Wednesday, 30 July 2008

On the Wey!

We did not have an auspicious start to our trip to the Wey Navigation. As we left Shepperton I dropped one of the mooring stakes on my foot but that was nothing like Geoff's accident later on.

Whilst pulling one of the mooring ropes he managed to get a fish hook stuck in his finger. At the time I was trying to manoeuvre alongside another boat who had moored themselves in the lock waiting area. Geoff was trying to secure us alongside so we had to call for their assistance as he was out of action! Once secure I was completely useless so he had to extract it himself. This he did with a large pair of pliers.......I have checked and his tetanus is up to date!!

Waiting Pontoon for first lock

The actual entrance to the Wey is very pretty and the lock keeper takes you through the first lock and then proceeds to do all the paperwork and relieve you of your fee. In our case it was £54 for 7 days. You are provided free of charge with the special lock handle which is required for the locks.

Leaving first lock (Thames Lock)

We soon found that our normal practice of securing with a long middle rope which I control from the stern whilst keeping myself well back in the lock just doesn't work in these locks. We have had to change our modus-operandi to bow and stern ropes. Even then we have to take great care and fill very slowly.

After the fish hook incident and then getting banged around in the lock we decided to quit for the day and moored at New Haw (South of Weybridge)

Today, Wednesday we set off just after 8 and fared a little better in the locks but by noon it was too hot for me and Geoff's hopes of reaching Guildford or Godalming were dashed......he managed to find a nice shady spot in the deep countryside.

We are somewhere between Guildford and Woking. Just after leaving New Haw we passed under the M25 and thought of all those unlucky people travelling above us.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Weekend in Windsor

Relaxing at Windsor

We eventually found an ideal mooring spot away from the main town just adjacent to the Windsor Sports centre. I must say I did not like the look of it at first and we turned Petroc round several times before I agreed that we should try it....however Geoffrey was right and it was ideal. Mainly in the shade and sufficient grass for Ellie......the weather was getting hotter by the minute so the shade was very welcome. There were one or two other narrow boats moored in various places but the majority of the boats were varying sizes of Gin Palaces.

Geoff overheard a chap on one of them moored behind us saying to his friend "Very upmarket for a narrowboat"!!!! How condescending can one get?

Keith came back by car with our clean laundry which he had kindly done for us whilst we meandered down the river. We were able to sit on shore until quite late and watch all the boats and swans etc passing by. It is certainly a busy stretch of the river. Keith and Anne left later in the evening and we had a night alone whilst we prepared for the next lot of visitors.

Friday we walked into Windsor which was teeming with tourists and did our shopping in the convenient Waitrose erstwhile shopping trolley came into it's own again!

Emma arrived mid afternoon with our post and some of the heavier shopping she had done....replenishment of drinks etc.....

Our mooring spot at Windsor

Sunday morning all three of us went to Choral Communion in St Georges Chapel in Windsor Castle. We then found a convenient pub whilst we waited for Boe and her friend Annie to arrive by train. They were coming for the night so it is a good job our saloon bed makes up into a huge bed as all three had to sleep in it!

Another gentle evening on the riverbank where we dined al-fresco. We had planned cold eating as it was still hotter yet but all the while we were assailed by the tempting BBQ smells of several groups who were picnicking around us. However Geoff does not do BBQ's so we do not carry one with us.

Monday morning Emma & Parga departed as she was working at lunchtime but Annie & Boe decided to do the trip to Shepperton with us and catch a train back from there later in the day.

Big locks, we had as many as 7 in one this morning

A very hot passage down the 12 miles or so passing many houses to be envious of although not so large and affluent looking as north of Windsor........still most of them out of our budget.

Boe & Annie's preferred place of travel is the roof

Moored at Shepperton about 2.30 ...dare I say it was too hot............

Boe & Annie departed about 5.30 with Boe going to view 3 flat shares this evening. She is looking for something in the Putney area as she starts college in Wandsworth at the beginning of September on her 1 year Teacher training Qualification.

The River Wey beckons tomorrow.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Marlow & Windsor

Left our lovely mooring at Henley Thursday morning. The only negative thing I can say about Henley is that the town council need to get a grip of their rubbish collections. Out walking in the morning and all the rubbish bins in the park were full and there was litter all over and no sign of anyone starting a clear up even at 9 o'clock....such a shame.

