Sunday, 31 March 2013

Wai ha hoo

New cruising territory today.  We did all of 40 minutes! Smile

Waiouru calmly cruised along the canal at tick-over until we reach the river.

Left to Frouds Bridge Marina and the Old Mill weir whilst to the right is Newbury and (eventually) Bristol.  On turning right into the flow of the river there was an immediate impact on the speed and the rev’s had to be increased to 1350rpm.

Looking back it’s left to the canal and Aldermaston whilst straight ahead to the marina.

Of course one always meets a boat in coming in the opposite direction at a windy bit!  With our luck it had to be a wide beam boat.

Whilst there was actually plenty of room we were still adjusting to the handling of the boat in the current.  As Beatrice Rose passed the steerer looked at the name on our boat and attempted to say it. After a few seconds of being tongue tied he settled on Wai ha hoo! Smile We both had a chuckle having previously realised pronouncing Waiouru’s name is going to be a bit of a talking point!  

It’s Why-oo- (as in who) Roo (as in Kangaroo)!

Pushing on upstream we reached the swing bridge at Woolhampton.  where we moored below the bridge and walked forward to prepare the lock.  There was a boat about to come down which meant we didn’t have to worry about the gates being closed in our faces.  The plan was for the boaters on the lock to leave the gates open and Jan would work the swing bridge for them.  We would then take Waiouru up through the bridge and into the empty lock.  However another hire boat appeared behind us.  Mindful of previously having watched James and Doug on nb Chance working with hire boaters, we opted to let the hire boat go ahead of us.  That way we wouldn’t have to worry about the novices (ha ha) bashing Waiouru when following us into the lock.  We need not have worried as they made a good job of the difficult approach.

Jan then opened the bridge to allow Waiouru through.  I almost stuffed up the approach into the lock, having turned slightly too early, but recovered from the situation to enter without hitting the sides.  Having two boats in the lock made it easier to fill. 

The hirers offered us the opportunity to leave first despite knowing we intended to stop for the day on the 48 hour moorings immediately above the lock.  I had checked the moorings during a walk two days previous and they were all full.  However today there were two vacant moorings so we were in luck.

However on exiting the lock we noticed the broadbeam C&RT work boat (Nelson) was adrift and across the canal.

Nelson across the canal in the distance.

We moored immediately in front of the blue boat and then assisted recovering and re-mooring Nelson.  Obviously an earlier boater had gone past at some speed as both the very long mooring pegs had been bent and pulled out of the ground.

As it was Sunday we opted for a pub roast lunch.  There are three pubs in Woolhampton.  The Row Barge is beside the canal, whilst a short walk to the village provides a choice of either The Angel or the Falmouth Arms.  We chose The Angel as it has recently re-opened under new management.  An Australian couple who have been touring the world for the last 20 years in their mobile home but have now decided to settle in Woolhampton.

It’s dog and ‘rug rat’ friendly and Jan liked the sign out the front.

We both chose the roast pork which was filling and tasty (£9.25 ea) although Jan would have liked a “Yorkie” with her roast.  We were too full to fit in a dessert opting to return to Waiouru for a cuppa.

We’ve passed this structure in Woolhampton on many occasions but never actually closely examined it.

It looked to be some type of monument.  But it also looks like they ran out of money because side on it appears to have a ‘short back and sides’ haircut!  It’s really only a facade.

Looking inside it’s obviously a public drinking fountain (now closed) built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.  I wonder if that will be one of the questions in the “Life in the UK” test?

In the afternoon we “pottered” and surfed (the internet) killing time before moving on to Thatcham tomorrow.

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