Saturday, May 15, 2021

To Fradley we must go

Saturday 15th May 2021

Another grey morning, after a very wet night, greeted us when we awoke. As Brenda drank her morning cuppa she watched a Woodpecker doing a very thorough recce on an adjacent tree.

Last night we watched a family of 7 ducklings. They mooched about feeding and diving and the mother duck called them to settle once she’d found a nice sheltered resting place. They were very well camouflaged. Then two white ducks swam past but turned and made a beeline for them. Mother duck came out to meet their aggression but to no avail and so she roused the ducklings and made them leave the sheltered spot. They all hurried off pursued by the white ducks. We thought they might return to use the resting spot but no, they just swam right past and back towards Hopwas bridge. We found a snack for the mother duck and her babies but their cosy spot remained empty for the rest of the night.

The rain persisted, on and off all morning and it remained cold so not pleasant cruising weather. We moved on to Huddlesford where we pulled over to moor but then the rain stopped so we set off again and went to Streethay Wharf to buy a couple of gas cylinders. 


 

Then onto Fradley where we moored at the end of the steel piling at ///haystack.custom.charge before going for a walk around the Fradley Pool nature reserve. The last time we visited here it was just being sorted whereas it is finished now. A lovely place for a peaceful stroll watching various water birds. Children were jam-jar dipping and tramping through the muddy undergrowth – lovely?



 

G&B

Friday, May 14, 2021

A car shuffle from Hopwas

Friday 14th May 2021

The very peaceful mooring spot induced over sleeping and a rare late start – we had expected to be woken by a dawn chorus but we suspect the dull grey, damp and cold morning meant choir practice was cancelled.


 

Once on the move we passed Alvecote marina and made our way to Glascote locks where we descended behind a single handed boater with one other boat coming up.


 

On through Fazely without stopping and continued on to Hopwas where we moored up by the school. There are not many other boats about, considering that we are in mid-May, however there have been a few hire boats out so that is good considering it is not a school holiday period.


 

Graham went off on the Di Blasi to fetch the car from Brinklow and move it to a suitable parking spot up here. Brenda stayed on Jannock and attacked the housework lightly.

Our overnight mooring was at ///computer.skyrocket.narrow

G&B

Thursday, May 13, 2021

An easy passage down Atherstone

Thursday 13th May 2021

Animal of the day – a water vole spotted under the bank near Mancetter.

The Cap’n was up and about while I slept off my medication (not really - lame excuse for sleeping in!) I took the tiller whilst he went for his breakfast and was asked to get some pictures of the new Mancetter Marina, we have always said that the lake here deserved to be turned into moorings and now it finally has. Very smart it is as well.


 

There has been a lot of canal related development along this stretch including the Rothwells wharf and the Alpaca farm – cute!


 

With a bank of wallflowers, squirrels, the water vole we spotted and bluebell woods it’s a good way to start the day. An easy run down the first five locks of the Atherstone flight ably assisted by the volockies made the day even better. We stopped after the A5 bridge and went into Atherstone centre for a wander and some shopping. There is a lovely cake and pie shop right next door to Greggs. We treated ourselves to a lamb, mint and pea pie for lunch – sorry Greggs but the filling choices were better next door.  After lunch we set off again down the rest of the locks, in intermittent light rain,  to Bradley Green.


 

On through Polesworth to moor for the night at the old Pooley Hall colliery in amongst the trees. The Cap’ns choice of rural mooring was superb because as soon as we had tied up, it started to rain proper wet stuff.

Overnight mooring was at ///kind.farmer.linked

B&G

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Ready for the off!

Tuesday 11th May 2021

Having had our second Covid jabs and with the Public Health rules relaxing we were ready for the off!. We left home after lunch to travel to Brinklow via a supermarket in Banbury. It’s a shame that the weather is stuck in March.

The new management have improved Brinklow marina so much – thank you Castle Marinas. Once we had unloaded the car we wandered up to the residents tea parlour and chat room for a cup of tea and a book swap. The one thing that has not been changed is the friendly community spirit that was fostered during the dark days of uncertainty.

Wednesday 12th May 2021

Graham filled the water tank and reclaimed his credit from the service post before we left the pontoon. We then moved Jannock down to the service wharf and did a pump-out.  Then out the marina entrance again and this time turning left towards Coventry.


