I’m On My Way

We left Windsor behind us and got moored up in National Trust property that saw Shane downloading a new app for paying mooring fees. He had to close whether his vehicle was a car, electric bike, lorry/HGV or motorbike. There was no boat option so he picked electric bike – well we are electric and we have two bikes aboard! Entering our boat number seemed to help the app recognise as mooring.

We have had quite a habit of Shane driving and holding the back rope in locks, while I hold the front. Lately every lock has had a lock keeper. I have done less driving and got less exercise all round. My rope handling could still do with improvement. It was quieter in the locks today than at the weekend, but the weather was windier and we got a shower or two. The cormorants and grebes didn’t mind the weather.

We wanted to make progress as we were aiming to head off the Thames and on to the Wey. A new licence has to be purchased for the Wey so we had to moor up and go and speak to the staff. Shane had put a small slip of plain paper with the licence info for the Thames in the window. Mostly the lock keepers don’t ask but one yesterday called to me “oh you’re gold!” He wasn’t referring to my rope skills, he has managed to read the small print on the insignificant slip. The Wey gave us a bright yellow circle which looks much more gold tha the gold licence, a very large ancient looking windlass and a large folder of information. The River Wey Navigation is managed by the National Trust. It remains to be seen if Shane will be getting the app out again so we can moor our 18 metre electric bike.

Entering the Wey from the Thames involved a pound with a rise of a foot and the then a second very deep lock, where the staff proferred a boat hook to receive our ropes. As the water calmed I was able to get a photograph of a sign that intrigued me. Research on the Humane Society was clearly required.

Thames lock stores equipment for the Royal Humane Society

It turns out it was a society developed by doctors to promote training of techniques to save those that had drowned, or almost drowned. They gave out medals and awards for life saving. As we left the lock and the lock keeper shouted “you’re on your own from now on”, Shane asked for tips as how to manage with only two in stead of 4 and was told it was key to hold the boat at the back of the lock on the yellow pins. This is all new but as I got out at the first lock I found it easy enough to work, but Shane had to ask me to slow down, in fact I wound it back down a bit to slow the flow. On the second lock I took it more gently and needed help from a passing cyclist to close the gate once Shane was in and a crowd of tourists made it entertaining but were slightly in the way as I roped up. They enjoyed the spectacle.

At the next lock as we approached there were many canoes and paddle boarders. They were mainly novices and the wind wasn’t helping. The teacher realised the wind was also a problem for us and they managed to get them all out of the way. Shane said he wanted to work the lock and handed over to me. He was cautious with the first paddle, but it was the second paddle that made the boat pull forward. I can see The Wey is going to be an adventure.

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