Friday, 1 September 2017

Cannot drag ourselves away from Henley!

Truly, truly......we planned to move on Tuesday.....but the forecast for Wednesday was dire.

We had also been trying to arrange a trip for the grandchildren on a suitable day.  This is the last week of the holidays so time has slipped by.   It was not us who were having the problem but them....with three of them it seems it is difficult to organise themselves!!  Wednesday looked a possibility if the forecast was not as they said.  A short trip to Sonning, just 3 locks and then Giles could get on his bike and cycle back for the car.  However the combination of an extra meeting for Giles, impending visitors for them at lunch time scotched that idea.   In the event the weather was not good but not nearly as bad as forecast.  Hey Ho!!  last possibility next Monday but that may not work due to haircuts for kids!!

Surprise fleeting visitors on Tuesday.  Joe and Mike were out with friends on a rather pretty day boat
I always wonder where they put the toilet on boats like this!!

Thursday dawned with a very heavy mist
I had a very spooky ride up to Marsh lock whilst Geoff walked barney around.   THis was only 7 am and I did meet a narrowboat coming the other way...just a dim light appeared ghostlike out of the mist.   The mist stayed with us all the way to Shiplake lock and then miraculously......... lifted in an instant

although it was still lurking behind us.
It would be nice to say we then had a lovely sunny run to out goal of a mooring in Pangbourne.
Life is not like that!

We did have a sunny run so far, picked up fuel at Better Boating on the outskirts of Caversham, then stopped briefly at the moorings by the park to let Barney have a quick run.  New mooring signs here threatening £100 fines if you overstay your allotted 24 hours!!  £9.50 for the privilege of mooring here.  

The next stop was at the boatyard on the little island just after Reading bridge(cannot remember the name) to get a new gas cylinder.  Better Boating had run out!   Just as Geoff was putting the new cylinder in the heavens opened with an almighty shower.  I rushed into the office to pay and sheltered there for a while but then decided I had to make a run for the boat.  This was a big mistake as by now Geoff was sheltering down below and couldn`t see me struggling to pull the stern of the boat in (stupidly we were only tied on with a fore line and centre rope as it was meant to be a very brief stop)
When I eventually managed to climb on board a change of clothes was required.

We waited a while for the rain to abate but Geoffs impatience got the better of him and he decided to brave it with the umbrella up....I stayed below!

By the time we reached Mapledurham lock things were looking cheerier........not far now to Pangbourne.    This was the next disappointment...there was no room at the inn.  It was by now 2pm so much later than our normal stopping time and I was desperate for some lunch.   We tried to get in the one possible space at the far end but it was just too shallow so very reluctantly we continued up Whitchurch lock and headed for Beale Park.   Luck was now with us as we found a very congenial mooring just beyond Still Rockin.  En route I had made us some lunch before we both faded away!

Good end to the day after all.  Sun shining, Boe popped in for a quick visit.  She has driven up from Cornwall to join me in babysitting at Giles for the weekend.   She would have liked to stay to supper but unfortunately they lock the gates of Beale Park at 6pm so it was a fleeting visit.

Later Carol and George from Still Rockin came round for a few glasses of wine.  A gentle evening with some good chat rounded off a busy day.   I should add that once moored Geoff did manage to get his normal siesta if a little later than usual!

He is now debating whether to stay here for the weekend whilst I am away or carry on to Goring as planned.  We shall see.

Total distance:16.42 miles (Wow!)
Elapsed time:7h24m34s (Far too long)
Average speed:2.22 mph (3.03 lock/mph) 

No comments: