Tuesday, 27 May 2014

BOOZE CRUISE

Fenced off by the secretive swiss banker
We make our way down the muddy lane, past the Flowerpot Inn and down to the River Thames’ edge where we are met by Skipper Derek and his first officer Sarah J Robert.

A walk through the fields of Remenham (not far from Henley) and through Hambledon Lock, then we see Cantara of Dart moored up and ready for the off. The skipper welcomes us aboard. No morning coffee rather a morning glass of IPA from the Marlow Brewery.

The dogs play on the path close to the land fenced off by some secret Swiss financier who is busily sequestering every acre hereabouts.

Towards Henley Bridge
Casting off we motor gently upstream past Temple Island towards Henley.

Sun now high and hot; dogs pant in the shade offered by the seating on the upper deck.

Henley soon to be awash with hundreds boats and crews for the Henley Regatta, this is an essential part of the English social season. Marquees are already being erected to house corporate guests and champagne.

The suspect Vouvray we brought is opened consumed and then charged for loitering with intent to ruin a palette.

Under Henley Bridge upstream further to Wargrave.  The women disappear down to the Galley, only to emerge moments later with confections of cheeses, patés, charcuterie, pies and other steals from Waitrose.

Part of the Regatta's 1 mile 550 yard course
Our passage through the locks, Marsh and Shiplake was not impaired by lunch. Eventually skipper brought her hard to port and we headed back downstream.

Henley now bathed in afternoon sun. A saucy Sauvignon (to be served at an important wedding soon to take place) was tested and not found wanting.  Towards Temple Island Regatta people were hard at work driving in the piles and posts that mark the Regatta’s one mile and five hundred and fifty yard course.

We moored up and made our good-byes. 

I slept rather soundly that night; doubtless due to all that fresh air.