Wednesday, 27 May 2015

On to Marlow and a foul job

It was a very early departure this morning leaving Windsor at 7.30am.  However we didn’t go far.  Just to the water point below Windsor Bypass Bridge where we found this considerate boater moored on the centre two bollards of the water point.  Yesterday the boat was moored on a lock landing!

There was no one on board!  I managed to tie Waiouru to a tree and the hose was just long enough.  It took just over 30 minutes to top up the tank and then we were off.

The homes got progressively nicer and more expensive as we got closer to Maidenhead.


We passed Monkey Island just before we reached Maidenhead.  The name doesn’t come from any connection with monkeys but rather monks.  Apparently they were the first recorded residents of the island using it for fishing.

A footbridge links the island with the south bank but we couldn’t see a road bridge.  More information is available at the following links


Monkey Island Hotel

Initially we thought this next building was a retirement home as it was advertising vacancies.  After further squinting at the notice we think it’s a hotel.

The Southern Comfort might look like a paddle steamer however we suspect there is no steam involved.  Best guess is it’s diesel powered.

On the eastern edge of Maidenhead the homes became considerably more expensive.

Apparently Jan’s parents once owned the following home. 

They sold it when they emigrated to NZ and then her mother drank the proceeds from the sale.  A tragic story and is the reason why I regrettably didn’t marry money. Smile  She’s going to kill me when she reads this!

The section of river beyond Maidenhead is particularly picturesque.    Cliveden House is sited above the river with a good view down the Thames.  It’s been the home of numerous english nobility and one Price of Wales.  The Astors lived here during the 1920’s and it was also the setting for key events in the Profumo Affair.  It now belongs to the National Trust.

We were making the left turn into Cookham Lock when Jan noticed these two bountiful Canadians.

27 goslings….. Don’t believe us?  Count them again.

It must have been a big nest!  Unless they are babysitting?

The river became quite busy on reaching Bourne End.  Numerous rowing skiffs and then small sailboats.  We both wondered how they managed to find all the free time during the week?

We found ourselves hugging the starboard (right) bank.  On approaching the eastern outskirts of Marlow we noticed a boat from our past.

nb Tyle Mill Lock was a hire boat at Aldermaston Wharf when we were fitting out Waiouru.

The lock keeper at Marlow must have seen us coming as we only had a very short wait before he opened the lock gates.

The lock setting is rather attractive, and Marlow above even more so.

A large weir to the left and then you pass under Marlow Bridge.  It’s a suspension bridge constructed in 1860.  Rather than suspension cables it uses linked bars.

The ends of the bridge transoms have a cast iron plaque

The date on the plaques is 1860 but Wikipedia states the bridge was built in 1832.  I’m trying to identify the animal on the plaque.  It doesn’t look like a swan?

We moored on the upstream edge of Marlow and had lunch.  The afternoon was supposed to be spent doing a number of boat maintenance tasks.  The first of these was to clean the bathroom hand basin grease trap.  Water has only been going down it very slowly.  After emptying out the cupboard underneath I placed our bucket under the trap and removed the bowl.  Like last year, it had 2cm of grease and “crud” in the bottom.  This didn’t explain why the basin was slow to drain so I decided to do a more in depth investigation and completely dismantle the plumbing.  On removing the internal downpipe I discovered an almost solid grey/black ‘sausage’ of old soap, grease, skin and ‘crud’ all bound together with hair.  It took far longer than I had planned to clean the individual components and then reinstall the trap.  Then I realised one component had being inserted in reverse.  Dismantle everything and fix.  Everything worked and then I noticed I’d left one of the components out.  Disassemble and do it all again.  All of this doesn’t sound so hard except that the grease trap isn’t that accessible unless you are 40- years old and have sight in your left eye.  I don’t have either criteria so all my work was being done by touch.  End result is the grease trap is clean and reassembled.  It doesn’t leak, the water disappears down the plughole quickly….. and I am exhausted.  None of the other tasks were completed!   


Sue said...

Oooo Tom, the picture of the white house with the union jack is that of Ralf Harris now at her majesty's pleasure!

Pleased you are enjoying the Thames, wont be long until we are there too!

Tom and Jan said...

I should have realised that when I saw the wobblyboard, didgeridoo and used paint brushes. :-)

Pip and Mick said...

Hi Tom, Cliveden House is actually a very posh hotel set in National Trust grounds. If you can afford £1600 you might just get a room for the night. My favourite was the Lady Astor Suite which has a roof terrace. About 20 years ago it was managed by the actress Jenny Agutter's husband. I spent a month doing specialist paint effects in a new wing above the stables and we got chance to have a look round. Fantastic House and the views from the garden to the Thames are great too.

Tom and Jan said...

It is a little out of our price range Pip. Unless you want to treat us to a night? 😂