May

Dorney to Marlow

Cloudy threatening skies, intermingled with odd spots of sunshine.

At Bray Lock we found Louis doing his relief lockkeeper job.

At Boulters Lock, we shared with a narrowboat called Roundabout, and they asked for a BCF leaflet.  Rob the Christian lockkeeper there, prayed for a lady in the bows for healing for her arm.

We passed the islands in Cliveden Reach without stopping, and only spotted one boat moored.
Cliveden Reach

We filled up water at the excellent powerful water point at Cookham Lock, while Roundabout went on ahead.  We passed them again at the mooring near the Spade Oak pub.

We continued to the EA mooring at Marlow. It was just starting to rain as we moored up. Good timing.

Stephen rang to say he had the Webasto part and would come this evening.

The rain stopped in the evening and we walked into the town to buy milk and other bits from Sainsbury’s local.

Stephen rang to say he would run out of daylight if he came this evening, so he will be with us first thing tomorrow morning.

3 locks, 10 miles, 3hr35

Sat 24th May

Marlow to Henley

Heavy rain from 5am onwards.  Our wedding anniversary.

Stephen, the Webasto engineer, arrived at 0830 to sort out the heater and replace the burner.  Thankfully, with the canopy, he could work under cover, although the gutters at the stern had blocked and water was dripping into the bilges.  We cleared the pipe with a wire coat hanger and the dripping stopped.

Norman Woolley on Bruin went past, shouting something like: “Can’t stop, I’m heading for Liverpool to do the Mersey!”

When the Webasto was finally installed and working, and Stephen had left, we set off through Marlow Lock at 1115.

At Temple Lock we were swept sideways by the current which was making a large circular movement caused by the flow from the weir.  At Hurley we used the facilities – loo, rubbish, water.

When we arrived at Hambleden Lock, we saw a yellow warning board displayed.  These apparently apply now from Shiplake down to Boveney.

Red Kite at Hambleden
We made good progress round to Temple Island and we followed alongside the regatta course and under Henley Bridge.

As it was our anniversary, we had decided to moor in Henley despite the £9 mooring fee, and go for a nice meal out.

We moored and put up our canopy just as the rain was starting.  A widebeam called Moonshine pulled in behind and James helped them with their ropes. They recently met John and Barbara Froggatt at Newbury.

We looked online and made a booking at “The Square”, a Portuguese restaurant specialising in sea food.

When the rain paused we went shopping and checked out restaurants and pubs. We decided we had made the right choice with The Square.

After a brief zzzz back on the boat we went for our meal.  Fresh grilled sardines, plus prawns wrapped in bacon, followed by grilled lobster.  The house white, which had been recommended on Trip Advisor, was excellent.

The rain had returned by the time we left, so we appreciated our brollies for the half mile walk back to the boat.

Plans for Henley Baptist Church tomorrow, then cruise to Reading. Folk club in the evening.

4 locks, 9 miles, 3hr15

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Getting ready to leave Weybridge

Wed 14th May

No boating today.  We left the boat keys with TLC and visited the house to waterproof the decking and wash clothes.  Colin, the boat engineer, drained the fuel (65 litres!) and fitted a shut-off valve, so he could remove the diesel gauge sender. 65 litres returned to the tank, plus and extra 20 litres.

A second night at the boat club.

Thu 15th May

Byfleet Boat Club to Pyrford

An early start by car to the house where Hazel sorted the last few items out, and met our tenants for a further walk through.  Meanwhile James was at the Holiday Inn at Shepperton (used to be the Elizabethan) for a four hour AA course about speed awareness.  He got home in time to see Elena and Ali at No 8 where Hazel had taken them to introduce them to Paul and Rosie.

Then we put preservative on the uprights of the pergola, before J went for a routine appointment about his abdominal aortic aneurism, which was all clear.

Then back to the boat where we cruised to Pyrford, seeing a deer and a grass snake on the way.  We were followed by Gordon on Catherine J and Ian on Yum Sing, who both went into the marina.

