Saturday, 9 July 2011

Back to Canal Life

To follow on from yesterday's blog, Emma was dropped at the station and I walked to meet her.   A couple of wind down glasses of wine ant to bed as she had to be up at 5.30 for another double shift.
The above pictures were taken last night from our mooring, Petroc in the foreground of bottom picture.   The sign said the mooring was 24hrs only and cost £4.80 but no one came to collect any money.   We think the building opposite belongs to Thames Water or something like that, but they obviously don't mind wasting electricity.....looked pretty though......
Daylight view of same
Moored behind us was this boat......any guesses as to what they were doing?   Second storey??!!
Today was the day to return to Canal life  A very gentle start just before 9 meant the lock keeper was just arriving at Caversham Lock, past Tesco on Thames and a right turn and it was good-bye River Thames for the time being.
.The first bit is not beautiful...
Past a huge flock of swans and Canada Geese,  Canada Geese seem to get everywhere and leave their mess behind for us all to tread in.....does anyone know the purpose of Canada geese on the planet?
Lo and Behold, the first shopping trolley
Getting Prettier
The actual start of the K&A, red traffic light visible which we have to push a button to turn to green as it is one way through the Oracle shopping centre. 
This is where one has to alight to push the button and if you enlarge the picture you will see that it is not a solid pontoon, so it is not easy.......however as we we coming in for Geoff to do a dangerous act, a kindly passing gentleman did the honours for us.
Under this bridge and round the corner
and right through the shopping centre.
It is quite delightful cruising gently through but no mooring is allowed due to deep water and strong current
and so to County Lock, where as you can see we failed to make both gates stay shut.  We met a boat coming out who asked us to enter the lock before he came out so his wife could run ahead to operate the traffic lights this end........the waiting pontoons both ends are quite short so it does not make life easy...yet again.....we do enjoy these minor challenges......keeps us young and active.......
The next lock was Fobney Lock which once presented an interesting approach, there was a huge torrent spewing out just before the lock which necessitated a fair bit of wellie, but accomplished OK
Geoff & Barney walked the next bit to Southcote Lock, back to canal walking which will please Barney and be good for Geoff!!
En route we passed this boat, not sure what the camouflage netting was for
Someone seemed to have left their good chairs behind when they left their mooring!
We often see boat names duplicated on the canals as, unlike sailing ships on the ships register there is no requirement to have a unique name.  However we have yet to meet another Petroc.
We came close today when we passed Petra
After a long line of permanent moorings we reached our intended destination of the Cunning Man Pub at Burghfield Bridge.  This was chosen as it had a car park for Emma to join us after her long shift and an easy meeting place for sister-in-law Edith who is joining us for lunch tomorrow.
We found a reasonable spot just past the pub, could only get the stern in but that was OK.   Definitely no satellite here as we are surrounded by trees...this does not bode well for tomorrow as Geoff and Emma want to watch the Grand Prix.
Moored successfully with one major hiccup......I failed to notice that some undisciplined dog owner had neglected to clear up after their animal.......the result was over the stern of the boat and my I don't wish to throw stones but moored right behind us is a small boat with a small lady on and a small dog!!!! This said dog lives on the shore whilst it's owner is doing meaningful things to her boat...this is all circumstantial evidence however and I may be doing said lady and dog a huge injustice...if so...I apologise....

5.63 miles, 5 locks, 3 hours 33 min  (This includes boat and cleaning shoe time as I forgot to turn Navvy off in my unhappiness!)

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