THE HENLEY WHALERS Support Source To Sea Relay 2013, 2014 & 2015
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Source To Sea Relay - Monday 24th August 2015

This was Henley Whalers' third Source to Sea Relay. They were were delighted to be selected to carry the baton (bottle) through their home waters.

At precisely 10:00, in a brief ceremony outside the River and Rowing Museum where it had been lodged overnight, the bottle was handed over for carriage to Temple Lock.

"Wet, Wet, Wet" - Not so much a "musical" group, more a meteorological description.

Right - Posing under a tree; not for artistic effect, just shelter from the developing downpour.

Below - Earlier adjustments to the mast and decorations.

Click any picture to enlarge.

Waiting in the rain
Receiving the bottle at Henley River and rowing Museum

Prompt departure (as is Whalers' custom on such occasions), and with 10 oarsmen rowing in fine style, they set off down river and soon disappeared behind curtains of rain.

Waiting in the rain

Waiting in the rain

11:15 at Hambleden Lock.

The lock keeper seems to be singing in the rain while he receives the bottle, and just as delighted to be passing it on again a few seconds later!

Waiting in the rain

Waiting in the rain

12:30. Slightly more decorum at Hurley Lock.

The keeper accepts custody of the valuable cargo, and promptly passes it on.

Waiting in the rain Waiting in the rain

12:50 - Temple Lock.

Responsibility over, and transient respite from the rain, Whalers pass the baton to the Lock Keeper and take a few minutes rest before returning up river.

Waiting in the rain

Aston, "The Flowerpot", and lunch were beckoning, and last orders was approaching, so extra vigour was applied to make good speed against the current.

13:50. Dynamic approach to Aston Landing, hasty mooring, and a dash up the lane were rewarded by a cheery welcome, good food, and SHELTER!

Refueled, Whalers returned Molly to base. The rain continued onward.

Waiting in the rain

Other materials - Henley Standard - Henley Standard - "Totally Thames"
Contributions welcome. Click here

THE HENLEY WHALERS - Support Source To Sea Relay 2014
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Tea Break
Pre-departure tea break


Source To Sea Relay - Tuesday 26th August 2014

A fine start to this our Second Source to Sea Relay

Again, Henley Whalers volunteered to contribute to "Day 10" of this unique 215 mile relay.
On this occasion they were assigned to carry the bottle/baton from Hambleden Lock to Temple Lock - Slightly further than last year.

"Whalers" met at 09:30 to dress Molly in her best bunting and garlands.
Jovial and evidently as well organised as ever, they found time for a tea break before getting underway.

Arriving at Hambleden Lock there was quite a queue of boats waiting to pass through.
It transpired that only a few minutes earlier, the lock had broken down - with boats in it - and there was no way to know how soon it might be repaired.

It seemed the scheme was scuppered.

What now?

Waiting in the rain
Waiting at Hambleden Lock

Delivery at Temple Lock

It arrived! (Southend)

"Whalers" don't throw a wobbler over a wonkey lock. The water would continue; somehow.
Undaunted, the "Committee" convened to discuss options.

Proposals included:-
Wait (in the rain) for lock-operation to resume.
Sequester a substitute boat (below the lock) to continue the voyage
Walk the towpath bearing the bottle/baton
(Others, not in the spirit of the event, were thrown overboard.)

Suffice it to say, "Mollys" found a way to save the day.
The cargo was carried dutifully downriver and delivered to the next bearer.

"Mission accomplished!" - Return to base.

Other materials - Henley Standard 28/08/14 - Henley Standard 08/09/14. - MP's Picassa - "Totally Thames"

THE HENLEY WHALERS - Support Source To Sea Relay 2013
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Day Ten - Tuesday 10th September 2013.

A small bottle, filled with water at the source of the Thames, was to be carried relay-fashion, by walkers, swimmers, kayakers, rowers, sailors and many more river users, to the sea.
"The Henley Whalers" were assigned to participate in one section of day ten of this relay.
Specifically, "Molly" would carry the bottle from Hambleden Lock to Hurley Lock.

A brisk following wind helped The Whalers on their way as they set off from Hambleden Lock.

The wooden bridge on Hurley lock cut might appear small but it leaves plenty of clearance for Molly to pass through.

The bottle arrived safely at Hurley Lock, and was ceremoniously delivered to the Lock Keeper for onward transmission.

"Hats Off" to the Crew, and Jon Cooke the Relay organiser.

The Bottle
Hurley Lock Cut
Molly & Crew
Arriving with the bottle
Video by Jon Cooke

Other sources

Totally Thames
Henley section.

Thames Festival web page
and their pictures on F-book.

Henley Standard
article and video.

MP's Picassa


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