The day started fine, sunny and a little breezy. We set off from Wargrave at around half-nine.
Leaving Wargrave, our mooring neighbours last night were mostly these large white cruisers. Do they only come in white?
It dates back to medieval times, and was recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as having 5000 acres, with a population of around 250. With farmland, a mill and fisheries, it was valued by William the Bastard’s assessors at £27/6/8 (that’s £27.33p for those among us who are post-decimal), making it one of the richest settlements in Berkshire.
On the Lower Shiplake (Oxfordshire) side there are some impressive properties…
Marsh Lock was about 15 minutes downstream from where we’d moored, and the sky was getting darker…
Approaching Marsh Lock
A splash of colour on a gloomy day…
Below the lock, on the park side, there are extensive visitor moorings, free through the day but £9 for overnight. You have to get a ticket from the car-park ticket machine.
We pulled in so I could nip and get a paper, we didn’t need anything else after our comprehensive stock-up in Reading, Meg had a run around the grass, then we pushed on past all the boats and under Henley Bridge.
Henley Bridge, The Angel alongside and the Church of St Mary the Virgin behind.
A notice at Marsh Lock warned of a regatta today, so I approached the course below the bridge with a degree of caution.
It was busy…
At least they were only rowing shells. Sailing dinghies are a lot more unpredictable. For the crews, too!
We chugged along nice and gently in the “all other boats” lane, followed by one of the emergency RIBs. Slowly enough, in fact, to watch two of the races.
Womens double sculls giving it some welly.
And two pairs (men) digging in at the start of another heat.
At the end of the course we had to negotiate a group of canoeists milling around above Temple Island, and took the eastern side to avoid a flotilla of boats recently released from Hambleden Lock.
It had been raining half-heartedly since we left Henley, but now the wind picked up and we had the first of several heavy, squally showers. Rain jacket out for the first time in what seems like weeks!
We’d planned to moor on the meadow above Hambleden Lock, but where you could get in was £6 a night, where it was free it was overgrown with reeds. So we finished up going down this lock too. In the rain.
A snatched shot of Hambleden Mill.
It eased then came on again a couple of times while we cruised along looking for somewhere to stop. There were two or three boats between the trees on the left bank about 1½ miles below Hambleden, so we turned around and dropped into a likely spot.
Moored up, and the sun’s come out!
All afternoon we’ve had heavy showers and short sunny spells. A shame for the regatta, and for the couple we met yesterday at Shiplake Lock who’d got a family barbeque arranged for this afternoon.
The joys of an English summer.
Locks 2, miles 6