Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Rain and wind

The forecast rain certainly bucketed down during the night.  Even the deaf crew member could hear it beating on the cabin roof.  By dawn it had reduced to very light passing showers.  Today’s forecast was for fine weather in the afternoon which made the decision to delay our departure rather easy. 

Delilah was beckoning and after wandering up to her door I enquired whether it might be possible to get her advertised OAP special for £5.  There weren’t any other customers which made for a quick visit.  I must be getting old because these days I get asked if I’d like my eyebrows trimmed!  At £5 I’ll take anything that is offered as part of the service.

After lunch we prepared Waiouru for cruising and moved down through Waltham Town Lock to the CRT services.  A tupperware boat was moored on the facilities but we managed to squeeze in front of it tying to the fence.  Both of us were rather annoyed to see the owner was just using it as a mooring rather than using the facilities.  However we managed to reach the tap with the hose and waited whilst the tank slowly filled.  An hour later the tank was full and we were ready to depart.  However by then the wind had also strengthened. It stayed that way for the remainder of the day.  Actually it is windy as I type this post.

The cottage at Rammey Marsh Lock looked considerably more modern than the others we have seen.

The lower gates and paddles on this lock are a combination of electric and manual.  Jan worked Waiouru down.  As we left the lock we could see two boats approaching from the opposite direction.  Good timing on their part.

As we rounded the bend seen in the above photo we came upon two loose boats.  The nearest loose at the stern and the furthest at the bow.  By now Waiouru was being blown all over the place and I had a fight on my hands trying to steer her past the two boats.  It wasn’t until we had almost passed the second boat that we realised it was loose at both bow and stern.  There wasn’t much we could do about it with the wind pushing us around.

My guess is the mooring pins must have been pulled loose by the two boats that had recently passed in the opposite direction.  The next lock was in our favour with the gates open. A local was there with his young grandson explaining how the lock worked.  He mentioned to Jan that the lock cottage used to be very picturesque with a well kept garden and flowers.

However he then sarcastically told her it had gone to the dogs and was now full to the eves with Somalians.

When I attempted to pick-up Jan below the lock Waiouru came to a sudden halt.  We had something around the prop and the wind was compounding our problems.  In the end we managed to get back against the bank using the bow thruster.  Jan was able to jump off and tie the centreline to a metal fence whilst I got up close and personal with the weed hatch.  We had a well wrapped pair of Adidas tracksuit trousers around the prop.  Brute force and the trusty breadknife eventually separated the trousers from the prop.

Fortunately they don’t fit either of us! Smile

We continued on south with the wind creating even more of an issue.  Waiouru was “crabbing” down the river and the water got so “choppy” we were getting spray in our faces.  Overhead the wind through HV power lines was making them moan.  Eventually we stopped short of Ponders End Locks mooring with difficulty.  It’s an exposed location and the wind is buffeting the boat.  No doubt tonight we will be rocked to sleep.  Hopefully the wind will have reduced in strength by tomorrow.


Paul and El said...

I can handle the eyebrows, its when they ask if you want your nasal hairs trimmed!

Tom and Jan said...


I can handle the nasal hair. It was the Turkish barber in Istanbul who used a small aerosol burner to incinerate the fluff in my ears that hurt! :-)