The contrast between the Thames and the Wey is very marked. Finding somewhere to moor for lunch on the Thames was difficult enough, and we often drove on many more miles than we would have preferred in search of an overnight mooring. The Wey by contrast has frequent mooring opportunities, though not all satisfy our requirements.
The weather this week has been very warm with long periods of sunshine between occasional showers. Mooring under trees in these conditions seems a terrible waste of energy. The course of the river is very pretty and almost entirely rural apart from a short section through Guildford. Driving gently upstream on electric has prompted many appreciative comments from walkers, and conversations with canoeists and lock keepers.
With the slower pace, I’ve found time to think about some small projects on board. Over the last few days I have carried on with relocating the TV and radiator. It has been a great success to mount the TV on the side wall. We now don’t need to rearrange the cabin furniture when we want to watch it. I had always planned to put a shelf above the radiator to deflect the heat from the TV. I then had the idea of putting a sound bar on the shelf. The sound bar can also play from other sources and replaces some larger speakers. We now need to find somewhere to donate a pair of perfectly good speakers.
Another related small job was to fill the radiator. We’d had a small leak from the previous radiator in this location since we bought the boat. When I fitted the valves I used a sealant that said to leave it to set for “up to 24 hours” before use. I decided I could afford to wait longer than that in summer. So I ended up bleeding the radiator on the hottest day of the year so far. I’m pleased to say that it seems to be watertight.
We moored up in full sunshine at the edge of Guildford and went to explore. We soon found the castle though we were slightly reluctant to go uphill towards it. The flower beds around the castle were full of bright blooms arranged in complex geometric patterns. Walking through the grounds to view them was free.
We found our way in to the main tower of the castle which was pleasantly cool. For a small fee we were able to go further up the tower and in to a cage on the roof. Despite the breeze, the attraction of going back inside was strong. We wandered the shady sides of the streets for a bit and came across Abbot’s Hospital which we had read about in the castle. This building was set up over four hundred years ago to provide shelter for the over sixties of limited means. Amazingly it still has the same function today. The lawn was set up for croquet, but the residents had sensibly decided it was too hot to play.
On our way in to Guildford yesterday we had asked about mooring at Dapdune Wharf. They had politely declined, explaining that they had a steam boat festival on. We knew about the event and decided to walk back from our mooring to see it today. The event itself was a low key affair. A number of enthusiasts were tinkering with their steam powered boats. Rides on the boats seemed to be available, but we didn’t take the trouble to organise one for ourselves. It was warm enough on the bank, sitting next to a steam boiler didn’t really appeal.
We carried on upstream in the afternoon in full sun. The batteries were getting charged but it was hot work driving. When we spotted a suitable mooring spot we took the opportunity to go in and hide from the sun for a bit.