Sat 12th Aug Godalming to Guildford
Moored in Godalming
We reversed the boat from our towpath mooring near the Methodist Church to the sanitary station, turning round at the corner. We filled up with water and did all the other necessary things. The elsan point was in a good clean state, unlike the last time, when we found it blocked and unusable. Hazel went to do some shopping in Sainsbury’s.
Turning at the corner
Our visitors arrived soon after – John, Gemma and young Samuel. John went off in the car to meet us in Guildford, while Gemma and Samuel had a boat trip with us. There were several day hire boats out and about from Farncombe Boathouse, and we shared every lock with a different one.
John and Gemma with Samuel
We moored on the meadows, as near to the rowing club as we could get, and John came and found us. We all had lunch on board.
Later, Hazel had one of her occasional infections, and we arranged an appointment via 111 at the Royal Surrey Hospital. We took a taxi there, and she was prescribed antibiotics. We took the prescription to the pharmacy in a large Tesco near the hospital and then took two buses back to the boat. The pills seem to have worked OK.
3 locks, 4 miles
Sun 13th Aug Guildford
Early morning on the meadows at Guildford
We walked to Guildford Baptist Church at Millmead for their 10am service. We spotted John Archer, a colleague of James’s from Tear Fund days 27 years ago. Just in front of him was Steve Bishop, a colleague from MasterSun days 17 years ago. We were able to catch up briefly with both of them over coffee after the service.
We did some shopping later before returning to the boat via a grassy path down from Quarry Street.
The famous clock
In the evening we had a visit from our son Greg and granddaughter Jasmin, and boyfriend Gavin, who joined us for dinner at an Italian restaurant. Greg’s wife Jessy was in Malaysia, and our other granddaughter Claudia was in Poole with Amanda. It was good to find out about Greg’s recent trek to the base camp at Everest.
Hazel Gavin Jasmin Greg
No boating today
Mon 14th Aug Guildford to Triggs Lock
It was sunny as we left the mooring on the meadows, and went through Millmead Lock. There are always Gongoozlers here, and James had a pleasant chat with a lady from Nelson, in New Zealand.
Once through the lock, we tied up near the Alice statue, to do some last minute shopping, before moving on once more to Dapdune Wharf to use their facilities. We didn’t need water – just as well as there was a queue for the hose.
Alice and the rabbit statue
Guildford Town Bridge
Here we were pleased to meet Adrian (not his real name), who spends a lot of time on a small white cruiser. The first time we met him was several years ago. He had been slumped over in his boat which still had the engine running, in forward gear, keeping the bows into the bank, above the weir at Walsham gates. When we went to see if we could help, we couldn’t understand what he was saying, and thought he was from Eastern Europe. He had several empty wine bottles in the boat. We got him to turn off his engine, and we moored his boat securely. If we hadn’t been there he could have ended up going over the weir. The next morning he had sobered up and we realised he was English and quite well spoken. He obviously had a problem with alcohol and had called his AA mentor. The fact that our boat was called Gabriel challenged him and we gave him some Christian literature.
This time we invited him on board for tea, and discovered that he has been completely off the booze for two years, he has done an Alpha Course, and his girl friend is a Christian who goes to Hillsong. We gave him a New Testament and a “Why Jesus?” booklet. We are so pleased that we met him again, and will continue to pray for him.
We moved on from Dapdune, going downstream through Stoke Lock and Bowers Lock, mooring eventually on the river section below Triggs Lock, where we have seen deer in the meadow in the past. No deer this time, partly because they have mown the meadow short.
4 locks, 5 miles
Tue 15th Aug Triggs Lock to Byfleet Boat Club
We had a very peaceful night at this lovely mooring, away from the traffic noise of the A3 which spoils the area near Sutton Place and Bowers Lock.
We came off the river section at Worsfold Gates, where we spotted the old wooden boat that has been used to strengthen the bank.
There was just one visiting boat moored in Send. We stopped at Cartbridge Wharf to fill up the water tank, before moving on past the new Send Marina where Geoff, the owner, was operating a JCB.
