Thursday, 30 October 2008
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
What is the differece between slug speed and snail speed? Are slugs faster because they dont carry a shell on their backs?
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
No photo's tonight as we only have snail speed connection which kinda matches our snail speed while under way.
We had probably the quietest ever night at Henley, you know, its so quiet that you cant hear anything at all except the noise from your ears.
We woke to spanking sunshine and clear blue sky, By 8am the Henley rowers where out and about practising for next week's ladies Regatta and the Cox's were being rather vociferous....Typical small person syndrome lol.
We Cast off and got under way by 9.30 am hoping to make Goring for the evening stop. River flow's were still causing us problems, sometimes managing 3mph other times dropping right down to 1.8 on the narrows. The river was quiet again untill we approached Shiplake lock and two boats hove into view behind us who were obviously stemming the flow better than ourselves...One was a Thames widebeam cruiser and the other a narrowboat, I presume the Narrowboats are either giving it full wellie on the engines (which im not prepared to do) or they have larger props suitable for river cruising.
We enterd Shiplake lock first and were joined alongside by a Nb (Mention no names). No drama in the lock, and we intended to pull over on the left to take on water and empty the toilet cassette.
Due to our starter problem I said to the chap on the Nb that he may like to go first, He said that there were stopping for the pump out in any case....I went below on the opening of the gates and Lady Elgar kicked into life with the magic wire on the first go. I returned topside to see the Nb already out of the lock. We followed them to the Pump out and Water point mooring. The Nb promptly pulled in alongside the Pump out and I expected them to pull back to allow us to use the water point.....no such luck. He secured his tail rope and she secured her rope at the front.....she then walked upto the water hose and fed it back the 30' to their boat....so they obviously intended to pump out and fill up at the smae time, knowing full well that we also required water and couldve done this while they pumped out. Never mind, we plodded on as there was insufficient room in front of them for us....I wasnt overly bothered but it did seem to annoy Nora......Its just uncivil thats all......
By comparison......we approached the Tesco mooring at Reading and every space was full apart from a very tight gap I thought i might be able to slide into on the very end....Full marks to the Chap and lady inboard NB Cygent who came outside and pulled their boat back to give us full length on the mooring. Civil an decent...dont take much does it.
We eventually spent a couple of hours at Reading, While shopping at Tesco I put the Genny on and we did some washing while wandering round the store. Upon our return the wash cycle was just finishing and we turned round and took on 54.5 litres of Diesel at Reading marina also water and empty the elsen.
We then made all haste for Goring which should only have been 3 hours away.We texted Neil and Kath our neighbours at Iver on Herbie that our ETA at Goring was appx 7pm, well, 7pm came and went and we eventually ariived and were met on the tow path at 8pm.....Neil and Kath had already done a recce on the moorings and found all the ones below the lock taken but he guided us into a nice little spot a little way back with two trees placed perfectly for our bow and strn lines.
The four of us then wandered into Goring and plonked ourselves in the first pub where 3 ales on pump attracted our attention.
We had a really smashing evening and were really pleased that they met us but as always the evening went too quick.
Tomorrow will hopefully see us in Abingdon and a rendevous with Bones and Maffi, Ill pm then after this to make sure all is as planned.
As an aside, we shared a lock with some young folk on a Thames hireboat...The two chaps were dressed up in naval getout. The chap in the admiral hat told me that he lived in a little village alongside the kennet and Avon Canal, he said that LE was the best looking canal boat he had ever seen......Makes ya kinda proud of your home.
Friday, 24 October 2008
9.30am saw us under way from Windsor and within minutes the rain was pelting down. In fact it had been raining most of the night and now I was concerned that river levels were going to rise again and see us stranded waiting for them to fall.
I then noticed lots of little mounds on the grass opposite the boat and thought, strange, I didnt remember those mole hills before.....they turned out to be Rabbits all enjoying the evening sun.
