Sunday, 16 October 2016

Out of the mist – The Flying Dutchman

Saturday 8th October to Thursday 13th October 2016

Heading further west, we made a bit of a getaway from Windsor at around our normal time with the intended destination of Maidenhead – we hadn’t seen it before – but with £8 mooring signs everywhere and not enthralling itself to us, we thought that we may as well keep cruising, eventually mooring at Bourne End where we have been before.
Grabbing the last mooring on the railway side, it was quite a nice one, if you tried to ignore and not step in the bloody goose shit.
Anyway we moored up and settled down; wandered into town; Diane found a top to buy and also coffee.

It was just a good chance to rest a bit more – spent a lot of the afternoon just reading and then watched a better display from England – albeit against Malta – and Diane watched her Strictly (and I did as well!).
I know that most people who read this blog know what we look like, but I have
to include one of the both of us for Diane's parents - Mil and Fil - just so
that they remember what we look like - they are old, you know.

Sunday was a better day and we still have a bit of a schedule to meet – bottom of the Napton flight before 7th November, so although we didn’t go far, we were still travelling – ended up on the moorings below the lock at Marlow – right in the sun and the panels and batteries were loving it.

The feel of autumn is well and truly with us – some lovely warming sun (not hot) but the air is cold (rather than cool) and the wind is now stronger.

Diane decided a lovely way to start Monday, before we moved, would be breakfast at Slug and Lettuce (half-price) – so for under a tenner we oth ate very well indeed.
Then we were off again – this time intending to stop at Medmenum, but something suggested to us to go up through Hambledon Lock and moor there – egods! £8 a night there – not an your nelly! If we were going to pay to moor around Henly then it would be down in the town itself and so we moored there – right alongside the lovely park area – we wandered into town – had to pick up a few things – wandered back – I had had time earlier to get the £10 ready in small denomination coins, but sadly (and I was bitterly disappointed), the warden didn’t come around to collect his money – I refuse to go somewhere to pay the mooring fee – they can bloody well come to me and collect it.

The bridge at Henley with the Isis figure head
on the upstream side
So, to make sure of it we left very early the next morning with the money in our pocket and not someone else’s.

There was a bit of mist on the river as we made it to Marsh Lock, but as we departed the mist turned to fog and quite thick – entering the enveloping atmosphere, we disappeared from sight from where we had come; forward progress found us exiting and reentering the fog – if this had been on seas further afield we would have been taken as a craft of other circumstances.
Approaching Marsh Lock - the opject in the water ahead of us is just a duck,
although when I first looked it, it looked a bit like a fin.

With the mist comes the cold, and it was my chance to do
the locking and get a bit warmer. Diane as usual handled
the boat without any problems

Into the fog we go, maybe never to be seen again, except as a ghost ship!

A mile or so further along the sun started to shine through and the mist disappeared, but it was a surreal feeling – the river so calm and the air so fresh.
The sun did come out to play later on and here we are just
outside Uri Geller's old house
The bridge at Sonning - always so lovely, but no sign of George Clooney anywhere

After filling the water tank at Shiplake Lock Services (Diane had finished the washing so the tank would be filled completely) we carried on heading further west – our aim was Reading and thanks to Dot and Gordon (nb Ewn Ha Cul) we headed down the K&A and after passing through Blake’s Lock it was a right-hand turn and we moored up behind Reading Goal.
Now we can say that we have been on the K&A, all-be-it for just a mile or so.

...but it was a nice mile for an old industrial area

We were in the sun but slightly under a horse-chestnut tree, but with good reception.

The weather has been steadily getting cooler and we have daily putting the Reflecs on in the late afternoon and early evening; the wind was not strong but obviously enough that every so often there would be a bang on the roof as the chestnuts were blown off the tree and landed on us.

It was such a nice place that we decided to spend an extra day there, with part of the time taken up with some shopping – a bit of a walk to Lidl but worth it – in terms of saving money and just the exercise.

It seems the ideal place to moor when visiting Reading and if we are ever here again we would certainly moor here again – Thanks Dot, thanks Gordon!
And to remind us of our daughter Sam!

27 Miles, 12 Locks
YTD:  694 Miles (1117 km) , 392 Locks, 10 Tunnels, 14 Lift Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges

Total: 4489 Miles (7224 km), 3091 Locks, 122 Tunnels, 59 Lift Bridges, 170 Swing Bridges