A cruise through the Oxford Canal, the River Thames through London and the Grand Union Canal
Friday, 8 October 2010
Captain's Fog - Thursday 7th October
There was a river mist early on as has become the norm, but it didn't matter as we had an absolutely lazy start to the day, we didn't need to leave until after 9am due to the excellent progress we were making on the Thames because of lack of traffic through the locks. Breakfast for both of us was the current favourite of the moment bacon and mushroom sandwiches and tea, and sitting in the sunshine feeding the ducks and swans, brilliant.
Swans in the mist
Waiting for breakfast
The itinerary for today was to cruise from Marlow down through Maidenhead, Eton and Windsor and to moor up at the "Bells of Ouzeley" in Old Windsor, and meet up with Marilyn and Janet, who are staying until Monday night. Sophie and Sarah were also visiting for the evening, The journey today is 19 miles and 7 locks.
There are many beautiful riverside houses in the area, some are huge mansions, designed so as many rooms as possible face the river.
I went to the Henley Music Festival earlier this year and discovered slipper launches. These are pleasure boats normally of wooden construction, introduced in the thirties, they seat between 4 and 8 passengers. The classic designs were from Meakes of Marlow and later from Andrews of Bourne End during the 1950s. At the festival people sit and drink champagnes and eat canapes, just brilliant for lazing down the Thames on a sunny afternoon. I read an article in "The Times" by Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, who said he bought a house in Henley in the sixties, it came complete with a slipper launch. He used to sit on the Thames late at night writing songs in it. A collection of slipper launches moored up, below, we didn't see any on the move.
We went past a lovely white house that had a separate room looking out onto the river, the room was filled with a drum kit that close observation shows is "The Who's" Keith Moon's, I could not find out if the was an original, he did blow most of them up on stage with explosives, or a tribute, the owner was also a Brentford supporter.
We passed through Windsor and the Great Park again in glorious sunshine, were travelled quite slowly to take in the view and take photographs as we were well ahead of schedule.
The Great Park, Castle in background
The Great Park
Cattle grazing in The Great Park
We saw a strange rainbow blob in the sky over the castle we could see if for at least thirty minutes so I assume something must have been shining up at the sky.
Strange blob in sky over castle
Heathrow flight path over Windsor
House on the Bridge Restaurant at Windsor
We decided to skip lunch and moor early, reaching the "Bells of Ouzeley" at 3.30pm, we then went and had a beer and waited for the girls. They brought more fresh chicken curry, we also had a bottle of red wine and then finished off the cherry brandy with cheese and biscuits.