Leaving Henly looking at the Church, The Angel Pub & Henley Bridge

Bisham Church

Temple Island just past Henley

Short hop to Marlow past wonderful houses again. The only space we could find to moor above the bridge was not quite so nice as Henley and more expensive £10 this time. However it was close to the town and quite acceptable. We shopped before lunch as we were expecting Anne & Keith for supper. A phone call from them confirmed their visit and could they stay overnight. This was quite acceptable so a quick change of bedding. Whilst doing this we had a call from friends Cherry & Mike to say they were in the area and could they drop in......also very acceptable but necessitated a bit of a speed up on the domestic front!!!! When Mike arrived at the boat I had just come out of the shower. We walked across to meet them in the cafe in the park and had a pleasant hour before Anne & Keith arrived.

Medmenham Abbey

Very pleasant evening sitting ashore until the wind became too chill and caught up with all news of each others family. Next morning Anne remained on board whilst Keith took the car and our laundry home with him ( nice to have friends like that!) Anne then did the run down to Windsor with us and Keith drove over later in the afternoon with my clean and dry laundry! Unfortunately he gets sick when travelling on the water, hence his choice not to join us on the trip. They have been with us on the canals and he just walks the towpath all day with suitable stops for lunch etc, and becomes very fit. However this is not so easy on the river.

Leaving Marlow

We stopped as planned to pick up diesel at Bourne End marina...however it had gone up from the 93p they had told me on the phone to 95p after a new delivery. The car price in this area is about £1.32 so with the tax difference of just over 40p I suppose that is not far off the mark.

As we waited to go through Marlow lock we saw this bird piggybacking her babies.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Henley and the Thames

Contrary to expectations we did not leave Reading on Tuesday. We discovered that in the ruins of Reading Abbey, adjacent to our mooring, they were performing "The Taming of the Shrew" . We decided to stay over for a day and have a little culture. So Tuesday was a leisurely stroll round the shops where we bought the new camera Geoff has been ogling for a while, and a pleasant coffee break in one of the many coffee places that line the canal. We had a voucher for Pizza Express which gave us one meal fee so decided to eat here early and then go to the show.

However it was somewhat of a disappointment. Their interpretation of the play had it set in the wild west which would have been absolutely fine if we could have understood what they were saying. The combination of Shakespeare's prose and pseudo American accents meant that we could only understand about 1 word in 4. I fell asleep during the first half, Geoff had to keep nudging me awake. At half time I went back to the boat and Geoff persevered but it didn't improve. Such a pity (and a waste on money as the tickets were not cheap).

Wednesday saw us departing for the mighty Thames. After the first lock where the keeper had not yet arrived Geoff had a really easy time of it. Even that lock had the easy wheels to turn. After the K&A I think it is quite welcome. We are back to beautifully tended lock gardens.

We stopped to water etc at just before Shiplake lock and continued down past some very large houses with their gardens rolling down to the river.

The river was just like a millpond, not a breath of wind....bliss

En route we passed a strange looking vessel which we thought was fishing but concluded they were perhaps putting fish in.......

We had been undecided about how far to go but there seemed to be lots of mooring space at Henley so we decided to stop. This is the first time we have had to pay to moor but it looked so nice we decided to bite the bullet. You can moor free until 3pm and then it is £8 to stay overnight. The little man who apparently used to come and collect the money is no longer here and you pay at the parking meters in the car park. Big notices advise of £500 fee if you don't pay....................................

We had a wander round the town before lunch and a gentle pint (for Geoff!) at the Angel where we could sit right on the water. Whilst in town we stumbled upon this group of Masai looking warriers?

On the way back we checked out the opening times of the boatyard for diesel and we also checked the price.....£1.10p. When I expressed incredulity at the price I was told " it is cheaper than the garage!!!"

Back at Petroc I rang the next boatyard at Bourne End to see what their price was and it is only 93p so we shall be going there.

During the afternoon we had a visit from Dave Greenfly which was very pleasant.

The mooring here is quite delightful and we have been able to sit out all evening and have not only our pre dinner aperitif but also our supper. We sat and watched all the boats going up and down, most of them gently but a couple seemed determined to show how fast their gas guzzlers could go. The only small blot on the horizon was the blaring music from the narrowboat moored behind us. Geoff did go over and ask very politely if they could turn it down a little but was not well received!!