 

A fairly un-eventful cruise which started windy and then became grey with light rain as we proceeded North through Stretton Stop (where the footbridge was open already) and Ansty to Hawkesbury Junction. Brenda worked the stop lock whilst Graham drove Jannock round the very tight bend to get us onto the Coventry Canal heading towards Nuneaton.


 

Shortly after the turn we were approaching the house of our friends and noticed Terry busy working on their boat Grace and so we stopped and tied up alongside for an hour long tea and chat stop. They will be setting off towards Llangollen soon so were preparing their boat for the trip.

Then on through Nuneaton to stop and moor for the night just before Springwood Haven marina at ///flame.tens.monkey

G&B

Sunday, May 02, 2021

A visit by the grand-daughters

Saturday May 1st 2021

Moving aboard day. Lots of jobs to do to ready Jannock for a crew with kids cruise tomorrow. Frosts most days in April, so lets hope the weather warms.

It’s been so dry recently that we welcome the deluge that is promised for next week, starting Bank Holiday Monday – just NOT TOMORROW please weather gods.

Graham was surprised how much stuff we had to move from Jannock into the back of the car in order to make the boat ‘toddler safe’

Sunday May 2nd 2021

The weather gods were three star – adequate! The junior Keens’ arrived at Brinklow just after 9am so we had a coffee then off. Out of the marina and turned right towards Rugby. Three excited little girls taking in everything but frustrated that they couldn’t do all those little things that were not safe. That included two and a half year olds wanting to drive the boat all by themselves.

We pulled over at Rugby for a bitsa lunch and a run around on the grassed area by Masters Bridge. We hope everyone was at least full when we continued on our trip.

We continued down to Clifton Cruisers where we just managed to wind at the entrance of the arm with Matt pulling the bows round using a rope. The littluns had got bored now and so it was drawing with crayons and watching a Sean the Sheep DVD in the lounge whilst we returned to Brinklow. Back in the marina, we all went for a walk to find the ponies and their foals in the next field and also had a play around the lake.

Sausage in bread and marmite toast was chosen for tea, with banoffee waffles served by Felicity to follow. A mad half hour of hide and seek, under the bed covers, had the kids so pooped that they were keen to get in the car for a snooze on the way home.

As the rain started we moved Jannock back to our old mooring place, resplendent with new pontoon deck and services posts making it a much safer environment now. A quick tidy up after returning all of the stuff from the back of the car back onto Jannock and then home for a busy week. Hoping to start our summer cruise soon – Covid willing of course.

G&B

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Time lapse videos

During our trip around the Thames ring, which was an alternative to our planned route but needed to be done to use the Gold licence we purchased in December, I’ve been making time lapse videos.

The links to the relevant videos are shown at the bottom of each day’s blog but here is a full list incase you would like them all in one place.

https://youtu.be/mQ6QamRk1Bk Hillmorton locks
https://youtu.be/fwGF1kxXOjY Braunston to Weedon
https://youtu.be/6g-wCGWhvhE Stoke Bruerne locks
https://youtu.be/WQzB_2s4ShU Cosgrove to Lindford
https://youtu.be/VM0Zr7Mt3PM Slapton to Marsworth
https://youtu.be/JHpWveUE4QE Aylesbury Arm part 1
https://youtu.be/xECjRvMjjhs Aylesbury Arm part 2
https://youtu.be/w7D9-izlsgg Marsworth flight
https://youtu.be/FjAlM30n9O4 Hemel to Huntonbridge
https://youtu.be/MlKBBhZadls Croxley to Harefield
https://youtu.be/87U5nz6KJMM Harefield to Southall
https://youtu.be/FofVbQo8NTI Southall to Paddington Basin
https://youtu.be/8izPKYe-F8k Bullsbridge to Brentford
https://youtu.be/PXma9UVulEw Brentford to kingston  
https://youtu.be/wH1hcC0ay8k Sunbury to Penton Hook
https://youtu.be/sGcejam2VgA Penton Hook to Dorney common
https://youtu.be/4S2KQZeYxQo Dorney to Cookham
https://youtu.be/8U7ZdOTOdNw Cookham to Hurley
https://youtu.be/6m6qH1vP7_M Henley Caversham
https://youtu.be/aADnid7anDg Pangbourne to Benson
https://youtu.be/1qUFexrjntQ Benson to Culham
https://youtu.be/RNFlemzhHGg Folly to Godstow
https://youtu.be/X6hYTdxfEMY Godstow to Kings with rope
https://youtu.be/OiK63BWzSdw Kings Lock Thrupp
https://youtu.be/7oibHc6jkjg Kirtlington to Somerton Mill
https://youtu.be/LlG_PNDxie0 Somerton to Twyford

