Monday, 29 July 2019

I almost enjoyed it too!

Early morning for us, actually that's a lie as we've both been awake very early in this heat.  Today we untied at 07:15 as quietly as we possibly could so as not to disturb the other boaters from their slumbers.  
I pushed out the nose so far that it did occur that I might over-balance and topple in.

Our mooring had been the third boat from the right.

Lining up for Wallingford bridge.

Now this little launch has been here three days too I think.  An older chap has a sort of hammocky sofa he makes up.  He has a small Gerry-can and has availed himself of the washhouse in the adjacent campsite.  I think I see a wee gas cooker and he's away enjoying himself like all of us.

Early morning tea

Well Reader off we went and I have to tell you I was almost relaxed.  I was certainly happier than on other mornings when I had been in a cold sweat and feeling sick.  
I think the main reason was there weren't any other boats on the river but even so a vast improvement wouldn't you say?

Approaching this bridge.

Reader you might remember that I have a loathing for these Canadian Geese, this was the third field we passed of them, the other two were jam packed with them, where's my shotgun?

Still Rockin' came up to Cleve Lock.  Water isn't widely available on the Thames as it is on canals.  Although we have a HUGE water tank on here, it only has a few drips left in it.  So it was with relief that the water point with its big fat hose for big fat boats was free.  That was the main reason for leaving early of course.
We set it going and I cleaned the windows on that side.  

Approaching Cleve Lock

Then guess who turned up?  Looking all spruce like and the wee launch all ship shape.  Then a Le Boat big fat boat and a narrow boat and Bob's yer uncle the lock became available and the juggling of positions for turns, I decided not to look.  David brought SR beautifully into the lock and the very nice lady on the smaller NB volunteered to operate the lock.  I could have done so of course and would have done so if we had of been alone.  But I held on to the bow line with grim determination.
No problems at all.

We passed this, one of the oddest looking craft I have seen to date, if I see another I'll post it for you.  .£500 worth of fenders spent.

 At Goring Lock, I asked the lock keeper what time one can access their moorings as we have a booking for two weeks time
"Oh yes so you have and how are you getting on with this boat?"
More friends of Carol and George!  He let the water out very slowly for us.

Give me this anyway of the week above those Thamesside mansions.  Obviously I'll get rid of more trees around it.

Now we both had a giggle at this.  Frequent Flyers to this blog may remember that last summer eight of us went mad in France and hired a Le Boat  HERE   you can read the summery of that ten days if you have the stomach for it.
So seeing these FIVE Le Boats moored up together with dozens of small children scrambling over them all did reming me of another occasion 25 years ago when we hired a NB to do the Avon Ring.  (Our three children were bored after seven days) but when we arrived at Evesham late in the day there weren't any free mooring available, so we were invited to breast up alongside two already breasted up boats, later another definitely one or possible two more NB's arrived and of course come here I waved to them from across the river.  So we were all novices and all 4 or 5 boats moored on one rope......  

5 Le Boats moored together, the children were lively but I wonder if the parents were bleary eyed.  I didn't see any parents.

Shoe box afloat.

Last year I feared this would sink before long but here it is still. Just.

So as we came into Pangbourne, there we spotted The Black Swan.   Other boaters we chatted to had said they were going there.  After mooring up easily on Pangbourne Meadows (24 hrs only but free) we walked off to buy milk and smoked salmon.  We came across the Pub, very nearly by accident and went in for coffee which turned quickly into lunch.
Delicious.   We may return on the way back.

The Black Swan, cica 1642.  We sat and looked a the river just for a change....

Later our friends were arriving, we were having supper with them so shouldn't have eaten a thing.

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