The day was warm(ish) with a light breeze but it didn’t stop a dozen hardy members from packing a picnic, complete with chairs and tables and settling down on the pebble beach.

As the breeze picked up we all retreated to the shelter of the grass covered dune near the café (see photo below). It was really interesting to see the small boats tripping in and out of the harbour particularly the flotilla of dinghies full of children being towed back in line astern towards the safety of the harbour.   

The day finished in perfect style with Alan and Sue inviting everybody back to their house for afternoon tea. And what a tea it was with Sue again producing some finger lickin’ fare that was appreciated and enjoyed by everyone. Thanks again to the both of you for your unlimited hospitality. 

The mooring outside the Swan riverside pub saw 4 club boats safely tied up after making their way to Staines for the Commissioning supper. Morgana, Malbec, Another Knot and Pieces of Eight all arrived early in the day and their crews joined another dozen Club members who had arrived by car for the evening meal.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening making it a good start to the new boating season particularly as the weather improved greatly towards Easter which turned out to be one of the warmest on record.

The upriver week away, well it was actually 10 days for those making the trip from Penton, was a month earlier this year to avoid clashing with the planned East Coast cruise organised by Graham and Lisa. As the annual “Rock the Moor” festival was being held at Cookham it meant the moorings were rammed with lots of double berthing. At the same time, much to the annoyance of the Cookham festival organisers, Tom Kerridge held his “Pub by the River” food festival at Marlow riverside which meant no mooring at Marlow as much of the town quay was reserved for Salters Steamers to offer river trips.

So it was that five boats left Bray at the start of the cruise with the loose plan of playing it by ear as regards moorings, just as well as the first available place to tie up was Fawley meadow at Henley. There was an early casualty with Pieces of Eight returning home after suffering a generator failure at Henley but otherwise the trip was a great success with the weather producing warm days with a fair amount of sunshine. We had 3 Club bbqs and shared a bottle of Champagne with Phil to celebrate his XXth birthday kindly provided by Alan and Sue. The evening meal at the Bull was our excuse to continue toasting Phil with his coming of age day, and I have to say that the tasty portions served were on the larger side of huge.

With our earlier than planned arrival at Henley we decided to stay there for a second night before spending 2 days at Pangbourne with bbq’s on both warm evenings. We had the pleasure one afternoon of being greatly entertained by Mike and Linda’s grandchildren Lara and Luke who were brought by mum Suzanne. Ha! Lara would outrun the Duracell Bunny all day long.

Onto Goring where we were checked out on the moorings by the lockkeeper, complete with clipboard, who confirmed that the first 24 hours were free. We all decided on a Chinese takeaway for the evening meal and I am pleased to say that the new, bigger Pastiche was able to accommodate everybody along with the 475 dishes that seem to be provided with the set meal for 6 that was ordered.

We had a casual cruise back to Henley for Curry Night at Wetherspoon’s where we were joined by Dudley and Ann, then onto Cookham the next day where we caught up with Barry and Sally for our next bbq.

This trip revealed the increased charges being asked for moorings this season. Windsor has gone up to £10, Cookham to £6 with £8 for canal boats and a hefty £14 if you want to tie up at Marlow Town moorings

 

The Upriver Week Away finished at Bray Marina where the Club celebrated its 43rd birthday with barbecued burgers and sausages with a glass of bubbles and several tasty gateaux provided by the club for the 20 people that attended. Thanks to Mike and Linda for procuring the food. It was good to see Roger and Denise, Dudley and Ann, and Detlef and Debbie arriving by car to join in, especially as Debbie had brought one of her home made apple cakes that everyone enjoyed, thanks Debbie.

After the warm summer temperatures experienced over Easter it came as a real shock to the system to get the really cold spell that we suffered during the Cookham cruise. With a daytime maximum temperature of only 9 deg C on the Saturday it meant most of us got good use out of the heating systems on the boats. 6 boats made the trip and although it was too cold to consider the gazebo being erected it didn’t stop everyone warming up round the barbecue, thanks go to Phil for organising this.

 

 The Cookham Cruise BBQ

 

The ladies prefer drinks in the warm