0 locks, 1 mile, 2 mice, 0hr35

Fri 16th May

Pyrford to BBC

An early start to get back to the boat club where we left the boat for Mick to look at the Solar Panel regulator. One the way (Wey?) we saw a Greater Spotted Woodpecker and a deer.

We drove to the house and Hazel went to see the practice nurse to sort out medication.  We went for the last time to a charity shop and the dump.

We saw Maggie May (used to be owned by friends Roger and Mirjana) going up through Town Lock and James went to speak to them.

Dinner with Sid and Christine at Osso Buco, where we had an excellent meal.  Free drinks and coffees, courtesy of Ali and Elena, our new tenants.

0 locks, 1 mile, 2 mice, 0hr30

Sat 17th May

No boating  

We tried putting in the steel windows, and this made it a lot darker, so we overslept.  We were therefore later that we had planned when we left to see Hazel’s Dad in Southampton, and we found ourselves in heavy Saturday morning traffic in Guildford.

When we arrived in Southampton, Amanda had arrived 30 minutes earlier.  We all went to the Cromwell Arms in Romsey for lunch.  We returned via Oliver’s place in Farnborough where we took the final items for storage.

When we got back to the boat at Byfleet Boat Club we were too tired to move the boat as originally planned.

Hugo was looking at the fridge a lot but we couldn’t find anything.

No boating.  Busy day tomorrow

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Fleet to Byfleet

Sunday 11th May

Fox and Hounds to Mytchett Lake

We put on the immersion heater and moved half a mile to Reading Road Bridge, where James had a shower before we walked to Fleet Methodist Church.  The initial welcome was good as we came in the door, but no-one came to speak to us after we had found a pew.  Doreen joined us later and it was good to pray with her after the service.

The music was led by a keyboard player, with a bass guitar, drums, and a guitarist, whose volume was too low. Two vocalists completed the team, and the songs were modern.

It was all age worship and we had the kids crawling around pretending to be sheep.

Good congregation numbers, and they have three services on a Sunday.  We didn’t stay for coffee as we needed to move on.

We went to Waitrose in the shopping centre to buy some bits, including a lovely olive baguette which we had for lunch.

We travelled on to Ash Lock, where we couldn’t get through the side gate to use the facilities, so we had to dispose of rubbish at Ash Wharf again.  Johnnie McDougall came to visit us there, and we had a good catch up session.

 Approaching one of the flashes near Ash

Then we moved on to Mytchett Lake where we found Hazell Nut and Thatwey on the new moorings.  There was also a boat called Sarah, from Crick. They are six monthers. Lovely sunny evening. We saw a common tern and a cormorant.  Hugo happy to be allowed out, but the crows weren’t so happy.  Hugo didn’t like the trains, and ran inside every time one went past.

 Moored at Mytchett Lake

1 lock, 8 miles, 3hr10

Monday 12th May

Mytchett Lake to Brookwood Park

When we emerged from the boat Thatwey and Hazell Nut had gone. We never heard a sound, although the boat did knock against the side at one point, which we thought was due to the wind.

We paused at the Canal Centre to empty the cassettes.  A work boat on the facilities mooring and rowing boats on the water point meant that Hazel had to keep the boat in one place while James went ashore to do the necessary.

When we arrived at Lock 28 we were the last, and we tied alongside Orion’s Wey.  The ranger was 30 minutes late, which was a pity as it was a lovely sunny morning and it would have been good to get off early, particularly as wet weather was forecast for later.

Waiting for the ranger at lock 28

Lock 25 was still full of weed, and we couldn’t get the gates open fully.  We ended up having one bottom gate open, and one closed, and flushing the water (and weed) through by opening a paddle on the top gate.  If enough welly was applied to the prop, mostly the weed succumbed.  However, we hauled out large piles of the green stuff on the sides of the lock.

Brian doing his best with the weed

 The weedy challenge at Lock 25

As we descended the flight, the sound of marching bands came from the barracks.

Petronella in the lock in front of us was very slow, so the whole exercise took a long time.

Not so bad further down. Sharing with Orion's Wey.

When we arrived at Brookwood Park, we sat around in deck chairs and discussed boat toilets and similar.  Meal on board.

