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It was our anniversary and after dropping the initial idea of going to stay on a tree house, we decided to book an 8 seater private boat in west London and invited some of out close friends. It costed us £130. It was a rainy day but at the end of the day we realised that the rain didn’t seem to bother us much. From Hounslow west we took the bus 81 to Slough and got down at Galleymead road. From there we were supposed to take the bus 60 to Datchet green (Kris Cruises). We waited for a long time in the drizzling rain and realised that there was something wrong as the bus was not coming and there were no timings on the bus stop. However the stop diagonally opposite to the one we were at, seemed to have a time table on it. It was a small walk to it. So me and Ranna walked to the stop and realised that the frequency of the bus was once in almost in 2 hours ! So, since we had already wasted a lot of time starting late and waiting for the bus, we thought of hiring a cab. The cab guy charged us £25. If you are 6 to 8 ,It is cheap and convenient to book a cab than to go by a bus or tube or a train.
After reaching we reported to the Kris Cruises office and the official showed us our boat. It was quite big for the 6 of us. It had a hood to protect us from the rain and to prevent the rain water entering into the boat. We entered the boat and the official explained us everything that we needed to know quickly and filled a form which had our details, I think. He also handed over 2 maps and the boat contained enough life jackets. He showed us how to sail the boat and told us that there is plenty of fuel in the boat which could keep the moving for 2 days. Initially I was a bit scared of the thought of controlling, mooring (parking), crossing the locks etc.., on our own. However after the whole trip, I realised that it was quite easy. You can steer the boat using a steering, like the one in a car and there is a gear which when pushed in front moves the boat forward, when pushed back moves the boat backwards and when moved to the centre brings the neutral gear when the boat neither goes in the front nor goes back. The map contained the path we were going to take. It showed us the starting point, which was Datchet Green(Kris Cruises). This point lied on centre of the river path. So, we could either go to the right (which was down stream I guess) or go left (which was upstream I guess). We chose to go upstream as we thought it to be more happening, due to the places on the banks. Since we started late, and had to be back at around 5:30 to 6 pm, our instructor, who was not going to come with us, suggested us to go until the "Monkey island". There was Windsor Castle and some other places on our way to Monkey Island. The map showed places where we could moor (park), the boat and places where you could find pubs to eat something, in case you didn’t get anything with you or just because you were interested to have a pub lunch or something like that. While we were travelling, we realised that the pubs shown on the map were more of posh restaurants / hotels and were obviously much more costlier than usual pubs. We also realised how important was it to go to the loo before entering the boat as we hardly found free places to moor our boat and go to the toilet. Its not as easy as when you are in a car or a bike to just park it anywhere and go to the toilet. There wasn’t a toilet in our boat.
Now there are these patches which come in between your paths which are called locks. I thought locks are like some rooms through which your boat has to pass. So each lock as 2 doors. One for entry and one for exit. Locks are used to level water. So, for example, you are travelling from left to right, and you are on a higher level of water and the water on the other side of the exit door on the right is at a lower level, the water is poured into the lock to bring it to your water level. Then the door of the lock which is near you is opened so that you along with other boats can enter the lock. Once you are in, the door is closed. Now the water inside the lock is removed so that the level of the water comes to the level of the water which is on the other side or the 2nd door. Once this levelling is done, the other door is opened, so that you along with all other boats can exit the lock. We passed through 3 locks twice. Before entering a lock, you need to interact with the person who opens and closes the doors of the lock and also pours or removes water in and from the lock. The boat needs to be moored just before the lock so that one of you can go and get permission from the lock handler to get into the lock. This person who is now out of the boat has to stay on the banks of the lock so that he can moor the boat by tying the two ropes to the bank of the lock. Once the boat is in the lock, this person needs to tie the ropes of the boat to the bank of the lock and as the water is removed from the lock and as the water level in the lock goes down, the ropes need to be released bit by bit by this person. Once the level comes to the level of the water on the other side and the boat is ready to go, this person needs to take the stairs down to the boat with the ropes. Now your boat can get out of the exit.
While sailing, you need to be careful about the fact that when there is not much water in the river, you need to be in the centre of the river while sailing the boat. If you want to pass some boat approaching you need to pass the boat from its right but not going much towards the bank as sometimes, the banks can be shallow and your boat can hit the ground. It is okay to gently hit the walls while mooring as the sides of the boat have strong balloons kind of things which do not allow direct contact of the boat and the walls while mooring. If there is no rain, you can remove the hoods. It’s a great feeling to stand on the boat feeling the fresh wind.
We had loads of fun in the boat. We listened to music and sang along and played games. We got quite some stuff to eat and drink. We all decorated the interiors with balloons and pirate strips etc. then me and my wife blew the candles and cut the cake. While our way back we moored near Windsor castle and went to an Indian (malayali) restaurant called Kera and had a nice Buffet.
It was a very nice and different day and we were glad we chose this plan though it was a bit rainy.

People : Girish Suryawanshi, Shruti Vasant Suryawanshi, Ravi Vasant, Prachi Dighe, Lipika Naidu, Varinder Kaur.


Map

Click to view boat trip map

Map of the Location of Kris Cruises is as follows:

Address

Kris Cruisers,
The Waterfront,
Southlea Road,
Datchet, Berks SL3 9BU

Contact

Tel: 01753 543930
Fax:01753 584866

sales@kriscruisers.co.uk

Opening Hours of Kris Cruises

9 am to 18:00 Hrs


Rates of Kris Cruises

London boating prices

Places to eat

Loads of hotels on the path and loads of pubs and restaurants in Windsor. The following are the details of the restaurant which we attended:

Kera
South Indian Bar - Restaurant - Catering
35 thames St, Windsor, West Berkshire - SL4 1PR

Phone - 017 53830711


Cab hire:

Station Cars
24 Hour Local Service in
Langley
01753 545000
595000 - 585888
In car card payment facilities available
Fully computerised service
Also 24 Hr service in : Colnbrook, Wraysbury, Datchet, iver, Slough, Windsor, Heathrow, Uxbridge and surrounding areas.
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