The tap at Cartbridge Wharf
We had Papercourt Lock to ourselves, and after the river section we saw Travellers Joy moored up. This belongs to Margaret and Barry who are no doubt jet setting off somewhere as usual.
Soon after Newark Lock we came across a team tackling the Floating Pennywort which is really bad around here this year.
When we arrived at Byfleet Boat Club we found that Tony and Pat on Paws 4 Thought were there. We last saw them in Reading. Strangely, we both needed a 6kg gas bottle, so we went to TLC who thankfully had two bottles on stock.
Tony and Pat were planning to visit Brooklands Museum, and we had also considered doing this, so we said we would go too.
3 locks, 6 miles
Wed 16th Aug Byfleet Boat Club
We took a bus to Brooklands Museum. It was several years since our last visit, and there were several changes. First of all the entrance was from the Mercedes World area, instead of from Brooklands Road. The museum now includes the Weybridge Bus Museum, which used to be near Silvermere. We went round the site at different speeds but met for lunch in the cafe.
Brooklands F1 exhibition
No boating today
Thu 17th Aug Byfleet Boat Club to Pyrford
Strangely the new bottle of gas we had started only three days ago ran out. There may be a gas leak, so when we reconnected the new one bought yesterday from TLC, we turned it off when we weren’t using it.
We set off north and turned in the junction with the Basingstoke Canal, before returning and passing Paws 4 Thought.
We went to Pyrford, and turned in the Marina entrance, before mooring up on the towpath in a wooded area. It was much quieter than at Byfleet Boat Club, where the M25 runs just a few feet away. Paws 4 Thought came and moored nearby.
0 locks, 2 ½ miles
Fri 18th Aug Pyrford to Weybridge
Paws 4 Thought left before we did, and we are unlikely to see them again this year. We went into Pyrford Marina to buy another bottle of gas. We saw our friend Dick Dolton there.
Farewell to Paws 4 Thought
We then departed for Weybridge, going back past the boat club and the Basie and under the M25 with its colourful graffiti.
We caught up with a boat called Grainne Mhaol and shared New Haw Lock with them. We left the lock first as they had crew to pick up. We had a heavy rain shower at that point. When reached Coxes Lock there was a boat waiting, and we could have shared with them, but would have been queue jumping, so we beckoned Grainne Mhaol on. They were very grateful as they were meeting people at the Pelican. Before we could use the lock, another boat came up, Nauti C’s, owned by Byfleet Boat Club members.
New Haw Lock
We moored just above Town Lock as we had shopping to do, and we needed to see our Weybridge property at Portmore Quays. Although we have been paying gardeners to look after the garden, due to some non-communication, the work hasn’t been happening. The issue we think has now been resolved.
We walked to the shops, and bought a new brolly from Dyas, as it was raining hard and our old one had broken a spoke. Then to Morrisons for some provisions. The rain stopped as we walked back to the boat, so we moved on down through Town Lock. It is said that some of the old stones at this lock came from Oatlands Palace which was demolished around the time that the navigation was built. Oatlands Palace in turn was built with stones from Chertsey Abbey.
Once through the lock, we went downriver, and were pleased to find that the mooring we were hoping for was unoccupied. As we were heading there, Paul came round the corner on Iron Duck, and we confirmed that we would see him later.
Paul on Iron Duck
An hour later we had a knock on the side of the boat. It was Alison and Laura from Large Marge, last seen in Newbury. They were moored on the Thames by the ferry, and were out to explore the Wey and the village.
Soon after they had gone, there was another knock. We thought it was them back again, but it was the lady from Grainne Mhaol. They had also moored by the ferry. She was handing over to a gentleman called James, She asked about Canal Ministries and BCF, so we gave out the appropriate leaflets.
We went to our neighbours Paul and Rosie’s for a lovely evening meal. It was good to catch up.
3 locks, 3 ½ miles
Next: out onto the Thames and upstream to Staines for Sunday at Staines Methodist Church, followed by Mary and Jim’s ruby wedding at Runnymede.