Monday, 21 July 2008

Return to Reading Gaol

After a quiet Saturday afternoon (we were both exhausted after 3 days on the trot with early starts and lots of locks!) we walked into Theale for Church at 10am Sunday. A large church with good choir and organist but very small congregation. At coffee afterwards one of the ladies gave us a present of 1/2 a dozen of her eggs she was selling.

Shortly after our return to Petroc, Strathmore appeared. They had been on the go since 7 but due to failure of the swing bridge at Woolhampton they had to sit for almost a couple of hours in the tail of the lock whilst BW came out to fix it.

After having the on board for coffee we walked the 1/2 mile or so south from the canal to the Fox & Hounds at Sheffield. The food was excellent and we couldn't understand why they were not packed out.

Monday morning we set off at 8am in company with Strathmore for the trip to Reading. It was a beautiful, mostly sunny, morning but in the patches of shade the wind was still chilly (only the middle of July!).
At Fobney lock we caught up with another boat, but both this lock and the next, County Lock, are large and all three of us fitted in. Quite a flow in the water now, but compared to what it can be, it is docile............

Three in a lock

The end of a two month sojourn

We came out last as we were planning to stay in Reading. The run through the centre (you pass through the middle of the big shopping centre) is interesting but one cannot stop because of the strong current.

Slightly further on we turned left into the small loop and moored adjacent to Reading Gaol, almost exactly where we had moored on our entry nearly two months ago.

Moored by Reading Gaol

We left here on 24th May and since then have travelled 188 miles, done 216 locks and negotiated numerous swing and lifting bridges. We can thoroughly recommend the K&A to anyone, there are some lovely places to visit and explore. We had no trouble finding moorings in most places, although it is more difficult to find suitable places in the open fields. We also found in some places that the 48 hours moorings were taken up with quite obvious long term overstayers. The worst place for this is Pewsey.

So tomorrow brings pastures new as we set off down the Thames. The forecast is good for the week so we hope the Thames stays nice and docile. We heard from Piston Broke that they had wanted to go down earlier on but the river was running too fast so they were stuck in Abingdon for 3 weeks. If one has to be stuck anywhere Abingdon is one of the nicer places to do it. After a while though, however nice a pace is, one gets itchy feet to move on.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Weekend in Theale

Saturday was yet another 7am start.......and this time the excitement was at the beginning of the day. The exit from Woolhampton is about the nastiest on the K&A with a strong stream from the right as you have to turn right, immediately followed by a sharp left under a swing bridge. Big notice boards advise you not to leave the tail of the lock before your crew (Geoff!) have opened the swing bridge. Geoff's last words to me were "lots of power". Petroc's engine certainly had a rude awakening, I don't think I have ever had to use so much power, first in forward and then reverse. Immediately after the swing bridge is the pontoon to pick up the crew. So not only are you going fast but the stream is still behind you and you need to stop! I did manange it but Geoff said he wished he had had a video throughout the whole manoeuvre just to capture the look of terror on my face!

To add insult to injury it then started to rain, not a good start to the day. However the weather improved and we had intermittent sunshine. Passed Aldermaston where we had originally thought we might weekend. We would have been disappointed as what few moorings there were were taken up with Reading Marine Hire boats on turn-around. The Aldermaston lock gave me a few moments anxiety. As the water was descending the back gates were giving exceedingly ominous noises. I let my imagination run away with me and was planning my action if the weight of the water behind them suddenly proved too much!

We stopped to water etc at Tyle Mill where we met a boat who also had a yellow lab called Ellie on board. Theirs was only 5 and somewhat more active than ours at 12.

Reached Theale, our planned weekend stop, about 11.30. Plenty of space on the moorings in a pretty but heavily treed spot. However we placed ourselves strategically by a small gap pointing in the general direction required for the satellite aerial and had a perfect picture without Geoff having to do anything......what a relief.......!!! We also had a reasonable picture on the "status" aerial but once again I had a better picture in the rear cabin on my computer. We can only conclude that it is because it is closer to the aerial and therefore not such a long run of cable. Doesn't seem right to me but what do I know!

Whilst at Woolhampton Klim from Strathmore had kindly looked at our internal car radio. It had been working OK for DVD's or IPOD but no radio reception. As suspected it was a naff connection to the aerial, which he managed to effect a temporary repair, but we need to buy some new connector.

We do sometimes think we should have had a boat with no TV or radio so we wouldn't have had any of this fuss!

