Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Boulter's Lock

On our way down to Boulter's lock, it started to heave down with rain. So we decided to shelter under some trees at Cliveden, until the worst of it has passed. Our first experience of Au-natural mooring (aka: 'Ramming the bank') went really well. We didn't drop the mooring pins or sledgehammer in the river. And we managed to nudge ourselves gently into this little patch of lovely loveliness, without running ourselves aground. No people. No traffic. Silence. We both felt very lucky.
Tied up snugly at Cliveden ReachAfter the rain cleared, we enjoyed a nice cup of tea in the sunshine, before deploying the boat pole to push ourselves off from the bank. Not sure if that's the correct health and safety approved way of doing things, but we managed to ensure the prop was in deep water before we started the engine, and gently punting 12 tons of steel was great fun.

Lock gatesGoing down through Boulter's Lock was easier than we'd imagined, from reading about it. It's deeper than Marlow lock, but that makes very little difference when you're going downstream. It has bench seating for 100's of onlookers, but thankfully there were very few of them out today. The visitor moorings in Maidenhead were all taken, which was a shame. The place hardly screamed "WELCOME BOATERS!", but it was a rainy tuesday and everybody was in a rush to get home.

Working coal boatsOn the way back, Sheena was extremely relieved we hadn't crashed into Maidenhead's 16th century roadbridge.

Sheena at the helmHad to operate the locks ourselves, as it was after 5 'o' clock, and the lock keeper had gone home. But we shared the job with a family who'd cashed in their tesco vouchers for a weeks hire (£1400), and chugged our way back up to Bourne End without incident.

Boulters Lock Wiki

2 comments:

  1. I hope I miss read that,you pushed off into deep water BEFORE STARTING the engine, what if it had failed to start. Always start the engine before setting yourself adrift,no engine,no breaks.

    Brian

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  2. Hi Brian. If it had failed to start, it wasn't so deep that we couldn't have punted ourselves
    back to the bank, or jumped off with a line. (the bow was still nestled in the trees).

    There was only a couple of inches under the prop/skeg, and we didn't want to suck up weed.
    But I take your point, and thank you for the concern. Always something new for us to learn.

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