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
Sometime in the afternoon most of the narrowboats that had been at tedders moved off en masse and headed upstream. By about 5pm, we wandered down to teddington station and met phil after his journey from Plumstead via waterloo.
Monday, 20 October 2008
I then noticed Nora run to the stern and have a look inside and then come back all forlorn......"my hat has blown into the water" my laughter was soon brought to an end by the look on her face and her declaring, "I love that hat"
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Day one of our Grand June Cruise.
Cast off from Iver just before midday having spent the last couple of days revising and reviewing routes, due to the Thames being on Red Boards for the last week,
But after a drive down to Chertsy last night to view the river conditions I decided we would have a slow run to Brentford and hit the Thames sunday eve rather than today to give the river further opotunity to calm itself.
Glourious sunshine was the order of the day and a Big thanks to Kath and Neil of Herbie fame who came down last night to ease our departure from the moorings.
Herbie is Moored outside of us which involves some manouverings to allow us to slip the moorings but they had some measuring and faffing to do so they came down and moved Herbie under her own steam which meant we could slipout in one go rather than moving boats back and forth. They also get a good three weeks now alongside the bank which is usefull for doing odd jobs on the outside without dangling over the water.
Thanks again folks, always a pleasure to see you.
So, 15 mins into the trip and Nora suddenly appears at the stern and demands to steer!!!!!!! Righto says I. She took control at tickover and after a few moments of getting used used to correcting the swing she was asking for more revs. She did her best yet, Steered through all three aquaducts and bridgeholes with no problem at all.
Passed the con back to yours truly for the junction but then on the main line was pushing me out of the way to take command again, only reliquishing the task in order to dash forward armed with bread for the waterfowl lining our path.
We fully intended to stop at Norwood Top Lock for the day but upon our arrival, It wasnt as I remembered it and the Youths on mopeds with no helmets by the houses alongside made our minds up to plod on to a location by a field I had used before.
While entering the Top Lock Nora was asked by a lady and her 3 sprogs " Do you give trips?" Nora replied "no, sorry, were on holiday" the lady then said to the children " do you want to go and have a look at the kitchen!!!!!" Nora, taken by surprise said, " its the second hatch along if you want to look" The lady said, " Yes, we know, we saw it as you passed"
The next pound we picked up something on the prop which was obviously large and poohy as i lost forward drive. A few kicks in reverse gave me back some forward thrust but I could feel the stern 'bouncing' as we inched forward.
Once through the 2nd lock we came alongside the field I remembered and tied up. Time was 3.45pm and once all was shut down and secured I delved into the Weed Hatch which is quite awkward as you have to reach deep, under the counter from the BMC to access it. Once open, the water was lovely and clear and i could see at least 3 different colours of plastic and masses and masses of weed...... In fact, it was weed of Biblical proportions.
Must remember in the morning to give the stern a good push out before engaging gear to try and avoid the weed.
All in all a good afternoon cruise and both our faces are now glowing thanks to the sun and breeze. I was just settling down for my first bacardi and coke when Nora said......."Is that a winding hole?".......yep, sure enough, our back end is well into the arc of the winding hole....tut....so please, Any one reading this who needed to use the Hole I can only only appologise for the Ignorant crew of Lady Elgar who have failed on their canal etiquette on their very first day.
Pics of our spot for tonight in Hanwell:-
Friday, 17 October 2008
Its currently 4.30am and its been lashing it down since i retired to my berth at 1am.
Not looking good for the Thames circle if this rain continues. We have the option of turning left at The junction and heading north on the Grand Onion and then making a descision to do the circle when we get to braunston, The down side to that is, if we do head down to oxford and the rain returns we will be hard pushed to get back to base using the long route.
There are other circles such as the leicester ring but again the river Soar could be in flood.Am I just paniking for no reason.....still 6 days before we cast off!!
managed to get a new TV from Comet yesterday so that was one job off the list, however, I also went armed with my battery for my video camera and upon showing it to each shop assistant it was met with a sucking of teeth and a definate NO, not one that old.......The camera was bought in 2003!!!!!!They did at least suggest I try maplins or Jessups so they are on the list tomorrow......when i eventually get up that is if I manage to get any sleep!