Once at Theale we set off to do the shopping before lunch. It is a 15 min walk to the town so once again my shopping trolley came into action. I bought it in Devizes on our way through west and it has proved extremely useful on several occasions. Geoff is very scathing about it's colour, but I felt that if I was reduced to a shopping trolley I should at least make a statement!! He doesn't like to be seen pulling it, but since I do that most of the time I don't see his problem.....

Friday, 18 July 2008

Return to Woolhampton

Another early start, this time pre-arranged with Klim & Tina on Strathmore for 7am. We both wanted to have a mooring in Woolhampton. Set off in dull but dry weather but sadly it did not continue for the whole trip, we had periods of fine but sometimes heavy showers. Apart from that I had the fright of my life in Greenham Lock. I was looking aft checking my position in relation to the sill when I heard a loud noise and looked forward to see a swan landed on our roof. It proceeded to slither down the side of the boat between ourselves and Strathmore. With fantastic presence of mind Klim rushed between the boats and caught the swan high up on its neck and hoiked it up onto the roof. Whereupon the wretched swan slithered down again and fell between the boats. However it was further forward this time and we managed to get enough space between us for it to swim forward, and the gates then opened and it swam out. I asked Klim afterwards if he had handled swans before but it said it was the first time but he had seen it done......glad it was him as I certainly couldn't have done it. Unfortunately I was not quick enough with the camera to capture the neck handling.Monkey Marsh Lock with its metal pilings

The rest of the trip was wet at times but uneventful. In some of the locks it seemed as if as much water was coming in the back gates as we were letting out of the front!

Geoff & Tina...the ground crew!

We arrived at Woolhampton about 11.30 and there was plenty of space to moor. Later in the afternoon we had a visit from Giles & Ella. Ella was wearing her smart new flotation jacket in bright pink as you can see below.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Return to Newbury

Retracing our steps now so we know where everything is in the places we visit.
Emma joined us in Hungerford on Tuesday afternoon with a mail drop, she was returning from a long weekend with friends in France. It had been Bastille Day on the Monday and I think she overtrained somewhat! So we had a quiet evening, although she and Geoff managed a quick wander up to the pub before dinner aboard.
Latish start for us as Emma was catching up on her sleep, but when she was having a final cup of coffee and was almost ready to go Geoff came up and said that a boat ahead (Strathmore)was just leaving and we could share locks. So the coffee was abandoned and she and Parga were unceremoniously dumped ashore!
Gentle run to Kintbury after both boats watering beyond the bridge...this took forever as the flow is not good. However the weather was kind again and it was a very pleasant morning.
Tied up in Kintbury, a boat obligingly left in the same spot we had moored when we came through before.
I spent the afternoon catching up with Giles accounts and his VAT return, but was dragged away early evening as we were invited for a drink with Klim & Tina on Strathmore. We were joined after a while by James & Fiona from Salix Alba, (we had met James whilst in Bath).
Supper on board after we all had put the boating world to rights.
Thursday morning we left at 0610 for the run to Newbury...I have to say this was against my better judgement...I thought 0730 was quite early enough.......
No company in the locks this time which was hardly surprising at that hour of the morning!!
We reached Newbury about 10am and managed to find a space just after the swing bridge before the lock, from where we can watch the antics of everyone else ....our turn tomorrow morning......

Tony Fletcher arrived at the same time by car to collect Di's sunglasses which she had left behind when they visited us in Bradford on Avon.
Just after 11 Strathmore arrived and also managed to find a space. They said they had thought of having an early start and joining us through the locks, but by the time they poked their heads out at 7am we had disappeared.......we wouldn't have done if I had had my way.......

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Return to Hungerford

Sunday on the Railways

Sunday was yet another good weather can we cope with being so spoilt.......

Not so many trains going along today just maintenance

Geoff walked into Great Bedwyn for the 9.30 service but I stayed behind as we felt it was too long to leave Ellie as we had also booked for Sunday Lunch in the Cross Keys.

Great Bedwyn Church

I had a very fruitful morning however as I did all the laundry, and got most of it dry, and also gave one side of Petroc a sprucing up. We seemed to have accumulated quite a few scratches so treated them with Kurust (kindly donated to me by Guilt Free Indulgence who was moored behind us.)

