The May Day bank holiday, on the first Monday in May was created in 1978 and become, The Spring Bank Holiday, commonly known for its bad weather and low temperatures. 2018 broke with that history and as at writing has gone down in the history books for the HOTTEST on record.
WBCC converged onto the town moorings at Cookham some getting there earlier than others due to one thing or another, by the time we arrived 5 boats were already moored up and we rafted alongside Prime Time just in time for 11am refreshments served by Linda. Chatter and biscuit eating completed, we wandered up to Cookham and noted the closure of the cycling and fishing shop, rebadging of the supermarket. All this and shopping in hand we also tried out the Swan Uppers garden on the way back as it's thirsty work walking in that heat.
Having spent the cruise up to Cookham getting the boat sorted out, we had lunch and relaxed in the sunshine – marquee was erected and ‘tea’ was called at 4pm. By this time Pieces of Eight had also joined rafting alongside Another Knot, bankside moorings being full by then. Another pleasant hour chatting and catching up and it was back to the boat to get ready for the evening BBQ, at this point realizing we did not have a table on board, but we made do with one of our small folding tables for dinner. Mike and Linda were loaned chairs, so we did not feel too bad.
It was so warm and light – many years we have huddled under the marquee sheltering from the rain and many more times the river has been in flood so we have not been able to go by boat at all – is this summer already… chatting well into the evening it was quite dark by the time we all peeled back to our respective boats for bed.
Sunday dawned as lovely if not warmer than the day before and after a walk into town for supplies we left the club and we moved up to Marlow and got moored at the pound – now you have to register your arrival for free 24 hr moorings and then walked into town via the detour route whilst they renovate the park and had a lovely lunch in the Brewery Tap. We decided not to stay there, we were looking for a quieter spot to spend the night. Not too much of a queue for Marlow, Temple and Hurley locks and then cruised along – initially planning to stop at Medmenham but it was very busy and a rally was on the fields too lots of caravans so onwards through Hambledon lock and we moored near Phyllis Court, mooring fees along there now are £10, this was busy too but we spotted Got It and they helped us in. Having had such a lovely lunch we had nibbles and drinks and watch another lovely sunset on another beautiful day.
Monday – ah what a joy no alarm clocks but still up and around by 7:30, we walked into town quite early, too early for some shops but it was nice to stretch our legs. There was a May Fayre being set up at the top of the town and we saw a few vintage cars around too. A quick stop in Waitrose and back to the boats, we had lunch and lounged around – its exhausting all this relaxing lark. The rowing lanes are in place ready for the regatta and boat sheds are being built in a few weeks its going to be chaos going through there, mind you it was a bit like the M25 with boats heading down and up , and we had already decided to leave later to avoid the queues and we headed off around 3.30 going up through the bridge to turn around – the town moorings were very busy 2 and 3 boats deep at times, hire craft and day boats everyone looked like they were really enjoying themselves.
On the way back we managed lock keeper for up to Marlow when the keeper was there as we were queuing but said to us as we got into the lock that they had such a busy day could we manage to get ourselves out … it wasn’t quite 6pm by then, but he and the assistant packed up. We past the remnants of the club at Cookham enjoying the sunshine too and cruised back. By the time we got to Boulters there were just the two boats and we tagged our way back through the locks reaching Bray around 8pm, just perfect timing to see Crestal and their visitors before they headed off home. We said goodbye to Got It and settled on board for dinner and the final sunset on what had been a truly amazing weekend of sunshine and good company all round.