Graham

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

It was twenty years ago today …………

… that we collected Jannock (formerly Powys) from the Black Prince base at Festival Park marina, Stoke on Trent and brought her home.

This is the log report for that day.

Saturday 21st October 2000                9 1/4 Miles  12 Locks  6 Hours   

Arrived at Black Prince base in Stoke on Trent at about 10 AM. Myself, Simon & Matt loaded the boat whilst Brenda took Brian shopping. Morrisons supermarket is about half a mile from the marina at Stoke on Trent. Grocery and bottled ale selection was excellent. Christened the galley, served up bacon and mushroom butties with mugs of  NAAFI tea, in 10 minutes flat. Brian was impressed! Left Festival Park marina at about 11:30 AM. Immediately appreciated Jannock's handling as I managed to reverse her out of the marina without hitting anything. Dropped Brian off to return our car to Thame and pointed the bows towards home  feeling about 10 foot tall. Our objective was to make it to Simon at the helm. Fenny Compton by Wednesday night as the covered dock was booked for the sign writer on Thursday morning.  Spent most of the day familiarising myself with all of the new things I've got to maintain now. The boss has noted in the log that there is a launderette at Barlaston. It's amazing how passing through the first couple of locks rapidly moulds the crew into a well practiced team. Moored for the night near Stone. I noticed that grease line to stern tube was split and needed maintenance ASAP if we wanted the new stern tube to survive. Could this be the reason for BP having to replace the old one? They've committed that traditional mistake of repairing the damage without finding the fault. The whole crew had a go at trying to tune the television with limited success. Who invented "auto tuning portables"?


I know I’ve got some catching up to do as the Blog is not up to date but this is an anniversary that needed marking.

Graham & Brenda

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Fenny Compton will do for now.

Saturday 12th September 2020

Graham was up with the larks and off to fetch the car from Shipton on Cherwell. He placed it at Fenny Compton and then returned to Jannock for breakfast.

Question of the day – “Do you think the overnight lock flight closure has been put in place to deter

No Moo ing

hirers?” – from an older boater – Answer erm No! After-all, they wont know about it in advance and are unlikely to change their minds and just not have their booked and paid-for holiday! Brenda explained that the reservoir was short of water to feed the canal but was told that we’d had plenty of rain recently. He’d obviously forgotten about the scorchio spring we had.

Moored at /// basher.firepower.sums
We climbed the five Claydon locks and then continued on through the ‘tunnel’ to Fenny Compton. The offside moorings along this section have certainly expanded since we last came this way, they have established gardens and everything.

We passed the Wharf Inn and went under the road bridge to moor up. There was a lovely gap with a
short hireboat moored right in the middle of it so Graham asked if they would mind moving either forwards or backwards so that Jannock could tie up. They moved forwards half a boat length which allowed us in behind.


Friday, September 11, 2020

Cropredy – where we used to moor ages ago.

Friday 11th September 2020

We cast off at 9:50 and made our way to Grants lock with some sadness that the lock cottage has recently been burnt out. 

A descending boater had obviously put on weight during lock-down and now

Tooleys boatyard

his boat was jammed in the lock and couldn’t get out.  He pushed and he shoved to no avail so Graham suggested he pull his fenders up – that sorted it!

Onto tramway visitor moorings where we stopped for a provision run to Morrisons. Larder replenished we continued on to Banbury hoping to fill with water below the lock. Another boat was there doing water and elsan so we passed up the lock and filled at the tap in the first basin. Through the liftbridge and into the centre of an enormous building site.

Onto Cropredy, fondly remembered for the first five years we owned Jannock because we moored at


Old Mill. The gates at Slat Mill lock appear to have damaged cills and so the Cropredy pound was over 30cms down in level. This meant keeping to the centre of the channel and passing a fuel boat and other southbound boats very carefully.

