Sunday, 6 January 2013

Sunday came early…..

Well at least the Sunday walk did!  After identifying a number of local footpaths that are not shown on the Open Street Map (OSM) I uploaded the approximate start points into the Garmin gps.  Jan asked me to buy a loaf of bread if I was going anywhere near a shop so I decided to walk three footpaths near Sulhampstead.  The ground is still saturated and I decided wearing the leggings (gaiters) might be a good idea.  It wasn’t particularly cold which meant all I required was a long sleeved thermal vest with a T-shirt on top. I also took a light jacket in case there was a cold breeze or shower.  It was a good decision because late in the walk my energy level was low and both the thermal and T-shirt were wet with sweat perspiration.  Wearing the jacket provided some protection.  The leggings were also a good decision because my boot sank up to the ankle in mud and water with my third step on the first of the footpaths.

The gps traces are shown in red on the map above.  They have now been uploaded to OSM.  A few days ago I wrote about the petroleum pipeline and the disused rail sidings and petroleum depot (located at the left arrow).  At the end of the last gps trace I came across a new petroleum rail siding (right arrow).  This may explain why the old depot is no longer in use?

The walk then took me through Theale to the Sainsbury’s at Calcot where the bread was purchased along with a bag of doughnuts.  I’m starting to get addicted to the custard filled doughnuts!

It was the usual route back to Aldermaston Wharf using the towpath.  Same boats moored in the same spots!  The most noticeable thing is the volume of water in the canal.  Particularly the sections where the River Kennet and the K&A Canal merge.  The water going over the weir near Sulhampstead Lock provides a visual indication of what’s happening.

The land either side of the valley is still saturated and; in my opinion; it may be more than two weeks before the water is back to its normal level and flow.

Tomorrow I’m going to assist Nick complete the initial 50 hour service on the engine and apply the mastic seals to the port side hatch.  He also plans to screw the toilet to the floor (no more riding the wild stallion when a boat goes past) but there’s insufficient room in the cubicle for me to physically assist so I’ll confine myself to using my managerial supervisory skills!  All going well we’ll then wind (turn) Waiouru and return to the same mooring so the mastic can be applied to the joins in the starboard side hatch.

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