I them walked the 2 miles into Great Bedwyn to meet Geoff for lunch. In the meantime he had walked down to Little Bedwyn and was enjoying a pint and reading the Sunday papers in the pub when I arrived. We then had an excellent lunch and can thoroughly recommend the food at the Cross Keys.

Little Bedwyn Church

Back at Petroc, having walked off our lunch, I painted over all my repairs to the side, whilst Geoff watched the golf....sometimes I think there is something wrong with this scenario!!!!

We set off very early Monday for Great Bedwyn where we collected friend Ronnie who was coming for the night. We did the 4 locks in solitary splendour on a beautiful morning and when we arrived Ronnie had beaten us to it. After watering etc and a quick shop (very good baker in the village) we departed for Hungerford. Now we are descending life is much easier in the locks and we even had the company of another boat for the last 3, including Hopgrass Farm Lock where the swing bridge actually goes over the lock.

There was room to moor above Hungerford lock when one boat obligingly moved forward for us.

After lunch Ronnie and I meandered over the town including the long alleyway of antique shops. Geoff meanwhile explored the inside of his eyelids!!

Geoff had managed to get a reasonable picture on the TV as we all wanted to watch "New Tricks " at 9pm. However after 2 Pimms before supper and a shared bottle of wine Ronnie and I managed to sleep through most of it. Geoff swears he saw it all......

Tuesday morning Ronnie departed..10 mins on the train back to Great Bedwyn to travel as far as we had yesterday in 4 hours! However I know which is preferable.

A snippet of information we picked up from another boat....friends of theirs bought diesel at Norbury Junction at 75p per litre. Last time we filled up it was 97p and another boat we met at Devizes had paid £1.10 when they filled up...why are we paying so much more down here...the words "off" and "rip" spring to mind.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Another rest day!!!!

Well hardly a rest. This morning we walked the couple of miles into great Bedwyn to buy the paper and suss out the church and pub for tomorrow. We then took the longer walk back via Bedwyn Brail, Wilton Windmill and Wilton Water. No stop at the pub this time just back home for a late coffee. This return journey was somewhat muddier than anticipated but the rain was kind and saved itself until we were safely back on Petroc. We saw no living thing on the whole walk, no wildlife at all but see the picture below.

En route we saw a couple of strange seats half way up trees. We could only conclude they were for bird watching.......if anyone else knows better please let us know.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Rest at Crofton

After our long day on Thursday we decided to have a rest day yesterday. In the morning we visited the Crofton Pumping Station which was fascinating and well worth a visit. It would have been lovely to be here when it was actually in steam but since that is only at the end of the month (all summer months) the odds on our hitting it then were never great.

Honey Street Clock in pump house, (see for details)

Since we had had a cooked breakfast (very unusually) we didn't feel we could do justice to the lovely home made cakes which were on display in the cafe. Instead we went for a walk round Wilton Water via Wilton village and the Swan Pub (quick 1/2!), the old Roman Road and back along the towpath. After a short siesta we climbed up to Crofton pumphouse again and had our cake for tea!!!

Crofton Pumping station (see

Blue Petroc (second from right)seen from Crofton Pumping Station

Our mooring at Crofton was pleasant and one got used to the roar of the frequent trains passing by. After some fiddling (and dark mutterings from Geoff) we managed to obtain a TV picture from the satellite aerial as we had nothing at all from the terrestrial.


Compared to Wednesday, yesterday dawned with a considerable improvement. We set off about 7.30 to climb the last 3 locks into Devizes itself. (Editors Note: We did not even make it to the pub for the pudding I could not manage the previous evening, it was just too wet to go out)
We watered etc and Geoff took the trolley ( not my fancy shopping one!) to collect a new bag of dog food for Ellie (Very important)
We then set off for Pewsey as our intended destination. Last time we were there we had seen that the rather nice cafe did breakfasts and we had these thoughts...........

Not far into our journey we picked up a boat who was travelling at snails pace. I should add here that we do not race and we always go very slowly past moored boats, but there is slow and another slow. After a while a small day boat also appeared in front of this boat and if it were possible they were going even more slowly. This a quite a narrow stretch of the canal but there are places where it is possible to pass. After some considerable time the day boat pulled over and allowed the two boats to pass. Unbelievably this did not make much difference and we still had to chug along at about half a knot. Eventually the guy in front signalled that we could pass which we did with alacrity, and a few hundred yards on he stopped at the fuel place!!!! Just to put this moan in perspective all this took place over a period of about 2 hours.