Little Bourton Lock Cottage
 

Once through Cropredy lock normal water levels were experienced again. We moored for the night at the bottom of
Claydon locks as they are closed overnight until 10am tomorrow due to water shortages. /// nourished.rich.licks

 

During our evening constitutional we happened across fellow Cutweb members aboard nb Elysium, also waiting for the locks, so we had a socially distanced chat with them for a while.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Where do we go now!

Thursday 10th September 2020

Wildlife of the day – Roe deer in a field by the canal.

Surprise of the day – A Tornado fighter jet flying over us, low and banking steeply as we moored up.

We set off from the quarry at 9:45, glad to be back on the canals again. There were plenty of boats


coming the other way so only one lock had to be turned before we could use it.

At Lower Heyford, the hire base was devoid of boats showing that the international travel restrictions were having a good effect of home-grown holidays. Once we were through Mill lift bridge, luckily opened by the boat ahead of us, we started meeting plenty of Oxfordshire hireboats heading back to base – I suspect that a lot of their business has been midweek and weekend short breaks rather than week long holidays.

We learnt to day that Jannock’s winter quarters may be at risk! The marina owners bank have called in the official receivers in order to realise the value of the property to pay off the debts. We suppose that’s better than the stories of CaRT & baillifs visits that we’d heard before we came away. It must be a huge worry for the folk who live on their boats in the marina. With Covid it has become a more solid supportive community there which to us is a more desireable thing. Shame if that breaks down.


I suspect we’ll now proceed slowly back in that direction whilst waiting to see what happens at Brinklow and investigating alternative mooring arrangements if needed.

We continued up through Somerton, Aynho wharf, Nell Bridge and Kings Sutton to finally moor for the night near Twyford bridge (/// posed.pesky.outdoors ) With hindsight, we might have had a quieter overnight mooring if we’d gone under the M40 and continued on into Banbury.

A timelapse video from Kirtlington quarry to Somerton mill can be viewed at https://youtu.be/7oibHc6jkjg

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Short run to warm the engine.

Wednesday 9th September 2020

Another week has passed and social restrictions have been tightened. This time evidence shows that it’s kids and young adults who are the problem – better off boating then.

Shipton Weir Lock

We boarded Jannock at lunchtime but it was 2:45pm before we finally left the mooring near Shipton bridge. Our first lock was shared with another boat, the owners of which didn’t think they could, as it was a diamond shaped lock up onto the River Cherwell. It was designed this way to extract as much water as possible from the river each time it was used in order to keep the canal topped up.

The sun finally came out as we were nearing Kirtlington Quarry, an old favourite mooring of ours – so we did!

Graham planned to do a 200 hour engine service (oil, filter and gearbox oil) whilst the weather was nice. Brenda remembered the blackberries were always nice here so off she went foraging. She went right up to the top of the quarry and found alovely quiet spot to sit and look out over the miles of counrtyside listening to natures soundtrack.

On her return to Jannock she cooked a batch of blackberry and wild mint muffins and a tray of Blackberry Oat bars.

Our mooring at Kirtlington Quarry was /// coins.danger.fallback

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Off the Thames onto the Oxford canal

Wednesday 2nd September 2020

Wildlife of the day – Kingfishers and Egrets

Port Meadow Bridge
A later start that we’d hoped but once we’d got to Jannock by bus, unpacked and then got her stern free from the shoal she was firmly sat on we made good time. You can see on the first video below that we had to pole Jannock out and let the current take her round to get off the shoal, narrowly missing some rowers - who had been warned by their trainer.


Once on our way and after a lovely couple of days land-side, the rain started. It was that light rain which really soaks you. Port Meadow is lovely in the sunshine – but not pleasant at all when you are steering against the wind in light rain!

Dukes Cut

We turned into Dukes cut and were welcomed to the canal again by a long line of almost derelict boats. Sadly most of them will be homes.

Thrupp lift bridge
As we approached Kidlington, we met Simon and Janette
heading South, we managed a brief chat with them before continuing on to Thrupp. We stopped for water before the road bridge, out side the cottages. Brenda operated the lift bridge at Thrupp whilst depositing a large number of surplus books onto the charity bookshelf at the same time. We then continued on past all the club moorings and found a place for Jannock on a shallow bend in the 14 days moorings.

