Today was the last day that we had Ange De L’Eau on our own as Wolfgang and Marlene join us tomorrow evening. They have spent a bit of time at home in Germany as well as the last month on their new boat “Old Gilly” around Utrecht in the Netherlands. . Looking forward to catching up with them to hear all their tales of their travels.
From our overnight mooring we left before 9.00am in the morning as we wanted to make it to the moorings at Hampton Court Palace as early as possible. It is a bank holiday weekend and every man and his dingy is out churning up the waters and looking for somewhere to tie up for the night.
We had four locks to do and every one of them was busy and they were packing us in like sardines.
We were fair filling our pants when they had two narrowboats (one was us) in side by side and then a yoghurt pot in beside that. Ourselves and the other narrowboat were clinging onto one another for dear life and just about removing the skins from our hands trying to stop the boats moving from the wall of the lock and into the plastic gin palace. We have never seen plastics and bismarcks in together like that before and it really is not a wise thing to do but you have to follow the directions from the lock keepers.
Whilst exiting the last lock of the day we saw this black swan. This is the only black swan we have ever seen on the waterways. We are familiar with them in Perth, Western Australia but certainly not here in the UK.
As we approached the moorings at Hampton Court Palace, we noticed they were all full but then we recognised a plastic boat of a couple from New Zealand who we had met a couple of times earlier up the Thames. He very kindly allowed us to take up his mooring spot and then he tied up alongside of us. It is smart to do it this way as due to the heavy river traffic, there is a lot of movement to the boats and it is better for us to be on the inside closest to the concrete wall. We really don’t want to turn the nice couples plastic boat into kindling. We did have one other really grumpy plastic boater who got pissed with us both as we had our engines on but you kind of need to if you are moving boats around on water. He came to us a little later with his tail between his legs and after a bit more shuffling around of boats he went off a happy chappy with a free beer from us.
We literally are at the back gates of Hampton Court Palace. Last time we moored up here we had Toque with us. When we let her out early in the morning for her ablutions, she snuck into the gardens between the railings and would not come back when we called her. She seemed to know that we didn’t want her there and particularly did not want her to do a number two on the immaculately coiffured lawn. Luckily, a very kind groundsperson came along and assisted her out of the grounds.
We spent the remainder of the day making Ange De L’Eau ship shape and returning everything to it’s rightful place so that when Marlene and Wolfgang join up with us tomorrow evening they will know where to find stuff. We also went for a bit of a walk around the restaurant area of Hampton, once the heat had gone out of the day. Not a lot to see but good for us to get out and stretch our legs.