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.....


Lesley and Joe K said...

Geoff was probably wearing tea-shirts in the sixties that looked like your trolley. As you say if you are going to use a trolley you might as well be flamboyant about it!

gbl said...

I love my trolley even if no one else does. Your boat looks as though it is coming on well....when is the off date?