It was almost dark and still raining when we had eventually tied up at /// gurgling.shock.screaming

A video of our very wet trip from Folly Bridge to Godstow lock can be found at https://youtu.be/RNFlemzhHGg and from Kings Lock to Thrupp can be seen at https://youtu.be/OiK63BWzSdw

 The bit in the middle, complete with mooring rope hung across the camera lens can be found at https://youtu.be/X6hYTdxfEMY

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Trying to find a mooring in Oxford

Sunday 30th August 2020

Having said farewell to our friends aboard nb MaryH, who we moored alongside overnight due to congestion, we set off just after 10 am and joined the queue for Abingdon lock.

Before we left, nb Frodsham came down the river and moored in front of us. I believe this replica MSC
tug to be diesel powered as there was no accompanying cloud of smoke as it arrived. 

We had an un-eventful trip up to Oxford in nice, but chilly, overcast skies with occasional sunshine. We planned to moor near Folly Bridge in Oxford as we need to go home to babysit our grand-daughters on Tuesday so that Mum and Dad can go to a funeral. On our arrival all the moorings long enough to easily accomodate Jannock were occupied so we did an ‘up and back’ avoiding the rowers, punters, paddle boarders, pedalos and canoeists. Too many of them seem to bob about with no idea that there are ‘big’ boats about and no idea how to steer.

Most worrying was a paddleboard family outing. The dog had a life jacket on, two kids under 10 did not! They may be competent swimmers but a quick intake of breath due to surprise, shouting for help or cold shock could easily compromise that. What’s that you say Lassie “the kids are drowning and you’ve got the only life preserver on?”

No signs to the contrary so we tacked Jannock onto the very end of the line of moored boats. This was against the entry point of a smaller stream so had a shoal adjacent but we managed to fit in, albeit aground, and use the ‘Beale Park Woodpecker’ holes in the gangplank to secure it to the bank.

We then cleaned up, packed all our washing into two smallish bags and set off to get the 280 bus home.

Our mooring for the next couple of days was ///below.dare.smashes

Saturday, August 29, 2020

August Bank Holiday–Covid style

Saturday 29th August 2020

Boat name of the week – Ant on Deck

As befits August Bank Holiday it was flippin freezing. 16c maximum according to the weather forecast. Wearing 4 tops and gloves. I bet the inhabitants of Bournemouth et al are relieved as the ignorant hordes will not invade this weekend.

Having stopped the night at Pangbourne because the mooring at Beale Park had been stopped, and there were plenty of signs announcing that, we were surprised to find a total of four boats moored there.

BPMoor1 BPMoor3

A pleasant run up through Goring and Wallingford to Benson lock where we were unfortunate enough to meet a big boat with a bigger ego. We had entered the Self Service lock with Brenda as lockie and Graham single handing Jannock. To do this we’ve perfected a technique which uses a looped rope on the bows with the slack being taken up on the stern rope. This holds her perfectly.

The widebeam boat steamed into the lock even though we thought that he would not fit. He reckoned he’s fit OK if we took our bow rope to the far bollard, however our looped rope was not long enough to reach this, the highest bollard. He couldn’t understand the concept and wedged in sideways, on no ropes as his missus was unable to get a rope ashore, let alone round a bollard.

A chap from a southbound boat appeared and was as concerned as we were that the widebeams rear deck rain hood would get crushed as the boat rose under the lower gate footway. “No problem, get on with it” was the response. As the boats rose in the lock Brenda was able to transfer Jannock’s bow rope loop onto the furthest bolard and wide beam was able to come forward so the cover didn’t get squashed. At that point, Mrs widebeam managed to get a bow rope around a bollard and pull them across. Once out of the lock they came steaming past us with a bow wave fit for the Waikiki Surf club.

At Clifton lock the apple and pear trees were bountiful. The lockie said that we could help ourselves to windfalls as well as fruit from the trees. Thankyou very much. We stopped at the end of the lock landing and Brenda went to ‘scrump’ whilst Graham went blackberrying.

We continued on to Abingdon where every mooring space was occupied, luckily for us we were planning to meet friends who were already moored there so we tied alongside with their permission.

