Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Salad Days

An early start to the day getting ready to move onto the Thames.  Nick & Pete the lock keepers at Blakes Lock assisted us down onto the Thames.  No more working locks for the next few days <bliss>.

Jan did the paperwork with Nick to obtain our temporary Thames (visitor) licence.  She opted for the 7 day licence as it was a third less than the 3 day licence.  Don’t ask…. we don’t understand either!

The first task was to get around to the moorings outside Tesco for a shop. We were In luck as there was one vacant spot.  However I noticed three of the boats almost appeared to be welded to the moorings!

Moored at TESCO

We did quite a large shop filling the freezer and purchasing a few items for Waiouru (scrubbing brush, etc) which were needed after the pigeons had used the boat as a toilet last night.  After a refreshing cuppa we set off for Caversham Lock with Jan in the cratch to secure the bow and me steering.

Once through the lock we passed under Caversham bridge and headed west towards Mapledurham Lock.

As we don’t have much any experience of boating on the Thames we settled on running Waiouru’s engine at 1500rpm and used the Garmin to establish the speed.  At the end of the cruise we had averaged between 6-7km/h which is probably a good speed.

Jan saw our new house on the outskirts of Reading.

However it’s probably out of our price range.  This one is a better prospect and even comes with a Canadian Goose nesting in the thatched roof

The weather was glorious with blue skies and sunshine. The breeze on the river kept us cool but we now have red faces which are probably a combination of sun and wind.

At Mapledurham Lock Jan discovered the small canalside shop was open and treated us to an ice cream cone.  There was a waterpoint on the upstream landing so we took the opportunity to fill the tank after doing a load of washing between Reading and Mapledurham.  Whilst we waited for the tank to fill a boat did an “assisted passage” down through the lock.

The helmsman in the dingy did confirm a tow to London was NOT required! Smile

Pangbourne is the furthest I’d previously walked and I mentioned to Jan there was a toll to pass over the bridge.  But fortunately not one to go under.

The lock at Pangbourne (Whitchurch Lock) was actually on ‘Self Service’ when we arrived so Jan had a self-taught crash course on Thames locks until the lock keeper arrived half way through the process.  He warned us there was a sandbank to the right at the upstream end of the lock and three boats had already run aground.

Jan prepares Whitchurch Lock

The garden bar on the far bank at Pangbourne looked to be a very pleasant spot to be.

Jan then noticed another canalside property on her ‘wish list’.

Whereas I was able to point out another riverside property in our price range!

It just needs a little TLC.  Moving upstream from Pangbourne the land started to close in on us with high ground to the right and then to the left.  We arrived at Goring around 4.30pm and decided to moor for the night on the 24 hour moorings just below the lock.  We only cruised for a total of 3.5 hours but for some reason both of us are quite tired.  I’ll endeavour to find some energy for a walk around Goring after dinner.


Andy Healey said...

Had to look up the boathouse on the Jacksons of Reading Estate agents site, yours for £1,150,000 including 5 bed house.

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Andy,
Well I hadn't expected it to be that cheap.Pity it's not one of a matching pair or we'd be interested! :-)