However the weather was holding so we should be thankful. We then made the decision that since the weather was being so kind we should make hay while the sun shone, literally! We would press on to Crofton, abandoning all thoughts of unhealthy breakfasts at Pewsey.

A wise decision as it turned out as mooring at Pewsey would have been difficult. We did have a kind offer from someone to breast alongside but all the 48hr moorings were filled (and they weren't all travelling boats!)

En route near bridge 116 (pipe bridge) there was a tree down leaving a very narrow passage to get through. Not only narrow but shallow and we went aground solidly. Lot of pushing by Geoff on the pole eventually had us free and we duly reported it to BW.

We reached the summit about mid afternoon...all downhill to London now........

At the first downhill lock there were a pair of boats waiting who were roped together and driven by a single-hander. We set off to help and the fun and games started. When he had dropped in the lock he was stuck! One of his boats is slightly wider than the norm and also one of the gates was very reluctant to open fully. We thought we were going to have to refill the lock but after some pushing and shoving he eventually managed to get the thinner boat out and attached a tow to the other. He was very grateful for our help as he had visions of being stuck there all night. He kindly said he would let us through at the next lock, which he did and we went down with his big boat.

Tight fit (note his greenhouse!)

We eventually reached the lock at Crofton pumping station to find a wide beam just coming off the watering point and trying to enter the lock. However he was stuck and as he was using a huge amount of throttle and churning the water up I had great difficulty coming alongside the opposite bank onto the lock waiting place. That achieved we waited for him to go down, then an age for the lock to refill as only one paddle was working.
An eventful and long day, but pleasant for all that. The countryside through which we travelled is lovely, we really are not in a rush and there was plenty of space on the mooring at Crofton when we reached here. I had managed considerable time sitting in the cratch with my paper and Ellie. Geoff prefers to be on the tiller on the longer stretches without locks. There won't be so many of those for the rest of the Kennett & Avon, it is an average of 1 lock per KM from here!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Rain Rain go away

Wet Wet Wet!!! I know we are not the only ones suffering today. I feel so sorry for the narrowboat hirers who are on a time trip, at least when it is like this we can elect to stay where we are. We are on the moorings by the Black Horse above lock 47. We had a good meal in the pub last night, both of us falling foul of the steak and kidney pudding. It was so filling there was no room for pudding, so tonight after I have cooked our supper we, or rather I, am considering going back to finish off.
No pictures today as I didn't think continuous heavy rain was very scintillating. Geoff braved walking up to town this am, with wellies, raincoat and umbrella. He managed to find a barber with whom he was very pleased, so Captain Birds Eye is looking somewhat less shaggy around the face.
Apart from taking Ellie for a couple of very short trips outside I have not budged from Petroc.
Forecast says it should pass through by midnight so we are hoping we can set off for an early start tomorrow. We have designs on getting to Pewsey so we can partake of the breakfast which is recommended at the cafe. However this depends on us finding a mooring there. When we came through space was at a premium with a lot of the 48 hr moorings taken up with long stayers.
Yesterday whilst travelling with Hamilton Young they told us that they had just paid £1.10 per litre for fuel. We paid 92p last time we filled up. But at £1.10p it is very close to normal diesel prices so it strikes me that when November comes there should be no extra to pay. Somebody somewhere seems to be cashing in. I heard on the television recently that farmers were paying around 70p for red diesel.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Back at Devizes

Monday dawned wet and windy again so we were not inclined to move early. A gentle day reading , TV etc and then we set off about 3pm, watered etc and completed the 7 locks to get us to the bottom of the 16. Hamilton Young with Alan and Angie aboard were already there poised for the off at 8 am when the locks opened. We have been bumping into them (not literally) since we were on the Oxford so now we were to share the Caen Flight.
Waiting to climb the Caen Flight

Just before 8 on Tuesday morning the lock keeper appeared and most of the locks were set. I t was an extremely pleasant climb up, much easier than we had anticipated and only a small shower to blight the day. We had already decided to moor at the Black Horse above lock 47 so we said cheerio to Hamilton Young but no doubt we shall see them again as we seem to have the same vague route in mind.
Petroc's new instant mini garden

There is a garden centre right opposite the mooring so I have at last been able to purchase my instant mini garden for the roof of Petroc, much to Geoff's dismay. It has now joined my mini herb garden which Di Fletcher kindly replanted for me this year.