River wisdom of the day – Stupidity is more contagious than Covid, and assists Covid.  We saw plenty of kingfishers in full colour today.

Overnight mooring location ///scars.agreed.maps

A timelapse video can be seen at https://youtu.be/aADnid7anDg

Friday, August 28, 2020

No parakeets ….

Friday 28th August 2020

… but we did see Kingfishers and Llamas.

We set off early as more rain was forecast for today – also no-one had been to collect our mooring fee.

Taking on water

Our run up past Shiplake and Wargrave was un-eventful although we did spot some canoeist camping on one of the islands before Sonning. At 12:00 the rain started just as we left Sonning lock – never mind we were planning on stopping to go shopping for supplies at Reading. Above Sonning lock we saw what must have been the longest lock queue for our whole trip, all trying to get downstream from the Reading reach.

We moored outside Tescos at Reading in what must have been a 62foot gap with a convenient overhanging tree at each end – no stakes or chains needed here then. As we tied up an Anglo Welsh hireboat came past pushing a bow wave that any tidal Thames trip boat would be proud of. It would have looked well suited in front of an ocean liner.

Sonning Lock queue

Reprovisioned, we moved up to Better Boating to fill with diesel. They were busy dispatching hire boats so we had to tie on and wait a while before we could be served. 160 litres later we were on our way to Caversham lock.

We travelled on through Caversham and Tilehurst before attempting to moor out in the countryside before Pangbourne – it was not to be, the river edge was far too shallow so we continued on and found another right size gap between the moored boats at Pangbourne River meadow. Another pay for mooring location but needs must as Beale Park is now no mooring at all.

Our overnight mooring was at /// maker.wisdom.liver

Timelapse video of the run from Marsh Lock to Reading Tesco is at https://youtu.be/6m6qH1vP7_M

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Trouble at Boulters lock

Thursday 27th August 2020

Despite our best efforts to seal Jannock off, about a dozen returning Wasps got in. They obviously were ‘going on a bear hunt!’ Can’t go over it, under it or round it, so they just found a teeny hole to go in through and then couldn’t get get out of it either. What with the wasps and workman’s radio blare from the other side of the hedge, we were glad to be setting off just after 9am.

Cliveden Reach

At the first lock, we waiting whilst a wide beam went up in front of us then we followed.

As always, Boulters lock was a pain. With a lock landing that accomodates two boats, we were 3rd in a line of 6 craft and so we remained hovering below the lock, waiting while the lockie filled the lock with craft coming down. He then sent some out to do a re-shuffle which took longer than it would have taken to empty the lock and refill with some from the lengthening queue below in.

Henley Mooring
There were three ‘staff’ at the lock – two for talking plus the working lockie who was continually distracted by the other two wanting to talk to him as well. Must have been a visit from ‘the management!’ A crowd of gongoozlers gathered on the lockside despite the Covid notices to the contrary. As the gates opened for us to go in, the management seemed to dissapear and the blue ‘self service’ signs went up. A crew member from another boat went up to work the lock and was reprimanded for ‘interfering’ by the lockie. He then told the gongoozlers to go away, they had been there for ages. another jobs-worth morning I suspect.

We travelled up past Cliveden, fondly remembering swimming here in 2006, whilst avoiding the paddleboarders and on-coming cruisers rushing to join the lock queue. We were being overtaken by boats ourselves.

 

At Cookham lock we were next to a family-sized cruiser whose steerer showed a distinct lack of rivermanship. As the lock opened, he showed no sign of setting off so Brenda started taking Jannock out. As we were passing he asked graham “shall I go first then?” He hadn’t even started his very smelly engine. As we travelled down the lock cut he started to overtake, we slowed down as Brenda was concerned that another craft would meet him on a bend. Luckily, when the inevitable happened near the bridge, the on-coming craft had chance to slow and manouvre out of his way. He shot past us and them and them proceeded to tie up on Cookham moorings in the middle of a three craft space. A lot of new boaters sign language was invented today – most meant prat!

Rainbow over Henley

The weather decided to persist down most of the afternoon. Brenda spoke to the lockie at Hambledon about the abundance of apples in the garden. Apparently the EA have sent boxes for their collection. They will be gathered and made into cider – raising funds any way they can?