Hugo sat on our plank for ages deciding whether to go ashore, and he then made a dash for it and crossed the path, hiding among the low leaves of a lime tree, where he stayed for about two hours.

6 miles, 17 locks, 6hr55

Tue 13th May

Brookwood Park to Byfleet Boat Club

We had been told 0930 at the locks, only 30 minutes away.  For some reason there seems to be a competition among some BBC members on cruises like this to see who can get up earliest and creep away without being heard.

We didn’t see the hurry so we left at 0815, were at St Johns locks at 0850, but we had to wait until 1000 before we could get going into the first lock.  We were sharing with Orion’s Wey, and we kept catching up with Petronella who was sharing with Hazell Nut.

We decided to break for morning tea at Bridge Barn where we moored up for 25 minutes, hoping to allow Petronella to get away on the Woking Pound.  We should have waited at least 45 minutes, because we caught up with Petronella again well before the first of the Woodham locks. Ultimately Hazell Nut went first and Petronella came separately in the lock behind.  We followed with Orion’s Wey.

The green canal at Woodham

Thankfully the forecast showers were only minor.

We got to the boat club at 1605 – a long day.

11 locks, 8 miles, 1 mouse, 6hr15

Friday, 9 May 2014

Woking to Fleet via Greywell

We took a bus from Bridge Barn to Woking station, and walked to the Coign, a church that meets in the H G Wells Centre.  A good welcome, good worship, good talk.

Worship at the Coign

Had lunch in a pub, then walked back via the decorated boats assembled at the town quay.

Boats on display at Woking Town Quay

Drink in Bridge Barn plus nibbles back on board.  The Morso Squirrel now stays in overnight, thanks to Mick's new thermostat.

From Bridge Barn in Woking we had a hard days locking on Monday, with weed, leaves and submerged objects slowing down the party of seven boats. We brought up the rear with Petronella. We left at 0830, and arrived at Mytchett at 1815 (22 locks).

Doreen C, with Petronella in the background

 Sharing locks with Petronella

It was beautiful weather, which made up for the physical challenge.  It was great to see ex-MasterSun friends Alan and Jo Purusram and family whom we haven't seen for fourteen years. They joined us at lock 28 for a ride to Mytchett and a meal at Potters.

Alan and Jo

Tuesday 6th May

Mytchett to Tundry Pond

Sunny.  Water and loo before setting off. We seemed to be the first except for Petronella who had left early. 

We had a log on the propeller blade, and needed Bargee Bills prop cleaner to get it off.  We found Petronella at Ash Wharf, where we stopped to visit Budgens for milk etc.

As we left, Doreen C was coming into view, so we shared Ash Lock with them. We let them go first as they are faster than we are.

We were pleased to have a few inches clearance at Wharf Bridge. Our headroom must be about 5ft 7” as the bridge is 5ft 10”.

We stopped for lunch at bollards by Eelmoor Bridge, at the end of the Farnborough runway, where there were several planespotters.

We curved our way through Fleet without stopping, clearing the two remaining low bridges.  Our first boat had about ½” clearance here, and our second boat may not have got through – we never had the opportunity to get up here, so we’ll never know.

Evidence of badger activity in the banks on both sides just after Cookham Wharf.

The woods near the swing bridge were beautiful.  The bridge is called Cookham swing bridge in the old map I have, but Nicholson calls it Zebon Copse Swing bridge. It needs a CRT key, and unusually the bollards are on the off side, away from the towpath, making it much easier for single handed boaters.

 The beautiful Basingstoke Canal

There are lots of remains of World War II defences, with concrete posts and pillboxes in evidence

WWII defences

We passed Doreen C at Chequers Bridge, and moored on the off side, overlooking Tundry Pond, where we moored with Lystra in 2000.  Hugo caught his first mouse of the trip.

Doreen C went past later.

1 lock, 11 miles, 1 swing bridge, 1 mouse  4hr55

Wednesday 7th May

Tundry Pond to Greywell to Barley Mow.

