Thursday, 23 July 2015

It’s all in the planning!

Our second day in Newbury and time to go.  A quick walk to Sainsbury’s for fresh bread and a jar of beetroot.  Oops, in all the excitement Jan’s weekly magazines were forgotten.  If you’re going to send an old man out to shop then a written list is probably essential.  A longish walk will now be required to rectify that error!

We were on our way just after 8am.  It was tick over down to Greenham Lock.  However even tick over wasn’t slow enough to avoid being spotted by Kelvin (I’ve corrected the blog list) on nb Serafina.


He and Rachael are over from Melbourne for five months.  We have been following their blog (on our own blog list) and knew they were heading west on the Kennet & Avon.  Rachael introduced herself yesterday when we were moored at Victoria Park but Kelvin was away in Birmingham.  This morning he managed to catch us whilst we were waiting for Greenham lock to fill and we spent several minutes chatting.  We may catch up later in the year as they are based at Stoke on Trent.

This sad looking boot was moored below Ham Lock.  Jan has read about it on nb Free Spirit’s blog and told me it was loose yesterday.  It’s in such a dilapidated state I think it has been abandoned.


Jan also informed me that Free Spirit was moored behind us at Newbury and follows our blog.  I must have been in a male brown haze because not only did I not remember Free Spirit; I hadn’t realised their blog was not on our blog list.  At least I’ve fix the latter.  Now we have to catch up with Ian and Irene so I can introduce myself!

Two interesting things at the next lock (Bull’s Lock).  Despite having cruised this way previously and walked the towpath on a number of occasions, I’d not previously noticed the etching on the edge of the slab over the lock paddle mechanism.

restored “Restored by Volunteers 1975”

A bird box had been fitted to the outside face of the lower left gate.

bird box

We reached Thatcham to find only two boats on the 48 hour moorings.  Both of them were on the same moorings when we first travelled up the K&A.  However there were three vacant moorings and we quickly grabbed one before breaking out the sack trolley and plastic cans.

sack trolley

Two round trips to the nearby Pinnocks Fuels resulted in all the tanks being full.  We stayed for lunch and then pressed on towards Woolhampton.  Again there were only two boats on the 48 hour moorings and one left shortly after our arrival (note to self… pump out must be due shortly).

We moored up for the night and then walked the short distance to Midgham to visit our good friend “Towpath Bill” who is currently doing some house and dog sitting.  Bill had mentioned he knew a secret technique to remove the masking tape lines left in paint.  I had purchased the special tool, but didn’t know how to use it.  Bill demonstrated the technique and I’ll try it next time I have to do some paint repairs.  If I am successful I might share it with you (after gaining Bill’s consent), but only if you’re sworn to secrecy.  After a very pleasant couple of hours we wandered back to Waiouru where Jan cooked two rather nice pieces of steak she had purchased in Newbury.

Jan told me those bloggers ahead of us (Tentatrice, Cleddau, Free Spirit) have mention the lack of vacancies on the moorings east of Newbury.  Ladies we haven’t had a problem! “It’s all in the planning” Smile


Kelvin and Rachael said...

Tom and Jan,

Just what I needed! Rachael saw the photo of Serafina on your blog and spared no time in organising me to polish the boat! Anyway, nice to chat today and I look forward to a longer chat next time. Happy cruising!

Kelvin and Rachael

Tom and Jan said...

Kelvin don't tell Rachael but I photoshopped the image to bring out the colour and make Serafina look shiny! πŸ˜‚

Carol said...

Hi Tom and Jan, talking about men needing a list to go shopping - it’s only good if he looks at it - the male I know only looks at his when he gets home and then has to go out again anyway! xx

Tom and Jan said...

Carol I'm normally OK with lists, provided it has custard doughnuts on it! πŸ˜€