Saturday, 14 April 2012

We've finally set off

After all the build up and planning over the last few months and after spending the last few days packing the boat we are finally on our way.  On Friday 13 April (not the most auspicious date you might well say) we moved the remaining luggage and the food from our fridge onto Leo and then we both drove over to Pyrford in the car.  Ian then left Helen on the boat while he returned home to leave the car and then come back on one of the two Bromptons that will accompany us on Leo.

Rather later than we had intended we pulled back from our mooring at Pyrford Marina and set off about 15.20:
Pulling back from our mooring at Pyrford
Setting off downstream along familiar waters we tried to arrange to see Kathryn who owns our sister ship, Leo 2.  Sadly we had left it too late and Kathryn was no longer available.  Down through Weybridge Town Lock we moored opposite some very expensive houses above Thames Lock.

On Saturday morning we made a leisurely start, walking the short distance into Weybridge town to do some shopping, chiefly for some bits we thought would be useful on Leo.  Armed with some storage boxes, drill bits, a shower tidy and a plastic step for the stern deck, we returned and set off around 10.30.  All too soon we were through Thames Lock and saying goodbye to the friendly lock keeper there.  Out onto the huge Thames we turned our bow downstream.  Below Sunbury lock we joined a cavalcade of glassfibre cruisers all nose to tail around a circular course.  The crews were dressed immaculately in suits and ties with handy glasses of wine and champagne at the ready.  This was an annual event for the boat club concerned but we were perplexed at the fascination of travelling one behind the other on a short circular course.  We were invited to join but declined on the basis we were improperly dressed for the occasion.

Helen's cousin, Nina, joined us from her house nearby as we stopped for lunch at East Molesey.  This is the second time Nina has been aboard Leo with her dog Rastus.  We always enjoy her visits and have promised to call her in a week or so when we plan to return this way with Pas Mèche.

More entertainment came with the passage through Molesey Lock.  One light cruiser became stranded on the lock side as the level dropped.  No-one on board seemed to notice but the lock keeper did and raised the level again as he walked over to talk to them.  Another small cruiser had on board 9 young and fairly drunk men.  One jumped on board demolishing the small cross trees.  The lock keeper was phoning ahead as we came out of the lock to warn colleagues of this crowd.

We moored for the night on the Kingston side of the river half a mile or so upstream of the bridge.
View from our overnight mooring - do you like the flowers?

We have now done our preparations for tackling the tidal waters below Teddington including extracting from the bow locker the huge and heavy anchor and tying this on ready for action.  Let's hope we don't need to use it.

3 comments:

  1. Bon Voyage! We're sure you will have an amazing summer, with heaps of experiences and memories - almost all good - and that you'll never regret doing it sooner rather than later!

    Carpe Diem

    Go raibh an ghaoth I goónai ar do chûl
    Go n-éiri and bóthar leat.

    William and Daphne

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  2. Ian and Helen - Very sorry to have missed you at The Pelican - left about 14:45 as I had a Doctor's appointment. If you come back up the Thames please let me know and I'll make arrangements to come and see you.

    Kathryn

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  3. Plan is now to get to Limehouse on about Thursday or Friday and so back up to Teddington probably Saturday unless the wind or weather is foul. So likely that we will be back around Weybridge on the Thames Sunday 22nd ish. I'll let you know closer to that date as there is "many a slip".

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