Bluebells near Tundry Pond

A 9am start was followed by careful negotiation of the landslip that caused the navigation to be closed last year.  There is still a lot of work to be done to clear all the fallen trees and slipped earth. On my map from our last visit, I had marked badger setts in this area.  Did they help to cause the landslip?

Creeping stealthily past the landslip at Dogmersfield

We passed several places where we spotted the blue-green algae which is toxic. We had been warned about this. 

At Odiham Wharf we stopped to search for the elsan point which we had used before, but it has gone. A JCB had been digging a trench where the place had been. The water point also looked unusable. There is no elsan point marked further up than Ash Lock on the leaflet they gave us.  Galleon Marine was wall to wall boats so there was no way of getting in there to ask.

We went on to the end, using the lift bridge (electrically operated with CRT key), and we turned and moored by King John’s Castle. Although the water was very clear, we saw very few fish.  We heard cuckoos and saw swallows.

King John's Castle at Odiham

We walked to the tunnel and noticed that everything was very much more overgrown, with young trees between the path and the canal.

Greywell Tunnel entrance
Beautiful blossom at Greywell

Going back through the lift bridge

After a sandwich we started the journey back, meeting Petronella after a mile.  We stopped at the Barley Mow, where we are due to meet Joy tomorrow.  Thatwey and Hazell Nut went past.

We tried the TV but the signal was poor, so we watched a DVD (K-PAX).  Hugo caught two mice.

0 locks, 9 miles, 2 lift bridges (same one twice), 2 mice 3hr40

Thursday 8th May

At Barley Mow Bridge. Heavy rain intermittently.

Joy Sayer came to see us mid morning.  Lovely to see her again.  Just lost her husband John three weeks ago. Thankfully she is cheerful and positive.

Pub meal at lunchtime.  They serve Old Rosie cider on draft, and devote a whole page of the menu to bangers and mash choices.

Hazell Nut and Thatwey had arrived by the time we returned.

Lots of rain today, so no boating.

Getting a bit worried about our diesel supplies, and our loo capacity, as facilities are very limited here.  We don't want our diesel to run out, but we want the tank as empty as possible so that the rest can be drained when we get back to Byfleet.

Decided to be sociable and go for a meal in the pub with the others at 7pm.  Nachos and a pudding.  Discovered during conversation (as you do!) that the elsan point was still there at Odiham after all.

No boating today
Friday 9th May

Barley Mow back to Odiham and on to Fox and Hounds

Despite a dry forecast, there were one or two heavy rain showers.  We decided to go back to Odiham to empty our cassettes, so we turned in the winding hole and headed back upstream.

We saw a greater spotted woodpecker amongst the trees.

When we arrived at Odiham wharf, Yum Sing was there, and Ian was emptying cassettes and filling up his water tank.  We turned and pulled in behind him. Apparently Betty was at work and he was waiting there until she joined him.

While we were dealing with our cassettes, John Pinkerton II reversed under the bridge and tied up behind us.  James went to have a shower while Hazel was given a guided tour of the new boat.  A party from Hampshire Council, including the mayor, arrived for a trip, just as we left. 

David Ward rang and suggested we come for lunch instead of an evening meal. By now it was 1100, and we had at least two hours to go.

We soon caught up a trip boat for the disabled called Dawn, which was going   v--e--r--y     s--l--o--w--l--y .  Thankfully they pulled in to the side to let us pass, which we did.  Hazel ran the washing machine as we travelled, so that we could get a full tank at the Barley Mow water point.

Arriving at the Barley Mow, Petronella was just leaving, so we moored up in their place, near the tap. Dawn went past. It took 15 minutes to fill the tank, and then we set off again.

We soon caught up with Dawn, which was still going   v-e-r-y     s-l-o-w-l-y.  We saw also that Petronella was in front going just as slowly.  Petronella pulled in to let both boats pass, and just beyond Chequers Bridge, Dawn pulled into the winding hole where they were planning to moor, so we passed.   We were able to put on some speed then, and when we arrived at the swing bridge, Petronella was nowhere in sight, so we went through on our own.  We arrived at the Fox and Hounds at 1315, and we called David Ward.

