Flaming June

Underestimating the distance, and despite an awfully early Sunday morning coming down start, we arrived with no Ranger/Lock Keeper in sight, but the padlocks were unlocked, and we weren’t expecting any company, so off we went in the cold wind and rain. The Ranger shortly appeared, said we could leave all the lock gates open as someone was coming up (hurrah) and “did you hear about Snail O’Wey?”

Seems that between locks 1 and 2 on Saturday afternoon they had shed their prop, which kind of slows progress down a bit! River and Canal Rescue (the canal equivalent of the AA or RAC) had declined to attend as “it was an accident not a breakdown” which seems a bit mean. They managed to locate the lost propeller but were unable to refit it, and were unceremoniously bow-hauled through the bottom lock by hand. On the Sunday morning someone from the nearby Byfleet Boat Club had arrived and towed them down to the Club’s base on the Wey.

Working slowly down the locks in a single boat (one of those times when even one extra crew member makes a huge difference) there were quite a few Sunday morning runners and dog walkers out, despite the miserable weather.

Turning South onto the Wey, we soon passed the wounded Sail O’Wey at the boat club: the skipper reckoned that pulling all the jute sacking out on the Deepcut flight on Friday might have dislodged/removed the split pin that keeps the prop from falling off. Let’s hope they get sorted out quickly.

Not far down the Wey comes the well known and popular Anchor at Pyrford Lock, immediately opposite Pyrford Marina. Mooring up for a while, the place was still busy with Sunday lunches, but a look at the washing mountain and the next few days’ weather forecast suggested the best plan was to see if the marina could put us somewhere for a couple of nights, with an electric shoreline.

And sure enough, it’s been cold and very windy: definitely not weather to be boating. Even moored up in the sheltered marina, the boat’s been blowing around in the wild weather. And come Tuesday afernoon, it’s still so windy and gusty, and forecast to remain so for another twelve hours despite the rain stopping, that we’re staying put for another night.

2nd of June, and the weather’s more like October in the Hebrides…

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