After we’d left Hambledon lock, with the skies darkening as we traversed the regatta course, we entered a total grey-out thunderstorm so we moored up at the end of the Henley visitor moorings, not something we’d normally do as it involves a fee of £10 but needs must when you want to avoid getting drowned. At least any monies paid will go into council coffers.

Mooring in Henley at ///loving.notes.twinkling – more likely wet.wet.wet ;^)

Video footage – Dorney to Cookham https://youtu.be/4S2KQZeYxQo

Cookham to Hurley https://youtu.be/8U7ZdOTOdNw then camera ran out of memory.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Enormous oyster

Wednesday 26th August 2020

The rain had stopped and the wind had calmed down some-what so we set off upstream at 09:30. A lovely river cruise was orchestrated by the continuing worrying engine noise – more jingling than Christmas!

Windsor Castle

A lunch of oysters was taken while we waited for Penton Hook lock. OK so it was only an Ice Cream Oyster but I’ve never seen so much ice-cream piled into one of these shells before. We then pulled over onto the visitor moorings above the lock for Cap’n to become marine engineer again. His diagnosis was a loose cabin alternator fan rubbing on the casing so it needed sorting.

 

 

Brenda carried on playing ‘shall we live in that multi-

The Lucy Fisher

million £ house? shall we have that pretty slipper launch?’ while proper lunch was made. Is envy a sin or what pushes us to strive on? Discuss!  Our lunch today was more food than many eat all day – we are so lucky!
The eFoil under water bits revealed

 

A pleasant cruise past all that is scenic, and Windsor Home Park and Castle. We moored at Dorney Lake, much to the annoyance of the wasps living in the bank beneath the tree that our stern rope was tied to. We kept all windows and the rear doors and hatch closed all night but still about a dozen had to be removed from within Jannock in the morning.


Filming in progress
 As we passed Boveney Chapel of St Mary Magdalene there were people dressed in medieval clothes and what seemed to be film lighting rigged. After supper, steak pie and a very quaffable red, we walked along Dorney common, passing the chapel. We found out that a ‘short’ was being made about a medieval minister (presumable religous rather that political) and his daughter. It’s sure to have salacious detail! And it’s not very far from Down Place where Hammer Horrors were made.

Tonight’s mooring /// cases.chin.chip

A timelapse vieo of today’s trip is at https://youtu.be/sGcejam2VgA

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

A damp walk around Kingston

Tuesday 25th August 2020

Only four months to Christmas!

KingstonBldg
Lovely building in Kingston

It blew and rained a hooley last night. Tied up securely to the bank we had no bother although Graham had to find a drip tray to go under the back window, it’s always been prone to leaking when the wind and rain come from the right direction.

HamptonCourt
Hampton Court

Then down the engine-ole to continue the cabin battery electrics repair (He wears his pants on the outside, but never a cape ;^) One of the batteries was very hot and emitting gas yesterday after the new alternator was installed. It appeared that one cell in the battery was dead – not sure whether that took the alternator out or the act of the alternator failing took the battery cell out. He suspects the former. Battery taken out of circuit we’ll have to see how we cope with just two left.

BeautifulBarge
The best barge on the Thames

Moored in Kingston meant we could go landside and explore once he’s finished rather than sit in and watch the weather. Apart from the usual shopping centre there wasn’t much of note in the town centre. so back to the boat, lunch and set off upstream having given our mooring spot to a widebeam that was looking for somewhere to tie up.

WaterBoard
eFoil- electric hydrofoil surfboard

 

 

Although not much rain, there was a gale force wind that made progress unpleasant. This combined with a jingling noise now coming from the new alternator gave us good reason to moor up in the wier stream at Sunbury. Not long after we’s tied up a bloke appeared riding an eFoil – an electric hydrofoil surfboard around all the mooring boys opposite the bank where we had tied up before dissapearing off downstream again.


Our Sunbury mooring ///reduce.tubes.cats


Monday, August 24, 2020

Back to the Thames

Monday 24th August 2020

HeronsBreakfst
Herons Breakfast

Today we got drenched, twice, and the second time lasted for about an hour. Two sets of wet clothes each, ten numb fingers for Brenda and we are promised more tomorrow.

