Thu 22nd July Pyrford to Pyrford via New Haw
Sunny again this morning! A gentle cruise downstream brought us to Byfleet Boat Club and TLC. We bought some gas from TLC, where Julia had put our name on one of the bottles. We understand that there is a shortage of gas bottles at present because many people are doing a staycation instead of going overseas, and they are buying boats, caravans and gas barbecues. We also bought some Fuel Set to prevent diesel bug.
We met Terry Simmonds at the club, and caught up news with him. He is one of three guys named Terry we know who each are married to a lady called Chris. It can be confusing. We also know three couples named David and Carol.
We cruised to New Haw and went down through the lock to a place below, where the weir stream joins the canal, and it is wide enough to turn. We turned round and went back up through the lock, and moored up in some shade.
|Moored at New Haw|
We enjoyed a meal at the White Hart with Sue Graves. The pub now serves simple pub food. Last time we came it was a Thai menu. We went next door to the Co-op where we bought some milk.
|The garden at the White Hart|
Back on the boat, the shade had gone, so we set off upstream back to Pyrford, where we turned once more and moored up close to where we had been earlier.
2 locks, 5 miles. Dep 0940,arr 1015 TLC. Dep 1040, arr 1150 New Haw. Dep 1610, arr 1720 Pyrford.
Fri 23rd July Pyrford to Byfleet
We had a short cruise today, just as far as Byfleet Boat Club, where we moored under some trees for shade. Hazel put some washing out to dry.
|One of the amazing plane trees between Pyrford and Byfleet.|
|A beautiful display of ragwort|
|Moored under a tree at Byfleet Boat Club|
We noticed lots of pond skaters, all going up stream, and then floating back to where they had started. When Hazel took in the washing, she found lots of little black caterpillars on the deck and roof, as well as twigs, leaves, and thousands of black specks, presumably seeds.
James went to chat to Adrian who was sitting watching the world go by. While they were talking, James spotted a grass snake swimming along. It disappeared into some reeds on the other side. Then, later, we saw a fox in the garden opposite. It didn’t wait for a photo.
Mark and Christine arrived on Journeyman. They are planning a week away to Godalming.
Robin appeared, and showed us his new workshop, where he maintains the rowing boat hire fleet.
Rodney also appeared for a short while.
0 locks, 1 mile. Dep 1055, arr 1130
Sat 24th July Byfleet
Raz and Eileen turned up on Babbling Brooks. Raz had some work to do on the boat. Mike and Jeanette came to see us as well, and we took photos of each other.
|Mike and Jeanette|
|James and Hazel (Photo by Mike Chamberlain)|
We started to get a little light rain, so we took our brollies as we waited for Oliver to collect us. He took us to Greg and Jessy’s in Leatherhead, where we had a family gathering to celebrate some birthdays: Greg, Amanda, and Jasmin.
|Jasmin with her birthday cake|
|Jasmin and Claudia|
|Greg, Amanda, Oliver|
|Jessy, Greg, Amanda, Oliver, Hazel, James|
We had a BBQ with far more food than we could possibly eat. Thankfully there was no rain until late afternoon, when we had a brief heavy shower.
We had a lift back with Amanda, who stayed on Gabriel overnight, before driving to Poole the next day.
Brian and Claire Clarke arrived late on M’Lady. He is the Commodore this year, and is on boat hire duty tomorrow.
We had some heavy rain and thunder in the night.
No boating today
Sun 25th July Byfleet
The pond skaters were still skating upstream
It was a bit cooler this morning, after the rain. We spent the day chatting to lots of people at the Boat Club, including Brian and Claire, also Ron, and Richard Pilgrim. There was very little boat hire going on – just two or three boats.
Rain started again in the afternoon, so we stayed where we were. We moved the boat back from under the trees, hoping the rain would wash away some of the debris that was all over the roof.
|Moored in the distance at Byfleet Boat Club|
No boating today
Mon 26th July Byfleet to Weybridge
This morning felt a bit fresher after the rain. We departed quietly, as no-one seemed to be up. We had a gentle cruise past what used to be Ed Stewarts house, past the Basingstoke Canal Junction, and under the M25, where we stopped at the water point.
|Leaving Byfleet Boat Club|
|The house once lived in by Ed Stewart|
|Under the M25|
|Facilities under the M25|
We emptied two cassettes and filled the water tank. Then James spent almost two hours, taking everything off the roof, and trying to wash off the twigs, leaves, small black seeds, and caterpillars.
|Everything off the roof|
|Roof in need of cleaning|
While he was there, a widebeam came past, heading for Godalming. It was Machaseh, with Barry and Pippa Tarr, of BCF. We warned them that there was another widebeam up there already, and they would probably meet somewhere.
When we had loaded all our gear back onto the roof, we set off once more, and met John Webster on Corn Dolly. We only had a chance for a quick “Hello”. It’s a shame we hadn’t met somewhere where we could stop.
New Haw Lock was in our favour, as John had just come from there. Coxes Lock was mostly empty, and all the gates were closed – unusual for the Wey. We filled it and went in. When we were most of the way down, we realised that there was a lot of water coming from the top gates, like a fountain. James took a video, and sent it to the National Trust.
|Passing Coxes Mill|
At Town Lock, there were two boats about to come up, so James beckoned them in first as the lock was empty.
|The view of our quayside from Weybridge Town Lock|
We decided to go down through Thames Lock and onto the Wey, and moor up on the Wall. We had to wait half an hour for the staff at Thames Lock to have their lunch hour.
There was a cruiser waiting to come up, and they wanted to have a one-day licence. There is not much you can do in a day, especially if you come in after lunch. When we had moored up on the Weybridge Wall, we saw them go back past. They probably realised that they needed to plan a bit better.
We walked into Weybridge, to visit the Kitchen Shop, which is an excellent place to but all manner of kitchen items. We also went to Robert Dyas, to buy another soft brush for cleaning the boat, as our last one had broken. We came away with a new oscillating fan as well.
Then we had a small meal in Morrisons café, before buying our groceries. It was very hot again, and we took a taxi back. At £7.00 for just under a mile, I think he overcharged us, but for us it was worth it.
We tried to use our tyre fenders as we were getting buffeted by the flow from Shepperton Weir, but the tyres disappeared under the mooring wall, where there must be some sort of cavity.
|The view from our mooring on the Weybridge Wall|
5 locks, 4 miles. Dep 0940, arr water point 0950. Dep 1150, arr Thames Lock 1330. Dep 1405, arr Wall 1435. Total 2hrs 20m.
Next: We set off up the Thames tomorrow, getting a 31-day licence at Shepperton Lock. Hopefully we will find the fuel barge Merchant at Staines, as we need diesel. We are meeting Mary and Jim in Staines after that.