David came by car to collect us as there was too much wind for Owl and Pussycat.  We had a lovely lunch at the Ward’s home. David took us back via a garage where we bought two 5 litre diesel cans, which we filled for the boat, in case we got low.

Several boats now in place for tomorrow’s festival.  Supper on board.  Hugo locked in as we are two boats out and there is a road close by.

0 locks, 8 miles, 1 swing bridge, 3hr40

Saturday 10th May

Fox and Hounds Rally

Despite being the 25th birthday celebration for the BCBC, there were only four boats apart from the Byfleet Boat Club: a small dinghy with an outboard, a steam boat, Doreen C, and a trip boat (Dawn).  BBC had six narrowboats.  Just as well we were there.

The pub was running a BBQ in a marquee, so we had a chicken kebab. There was a guitarist playing songs in a minor key accompanied by a drummer.  There were some ladies morris dancers later on.

Fox and Hounds rally

David and Doreen came to visit and had coffees on board Gabriel.  There were some heavy showers alternating with sunshine. There was a strong wind and it was fairly cold.  We were awarded a certificate for achieving the 22 lock challenge. 

There were some other announcements and a birthday cake which we missed because we were on board. There was no programme of events, so no-one knew what was happening next.

BBC all went for a meal at the Fox and Hounds, which was excellent.  Good conversation until the band started up, very loud. They were good musicians, but the volume was too much.

No boating today

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Basingstoke Canal to Woking

What a beautiful day for the first part of the Basingstoke Canal!  Sunshine all day, though still cool.

Flotilla ready to depart from Byfleet Boat Club

We set off from the boat club at Byfleet at 8.15am, turning into the Basingstoke Canal after a few minutes. There we waited for the BCA ranger who arrived at 9am to undo the padlock on the first lock.
Waiting at Lock 1, Basingstoke Canal

That Wey and Vulcan (?) were first in the lock, followed by Nexus and Petronella, and we shared the third with Yum Sing (Ian and Betty).  There were a few incidents which slowed us down with visits to the weed hatch, lock gates not shutting properly, and boats getting stuck on submerged bits of tree trunk.  There were a lot of rotting leaves causing propellers to struggle, and a plastic bag which blocked our bow thruster for a while.  But there was an atmosphere of team work and a sense of achievement when we finally arrived at Bridge Barn at 2.15pm.  6 hours to do 6 locks and 5 miles!

 Sharing locks on the Woodham flight with Yum Sing

Passing the community of houseboats at West Byfleet

 Green duckweed on the Woking pound

Moored at Bridge Barn, a long way out

It was just as slow getting our food at the Bridge Barn pub, where we were seated at 6.45pm, and the food didn't arrive until 8.20pm. However, that gave us time for great fellowship with Byfleet Boat Club member Brian (Orion's Wey) and BCBC members Tim and Liz (Doreen C) who asked for a BCF leaflet.

Tim and Liz have a tiny trailable sailing boat that draws 18 inches and is 16 ft long. They are sleeping on board with no heating, and with a tent over the cabin roof to give a little extra insulation.  Bottom right of the picture below. Ours is the boat with the pram hood.

Boats assembled at Byfleet Boat Club

We plan to visit the Coign (New Frontiers) church in Woking tomorrow followed by watching the procession of decorated boats.  Then 22 locks on Monday!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

LIveaboards - a week later then planned

We are finally on the boat after a hectic few weeks of packing, stowing, giving away, dumping stuff, trying to empty the house.  This a sorting area we arranged for some of the small bits which lurk in drawers for years.

For the last week we have been sleeping on the boat, as our beds had left home.  Yesterday we moved Hugo our cat on board.and he seems very happy.

We have today left our mooring, and ventured up the Wey as far as the Anchor at Pyrford for the night.  This is nice and peaceful, away from the M25. The fire is lit, the rain outside doesn't bother us, and the wine with the meal was good. Our first mooring as liveaboards.


 We can't go further as the river sections are on red boards.  Tomorrow we'll be at Byfleet Boat Club by the noisy motorway enjoying some good company before a trip up the Basingstoke Canal.