The Cookham Cruise, September 2023
Constantly at risk of cancellation in the preceding days due to significant rainfall, the day of the cruise upriver dawned bright and sunny. Regrettably, the expected four boats were reduced to three as covid impacted the cruise.
On Friday, at 10 a.m., Lady Farrington and Zephyr left Penton Hook Marina and proceeded upriver on the understanding that Beatrice Rose would catch up soon.
Just before Old Windsor lock, Terry asked Geoff if Zephyr’s engine exhaust should be emitting steam, to which the answer was no. However, as the engine temperature gauge indicated all was fine, Geoff decided that the engine filter would be okay until we stopped for the night at Windsor.
Shortly after exiting Old Windsor lock, this proved to be a wrong decision as the temperature gauge suddenly leapt from 70C - 95C forcing Zephyr to pull in to moor just past Kris Cruisers to clear out the filter. Lady Farrington also pulled in intending to stand by and unexpectedly ran aground!
While Geoff cleared the filter and restarted Zephyr’s engine, Sally and a helpful passerby used Zephyr and Lady Farrington’s boat hooks, in an unsuccessful attempt to push Lady Farrington off. Happily, a passing EA patrol boat was spotted, flagged down and subsequently assisted by towing Lady Farrington back into deeper water. This delay enabled Beatrice Rose to catch up as we approached Romney Lock.
After this excitement, we arrived at Baths Island in good time and were fortunate to find sufficient space to moor the three boats together. A couple of hours down-time preceded a very enjoyable evening meal out at Prezzo, Windsor. Mandy’s Gourmet Card further improved the experience by a 25% discount on the food and wine. Thanks Mandy! The evening then concluded with a night cap on Lady Farrington.
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, the three boats set off and arrived early afternoon at our mooring at Hedsor Water, just downstream of Cookham Lock. After a short walk into Cookham, we enjoyed a cuppa and a slice of cake at the Tea Pot Tea Rooms. A fun evening was spent on board Beatrice Rose and included playing Stacking Chairs and Dobble.
On Sunday, we lunched at The Ferry and were joined by Tony & Sharon who’d arrived by car to join us for lunch. We decided to complete our meal back at the boats with a banquet of puddings, cake and cheese, sitting on the river bank in the sunshine. I can heartily recommend Mandy’s lemon drizzle cake doused in Limoncello and custard!
After escorting Tony & Sharon off the lock island, our final evening was once again spent enjoying the comforts of Beatrice Rose chatting and drinking!
In the morning sunlight at 8.45 a.m., we left Hedsor Water and headed for home. Beatrice Rose opted to travel direct to her home mooring at Laleham, Lady Farrington initially stopped at Windsor for fuel before joining Zephyr who had stopped at the Runnymede Memorial Park for lunch.
All three boats were safely back on their home moorings by about 5 p.m.