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November so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Owner: squiz

Member#: 6644
Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1814

2nd September 2018
Mt. Biking:  Brookwood to Weybridge
Wind Direction:
Wind Stength:
Surf / Sea State:
Air Temperature:
Sea Temperature:
Weather: Sunny and hot :)
Max Speed:
Distance Covered: 25 miles (Nautical Miles - unless stated otherwise)

Saturday 1st September *** 5th Round of Slalom Championships and travel Ė sunny and hot:)

It was the 5th round of the UKWA Slalom sponsored by Goya/Quiver at Felixstowe this weekend and although wall to wall sunshine was forecast sadly wind was in short supply, the serious has been dogged by light winds this year with only one round of racing taking place:( I might have been tempted to take part in the ĎMasterblasterí fun racing off the beach around a bouy and back which takes place whatever the conditions and free too if it is your first time but due to the poor wind I decided to give it a miss. I headed down to the Manor carpark where the action was taking place mainly to pick up my two new MK carbon booms from owner Larry Chan who turned out to be a great bloke and I canít wait to give the booms a try, they look solid too:) Check out the link below if you are interested. It took a while to make up my mind to splash the cash as these booms are worth more than the rest of my windsurfing kit put together! I have also just sorted out a new (to me) Oxenden trailer and have managed to stow all my old kit into it! I am getting my full pension from October 6th so I am starting to spend it early, the jury still out as to if I need a Foil ????? After a few hours chatting, seeing some faces I havenít seen for a while, watching the Masterblaster, not much blasting as very light winds but the kids were loving it and a couple of older ones too! I then headed home and we decided to pack the van and head off as we are looking after Grandson, Arlo Monday and Tuesday, itís Art on the prom in Felixstowe tomorrow and are not keen on crowds. Itís not great day to travel being the last weekend of the kidís summer holiday but amazingly the roads were OK and we were hardly held up on the M25. We came off the M25 just past Watford looking for somewhere to park near the Grand Union Canal but after an hour with no luck we went back to our spot on the Basingstoke Canal at Brookwood for the night.

MK Booms here

Sunday 2nd September Ė bike ***** Brookwood to Weybridge Ė sunny and hot.

Luckily the dog in the lock keeperís cottage stopped barking when we went to bed and had a good night in the van, waking to a clear blue day, hot too:) As we have already biked from here to Farnborough we are going the other way today towards Woking hoping to go the Basingstoke Canal until it meets the Grand Union as it passes under the M25! With picnic packed, gps on we set off at eleven along the very pretty tree lined very clear canal, although the locks are very well maintained there is next to no boat traffic on this dead-end canal, in fact it doesnít even make it as far as Basingstoke any more as the Greywell Tunnel has collapsed! When you look at our track on Google Earth it is really built up but apart from houses backing down onto the waterway you still feel in the middle of the countryside! We were soon at Woking with its huge tower blocks being built and modern town centre, at the bridge with its two statues to the famous cricketer Sir Alex Bedser we crossed over as there was something going on. There were loads of tents selling all sorts of food stuff and it was crowded so unable to lock our bikes as we had left the lock in the van Mag watched the bikes (she hates things like that anyway) while I had a quick look around, it was nice to see so many people out enjoying their Sunday in the sun but it was a bit crowded for us so we continued our journey. One disappointing thing about this area compared to our recent trip up North where the people were very friendly, on the whole the people here, both walkers and cyclists, we meet along the way struggle to even have eye connect, and saying good morning was like trying to get blood out of a stone, shame really but their loss! We saw the only boat on this section, a tourist boat The Kitty, taking people for a spin. There was a fun run along this part of the canal slowing us up but the path was wide and made up so not a problem and we were soon at Woodham Junction where we met the Grand Union right under the noisy M25. I actually spoke to a rarity around these parts some friendly locals and I ask which is the best way to turn here, they say right takes you to Guildford and left takes you to Hampton Court, so thatís the decision made and we head towards the Thames:) There are definitely more boats here, several fishermen with huge fishing poles and several walkers/cyclists enjoying a beautiful day out. We saw our first narrowboat going through a lock by some stunning apartments made from a converted mill and you can only imagine the price, Mag fell in love with the one with the geranium on the balcony! The canal ends for a bit but the navigation continues along the River Wey and the riverside houses certainly move up a notch or two! Then at Weybridge we reach the Thames and after a slight detour away from the water we find the river bank path and they have laid on an event especially for us! The first thing we see is an impressive vintage Rolls Royce then down on the River there are some stunning old wooden motor cruisers from another age with Chelsea pensioners on board with several navel types about being landed at Weybridge Mariners Club on an island opposite and all to the sounds of a bagpipe band with a small crowd watching. Mag finds another friendly local, shock horror who tells us that this is a flotilla of old boats that were used in the Dunkirk evacuation who had sailed up there from Hampton Court for lunch:) We then sit on the grass for our picnic being entertained by old wooden boats arriving, canoes and SUP passing and the foot ferry crossing the river plus much drinking of Bucks Fizz, sadly not by us! We learned that you can bike to Hampton Court and beyond, we will do that sometime but not a weekend! Then refreshed all we had to do was bike the 12 miles back to the van which we did OK as the path was so good but we had been out 5 hours covering 25 miles, easily another 5 star bike ride. Then we had a lovely relaxing few hours in the van enjoying the hot sunshine, never was a cuppa and scone more welcome:) Then as it got dark we set the sat-nav and drove the 19 miles to Sayers Croft arriving at nine ready to see the lovely Arlo tomorrow:)

Photo Gallery Here

Toys Used:
Cannondale Trail 5 29er



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