Byfleet & Pyrford

Two days worth of blogging in one: We left Teddington lock on Monday (4/8) morning, after Lucy had breakfast with us, and travelled up past Kingston in glorious sunshine. A classic Dutch barge overtook us close to Kingston Rowing Club.

Dutch Barge in the Kingston Reach

Molesey Lock was empty when we arrived and the Assistant Lock Keeper, wearing a jaunty feather in his cap opened up the lock for us. We eventually shared the lock with various cruisers who then overtook us in the Hampton reach. Passing Sunbury it rained heavily. We moored up in Walton for lunch and watched the parrots circling overhead.

After Desborough Island we turned into the narrow channel that leads to the Wey and Godalming Navigations. Thames Lock, at the start of the navigation is a charming place. We waited while two cruisers locked up ahead of us. The navigation books try to explain the purpose of the Stop Lock and its role in the operation of the Thames Lock. The lock keeper had the best explanation: it’s basically a staircase lock with flexible water levels. We paid our registration, received our special windlass (heavy and a very long throw) and then went up the lock.

Thames Lock: Wey & Goldalming Navigations

We had hoped to moor up close to the head of the navigation but we found it difficult to find suitable moorings. We eventually found a spot outside the Byfleet Boat Club (BBC), which although close to the M25, was relatively quiet. One of their members, Gordon, who was moored just ahead of us showed Steve around the boathouse. The BBC was founded back in the 1800s as a skiff club and still hires out rowing boats.

The weather on Tuesday (5/8) was grotty. We woke to heavy rain and it continued all morning. Steve caught up on his email traffic and editing while Maggie worked on her tapestry. After lunch the weather was slightly better so we moved on. We were going to get fuel and a pump-out at Pyrford Marina but we found it closed on Tuesdays! So, being in no hurry, plan B came into operation; we stopped outside the marina and Steve serviced Albert’s engine. We will sort out the fuel and the pump-out tomorrow. Because we are moored up outside the Anchor Inn we will try their fare this evening.