Tuesday, 28 July 2015

To Day’s Lock……. Errr maybe!

The forecast today was for scattered passing showers.  Jan was up early for her call back to Australia and shortly thereafter I arose for breakfast.  The call to Oz continued whilst I washed and dried the dishes.  We only do them once daily as it saves on water.  The dirty water gets tipped out the side hatch rather than down the sink.  Doing this minimises the need to clean the sink bottle trap.  There’s only one risk tipping the water over the side.  I’ve been known to feed teaspoons to the fish!

Whilst Jan finished her pre cruising tasks I decided to walked into Goring Village and buy some bread.  On the way I disposed of our rubbish.  Back at the boat with the bread where Jan reminded me she had told me yesterday that today she was going to bake bread and the dough was rising.  Looks like there will be some happy ducks!

We were away just on 8am and no sooner than we had untied the mooring lines it started to drizzle. I cruised the short distance up the Goring Lock with the pram cover up but quickly realised drizzle on the clear plastic front window made for poor visibility.  The lock was on self service so we used our locking technique rather than the EA Lock Keepers method.  They require bow and stern lines with the engine off.  We use a centre line and keep the engine going.

There only a short reach between Goring and Cleeve Locks and we arrived to find it also on Self Service.  Jan worked Waiouru up without any difficulty.  The is a good water point above the lock so we stopped to top up the tank.  We last filled at Aldermaston on Wednesday.  The tank was still three quarters full but we like to keep it topped up.

It appeared the Goring Regatta might have been held on the field to the south of Cleeve Lock as the last of some carnival rides appeared to be leaving.


The Moulsford Railway Bridge crosses the Thames above Cleeve Lock.  I’m impressed by the sheer number of bricks that went into its construction.  There are 10 layers of brick in each arch.  I’d have loved to have won the contract to supply the bricks. 

extensive brickwork

Just before Wallingford three wooden rowing boats passed us going downstream.  Some of the crews were wearing red clothing and initially I thought they might be the crews conducting the royal tupping of the swans.  Then we realised they were Danish Vikings returning home after a successful raid.


At Benson Lock we caught up with another narrowboat.  The steerer of NB Samsara ask me if were were “The kiwi bloggers?” and “Did i know Sue?”  The answer to both questions was “Yes!”  He then asked us if we had seen Sue.  We were able to tell him she was well south of Reading.  We still haven’t asked the boater for his name.  Very remise!


The plan was to moor against the bank above Day’s Lock.  Unfortunately a number of boaters had the same idea and arrived before us.  Our three hour cruising day just got longer.

Day’s Lock to Abington is rather boring.  It’s almost as if you are circling Didcot Power Station. 

We noticed NB Free Spirit moored at Clifton Hampden.

free spirit 1

Just before we reached Abingdon a small steam powered launch passed us going downstream.  It reminded us we had seen two similar powered boats when going this way in 2013.


We had already heard the Abingdon moorings were full and were quite relieved to see two vacant mooring spots.  We took one and Samsara the other.

So here we are back in Abingdon.

Abingdon Again

It’s been a grey misty and drizzly day with patches of sunshine.  In the evening I walked up to Abingdon Lock and then around the southern side of Abbey Meadow to reach Abbey Gardens.  In the far corner are some ruins which I thought might be the remains of the original abbey.


However it’s possible they might be the remains of Trendell’s Folly.  After a short search on Google I think I can confirm the ruins are actually Trendell’s Folly.  Trendell was a prosperous wine merchant with an outlet on the High Street in Abingdon.  In 1853 he bought the Abbey House and gardens.  He enlarged the house and set out the gardens in a fashionable Victorian style. The folly was built around 1872.  So Henry VIII had nothing to do with this set of ruins!

Whilst walking back to Waiouru I managed to take a photo downstream from Abingdon Bridge using the smartphone.

SAMSUNG The boat in the foreground is ABC hire boat Little Bunting from Aldermaston Wharf.  There was a rather interesting boat immediately beyond the bow of Little Bunting in the photo above.  The first think I noticed was the high mast.  It wouldn’t have been able to get this far up the Thames with the mast erected.  Then I noticed the flag on the stern.

festina lente

It looked like the French Tricolour but the boat name wasn’t French and the name on the stern looked Belgium or Dutch.  My knowledge of flags isn’t what it once was and I had to check.  It’s the Tricolour!


Sue said...

Yes unfortunately well south of Reading, it would have been nice to meet up. That was John on Samsara.

There are moorings further along, some very nice ones past the trees and out in the open a bit at Days Lock, well about a quarter mile past.

We had that problem with our very first pram cover and quickly had a pair of zips put in so the front could be unzipped and folded back over the top securing with a press stud each side. Works a treat!

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Sue, Thanks for that. Poor John will now wonder how I know his name!

nine9feet said...

Ha Ha! No, I will wonder no more as I have now caught up with reading your blog!
NB Samsara