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Archive for August 21st, 2016

Boat Blog: The Oyssey 2016 – Day 39 – River Thames

Posted by indigodream on 21 August, 2016

Rewind to Sunday 17th July

Marlow to Henley

Not something that we see every morning!

Not something that we see every morning!

We were woken up very early by the sound of raised voices and a megaphone; we thought nothing of it at first but then we heard water drumming as if an apocalyptic thunderstorm had broken over the boat. We were intrigued, but even I looked out of the porthole the sky was a clear summer blue with the promise of a day’s sunshine – what was going on?

We had a look out of the cabin doors and saw that the water was boiling – the river was alive with swimmers – hundreds of them, taking part in an open water swimming/triathlon! We were captivated – we were moored just up from the start/finish point and couldn’t have had a better view – too good a view at times as one swimmer, despite our frantic shouting, swam right into the boat! I would have worried for his head, but luckily his outstretched arm touched the bow first. Elsewhere, the safety boats were working hard to keep the swimmers on course, and out of the path of the few motorised boats that were being escorted along the river.

Richard the lock-keeper (blue T-shrt!) - it's a job he'd enjoy!

Richard the lock-keeper (blue T-shirt!) – it’s a job he’d enjoy!

Although we could have arranged our departure with the event organisers, we decided to stay put – the swimming would be over by 10am (they started at 7am) and we didn’t have a taxing cruise ahead of us.

Although we didn’t have any guests on board today, we had quite an eventful day. The river between Marlow and Henley is absolutely beautiful, but the river was busy and there were queues at many of the locks – average transit time was an hour! We had a nice moment at Mapleduram Lock – the lockie was at lunch so Richard went up to operate the lock. He did a great job of organising the waiting boats and packed the lock like a pro, I wondered at why all the boaters were being so co-operative – then I realised that Richard was wearing a blue T-shirt and looked like an EA lockie – the motley crew of boaters hadn’t realised they were being directed by a lowly narrowboater! Richard was a bit slow though when two approached him to buy day licences, he told them he was not the lock keeper and waved away their cash rather than saying ah that’s OK no need for any paper work.

We’d heard that there was a historic boat rally at Henley but we hadn’t reckoned on the sheer scale of the event. Henley was jam packed – both on the river and on the riverbank. Passing traffic was shunted into a special channel mid-river, while historic boats processed in their own channel. We flew our Jubilee pageant flag, and were gratified by the waves of acknowledgement from the many Jubilee boats at the event.

We had planned to moor Indigo Dream at the “pay ‘n display” moorings in Henley, but the town was so crowded we despaired of getting a space. But to our astonishment, there were several spaces opposite the island – we quickly moored up in the first available space and Richard went to get us a parking ticket – Β£55 for a week – bargain! Sort of.

Old friends, new boat - No Problem XL with bloggers Sue and Vic - not time to stop today but we hope to catch up with them soon :-)

Old friends, new boat – No Problem XL with bloggers Sue and Vic – not time to stop today but we hope to catch up with them soon πŸ™‚

It was quite early when we moored up – Richard went off to find a train back to the car in Limehouse and I pottered around with the greyhounds. The park adjacent to the moorings was jam-packed with picnicing families – once again, the hound and the boat became tourist attractions. In the end, I had to close the towpath-side curtains!

It had been a hot day, so later on I settled on the back deck with a good book and dangled my feet in the river – the water was cold, even after a day in the intense sunshine – it must have been freezing for this morning’s swimmers!

Richard had a slow drive back from Limehouse, but at least the boat was packed up and ready to go – we had a fridge end feast for supper then set off home…

We are publishing these blogs on the move and forgetting things. We have some wonderful photos of us going past the houses of P taken by Simon Judge, we will add them later.

Photoblog:

If ever I needed an obscene lottery win - I'd love to ownt his place and run my own events there :-)

If ever I needed to win an obscene amount of money on the lottery – I’d love to own this place and run my own events there πŸ™‚

 

Waiting for the off...

Waiting for the off…

 

The starting line...

The starting line…

 

The coruse took them a long way upriver - the duck were astonished!

The course took them a long way upriver – the duck were astonished!

 

It was exhausting work - so it's not surprising hat some swimmers lost their way and had to be herded back to the channel...

It was exhausting work – so it’s not surprising that some swimmers lost their way and had to be herded back to the channel…

 

I can't see the greyhounds taking to kayaking, though this little dogs seemed to be having a lovely time :-)

I can’t see the greyhounds taking to kayaking, though this little dog seemed to be having a lovely time πŸ™‚

 

Wonderfu procession of historic boats - some had bands on board and the river was buzzing with sights and sounds...

wonderful procession of historic boats – some had bands on board and the river was buzzing with sights and sounds…

 

Archie inspecting rowbarge Gloriana - I wonder whether it has space for a greyhound - or maybe its just for royal corgis!

Archie inspecting rowbarge Gloriana – I wonder whether it has space for a greyhound – or maybe it’s just for royal corgis!

 

One photo can't do justice to the sheer scale of the historis boat festival in Henley...

One photo can’t do justice to the sheer scale of the historic boat festival in Henley…

 

Henry and Archie enjoying the view..

Henry and Archie enjoying the view..

 

Henley has a wonderful waterfront - quaint and beautiful

Henley has a wonderful waterfront – quaint and beautiful

 

There was so much to see - Henley is a brilliant place for watching the world go by - I love the picnic basket on the back of this car/boat :-)

There was so much to see – Henley is a brilliant place for watching the world go by – I love the picnic basket on the back of this car/boat πŸ™‚

Sunset on the water...

Sunset on the water…

 

 

 

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