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

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