Please stop raining.......Nora wants to visit Hampton Court
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Ill put em on here one by one to simulate the original postings
If the pics dont come out ill have to try and find them and re post them but Im sure the text will speak for itself......apologies if you have read all this before
Only six days to go before we cast off and head down to Brentford for our grand cruise of the Thames ring.
We finished work Saturday morning and that was my last day at work till 3rd July...yippee, Unless of course you count my long service ceremony next Friday. (its only a year late)I wasnt initially going to bother going but then i read the small print and noticed that it was treated as a 'tour of duty' so I emailed em and let em know Salty, Nora and mumsie would be attending and to make sure there were sufficient supplies of sandwiches and cups of tea to mark our attendance.
So I have the best part of a week to get Lady Elgar ready for the cruise. The outside is ready for a good wash again following all the rain and wind weve had however the Brasses are still shiney thanks to the lacquer i sprayed them with a couple of weeks previously.
One thing that is still of concern is the starter motor problem which trevor mentioned previously. Steve at Iver asked me the other week if the starter still gave problems and he suggested maybe it was a power problem? so ill pop over to the office on Tuesday and discuss getting a heftier cranking battery to see if that makes a difference, A couple of times last week even the magic wire didnt work and seeing how your required to switch off in every lock id like to know at least shes going to turn over even with using the magic wire.
We took LE out for an overnighter last week upto harefield and had a very enjoyable BBQ moored on the offside by one of the large mere's along there. On the return We filled up the fuel tank ready for our holiday. 50 odd litres at 86ppl......dont think it will be long before it reaches the £pl mark.
I added a quantity of fuel additive but had to guess the tank volume as i have no idea what her capacity is. Hopefully it will ease some of the some smoke from the exhaust which has got a bit better since cleaning the air filter and changing the fuel filters but maybe the dear Perkins is ready for the injectors being looked at.
So, Ive dug out the Video camera and will pop into town tomorrow and get a small tripod so we can shoot while cruising hands free, Also on the list is a visit to currys or comet. Our TV decided it was going to give up the ghost this week and Nora wont survive without it......well, only for a few of her programs The good news is for the last couple of years ive been saving £2 coins in a 'Piggy' so we counted em last night and have just over 400 squid which will buy the new tv and pay for our intended fuel use on the grand cruise with some pennies left over to treat Nora to a chippy supper one night
She was built in Scotland by Forbes of Sandhaven in 1934 as a Seine Net Drifter. She was and is Larch Planks on Oak Frames.
Emblem in her original design
'Laid up' awaiting rebuild
Looking from the saloon into the galley showing her heavy Oak deck beams
Particular attention was paid to the Seams to make sure they were watertight, The Black patches are the Bare Wood of the Larch Planks where the Primer and Anti foul had peeled away.
Thursday, 9 October 2008
Steve was the owner skipper of Emblem and I was enlisted as crew along with a chap called simon. My old mukka Gary was also enlisted but due to his work committments he couldnt join us untill day 2 when we arrived at Gravesend.
mixing it with the heavies in the Thames Estuary
Gary was an important part of our crew as we could always rely on him to film evrything and anything....the downside with taking stills from the DVD is that there is no commentary...maybe oneday ill work out how to download a portion of the dvd disc
Just a few suitable knots and turns
A few Heave O's on the haliards and we're away
Next on the list was the foresail.......Im not overly happy with how young I look on these next stills :/
In awe of sailing backwards with mizzern and foresail full an bye
And finally a couple of stills of the reason we were out there in the first place....The annual Thames barge Match
Is it just me or do splitters behave like this the world over?
So, a very happy event indeed, Thames barge owners enjoyed their race and the crew of Emblem enjoyed their cruise
Skipper steve saw us safely back to Queenborough and a few jars were quaffed before hitting the sack.