PaddArmBeehives
Paddington Arm Bee Hives

Graham was up and at-em early, leaving Paddington basin just before 8am. A brief stop for a self pump-out at the offside sanistation on the Paddington arm and on upto Bulls Bridge through all the clawing floating weed. We turned left at Bulls bridge junction and headed down to Norwood top lock. All down through the Hanwell flight there wer boats travelling towards us and a couple of Volunteer lockies to aid us on our way. Graham found one of the Hanwell lock gates to be the hardest gate to open for a very long time.

After we left the flight Graham also noticed that the cabin alternator warning light was on. We continued down through Osterly and Clitheroe’s locks before pulling over on Brentford visitor moorings to swap out the alternator, always a spare handy of course. Whilst there Brenda decided to leave some surplus paperbacks in the sani-station as she remembered there was a book swap there last time we came this way. The BW key fitted the lock but a digital entry code was required as well to open the door. No-where is there a clue as to how boaters are expected to obtain the code. A bloke wandered up and went in the door, a few minutes later he emerged so she asked. He told her that all the local boaters know the code and then told her what it was. Another boater, nearby, also heard and wrote it down.

At Brentford lock, Graham asked the lockie about the situation at the sani-station. He said that he did not know the code but believed that it changed weekly. That is how CaRT stop boater’s loos and showers being used and abused by anyone. Yet Brenda got the impression that the bloke who told her the code was not a boater anyway. We asked how visiting boaters could get the code but the lockie had no idea.

Alternator swapped, a lock share identified, Graham went to set the guaging lock just as the heavens opened. We both got utterly drenched as we descended and then moored up waiting for Thames Lock.

LeavingBrentford
Leaving Brentford looking back

Out onto the Thames and turn right, heading upstream/ No trip boats about so no bucking bronco moments this trip. We travelled through another rain storm up to Teddington lock where the keeper remarked upon how wet we’d got in a very short time. He also offered up the information that tomorrow was going to be worse as we were in the overture to storm Francis.

We continued up stream to Kingston where we moored on the visitor moorings on the North bank of the river, registered with the on-line moorings website for our free 24 hr pass and then sat down to a nice warming curry. We plan to explore Kingston-in-the-wet tomorrow morning hoping the bad weather will pass before we need to set off.

Overnight mooring ///pets.fund.film

Timelapse videos -  Bulls Bridge to Brentford https://youtu.be/8izPKYe-F8k 

Brentford to Kingston  https://youtu.be/PXma9UVulEw

Sunday, August 23, 2020

A day in London

Sunday 23rd August 2020

Graham was up early and set off before I’d even risen from my bed. Breakfast was taken on the move because there are no locks on this arm and we had planned a busy afternoon.


It was a pleasant enough cruise into Paddinton despite the extra engine effort needed to plough through total cover duck-weed. A couple of paddle boarders were pleased that we cleared an easier path for them for a while. There are great lengths of moored boats and floating homes along here keeping our speed well down once we had passed Perivale.

It was strange to see plenty of empty moorings in Little Venice but it was just as well that we had booked a berth in Paddington Basin. The good news is that the basin now has a Coop (see previous posts) for ‘free stuff’ and a Brewdog bar. The bad news is the number of paddle boarders and go-boats to try and avoid.

Then off on our adventure – first we visited the Museum of London at the Barbican. Due to a lack of foreign tourists it wasn’t very busy and so we saw everything with ease. Then off to Petticoat Lane, where the market was packing up, to go for an early meal (with cocktails) at the London Steakhouse.

Once we had eaten, we then went to the Shard for our pre-booked visit to the viewing gallery, the second part of our Christmas gift from Matt and Alice – thanks! When you enter the Shard they take your photograph, I presume to sell it to you on the way out like flumes and roller coasters. The photographer says “smile please”. That made us laugh as we were all wearing masks – not even the photo that you’d want really!

Back to Jannock via the Brewdog bar where I had a cup of tea and Graham sampled several different beers. I discovered that I like Dead Pony Club which made him happy as he gave me the rest of his to go and try something else.

The Shard

North East view

Tower Bridge

The railway from Kent

Loo with a view

 

Our mooring in Paddington was /// deny.wolf.slate

A timelapse video of the run in is at https://youtu.be/FofVbQo8NTI