Monday, July 30, 2012

Goodbyes and Tranquillity

We got up early as we decided to make a move and head for the K & A. We said our goodbyes to the gang and will look forward to meeting up with them all again at some point in the year. We soon got to Caversham lock and then made the turn onto the Kennet and Avon canal. The first thing you notice is the heavy flow against you and how slow it seems after travelling downstream on the Thames. We now know all the ropes on the K & A and soon got through Reading town centre and out the other side past the awkward Fobney lock. The currents were difficult but not as bad as we expected. We just took it slowly on these difficult locks and made sure we held Derwent6 well with the strong gate paddles. We arrived at Theale at 3.00pm and got a good spot with a TV signal and it wasn't long before we were back watching the Olympics again. It was nice to get off the busy Thames for a bit, as we love the K & A. We only passed one boat today and seems so much more tranquil, which you need when you want to watch the games...

Rain and Wine

It was a day in front of the telly for us today as we had to deal with the heavy showers throughout the day.
This little fella kept out the rain with us!!!
We watched the Olympics and the Grand Prix so we had a bit of charging the batteries to do. In the evening we were invited round to n.b Moore2life where we drunk more wine and ate more nibbles with the bloggers reunion of Chas and Ann, George and Carol, and Geoff and Mags, we had a great time.......

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bunting is up

We spent most of the day glued to the telly and we're sure this will be the case for the next two weeks. With the Olympics underway we knew what we would be doing today. It was a charge your batteries up day as we were going to be using them a lot. Del put the bunting out on Derwent6 for the second time this year.
We were only pulled away when we were asked by our fellow bloggers here to get together with a few bottles of wine, an offer we can't refuse. It wasn't long before Del got the guitar out and a sing song was in order.
As it got dark and colder we all called it a day at 10.00pm.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bloggers BBQ

We got up early and listened to the wonderful sound of the bells at 12 minutes past 8 o'clock to mark the 12 hour countdown to 20:12. From where we were moored we could hear three lots of different bells! We then walked into town and picked up some BBQ things on another beautiful day. We got back to Derwent6 and the guy behind us wanted a hand to put the roof back on his Dutch Barge, so Del helped him out.
We set off in the end at 11.30am. It was lovely cruising in the sunshine and we soon got to Mapledurham Lock where we queued for water.

We then had the lock come up "Self Service", as the lock keeper had gone to lunch. We got through and made our way to Reading where we were meeting up with three other boats; N.b. Rock and Roll, N.b Seyella and N.b Moore2life were all lined up having a pre Olympics celebration.
We pulled up behind them and soon got the chairs out and the BBQ's warmed up with a little bit of Rock and Roll playing in the background.
George and Carol ended up Jiving out on the grass, showing us how it should be done.
The food was just fantastic and it will end up being a nice memory of the start of London 2012.
We all carried on in the still evening air and a lovely sunset till it was time for us all to go in and watch the Opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games. and what a start it was...Fantastic!
We crawled into bed, happy and proud, at 1.00am......

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pangbourne Meadows

 We left Beale Park early as the mist was still on the water. It was a lovely cruise past all the early rowers down to Pangbourne Lock.

After getting through the lock we were lucky enough to get a spot on the Pangbourne Meadows moorings.
We got sorted out and then walked into town to pick up some BBQ stuff. When we got back we fired up the BBQ and had a lovely sausage salad.
While we were eating the mooring warden came round and we wangled out of him a couple of days on these 24 hour moorings ( if you don't ask you don't get). Al used the opportunity to use the station and went into Reading. We have had temperatures of 41 degrees and we have been making the most of it. Last night we met up with Joy and Steve who met us in The Swan pub in Pangbourne. We had a lovely meal with them and a good catch up.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dorchester to Beale

We started the morning with a walk into Dorchester and was lucky enough to see that the Abby was open.
It is such a lovely village and well worth the walk. The Abby was fantastic and we spent longer in there than we thought we would.
We then walked up to The Co-Op and picked up some provisions before walking back to Derwent6. We set off about 11.30am and the weather was just fantastic, not a cloud in the sky.
We soon passed through Wallingford where we saw n.b Rock and Roll and n.b Seyella.  It was so nice we just wanted to keep going with the sun and a gentle breeze in our face's.
We carried on through Goring lock, a place we must go and see it looks so pretty.
We ended up stopping at Beale Park where we got another nice spot with lovely views. We soon got out the BBQ and had our burgers, after our washing had dried of course......

All Day to Day's

We woke up on Sunday morning with the current still rushing past us, but we made the decision to go for it. The boat in front of us went first which gave us enough room to get the bow out into the current and allow the stern to clear the other boats as we got pushed along. Once we were in the flow there was no stopping us. We tried to get on the lock moorings but they were full and holding was out of the question, there were also a load of canoeist's about. As we were being swept in by the weir we were lucky enough to have the lock gates open so we just opened the throttle and went straight in. The other boats weren't too pleased, but understood why we had to do it. A big shout of "Sorry" and "Thanks" did the trick!!!
Once we were through this lock and past the turn at Folly bridge in Oxford we were clear to go, as the stream evened out.
It was just great to be back on the Thames as we cruised through Isis and Sandford locks, and we are loving again the locks being done for us. With the engine at idle we were still doing six knots as we approached Abingdon.
With all the Sunshine and being a Sunday it was packed with boats, swimmers, and BBQ's. We hadn't planned to stop there so we pressed on doing seven locks and seventeen miles and finishing at Day's Lock at Dorchester. We manage to find one of our nice in between the trees moorings, free of course....

We got there just in time to see the sun set over the Old Iron Age village of Dorchester.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Oh! to be back on the Thames

As promised,  we were off our mooring early, and dropped in to the waterpoint, just to have a top up. We then took a slow plod down to Duke's Cut where we turned sharp right and joined the Thames.
The boards had just come off red and it took a bit of getting used to at first but we soon started to get the hang of it again. It felt like Derwent6 was using all the Thames to get round some of the bends. We entered King's Lock and were advised about the low bridges and strong currents in places.
It was a lovely feeling motoring down stream at idle, and the cruisers roaring past us.
We soon got to Oxford and just managed to get moored with a lot of reverse and some help from other boaters.
The steam is a bit of a funnel down this bit and so strong it races past you at a rate of knots. So here we are in the middle of Oxford on a Saturday night, but we were so knackered we couldn't be bothered to go out (lightweights). We just managed to get a Kentucky takeaway and crash out into bed.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Making the most of it..

As forecast it was raining again as we woke up, and as we just loved our mooring here at Thrupp we thought we had better make the most of it. The afternoon turned into showers and Del still did the brasses (as he does)
We went for a nice walk later in the day and ended up in Annie's Tearoom's where we had a lovely cup of tea and some home made sponge cake.
We spotted Maffi on n.b. Milly M and he gave us a invite to meet up with a few of them in the pub later that evening.
As everyone knows we are not one's to turn down such a offer, so we enjoyed and evening of company at the pub.

On a Mission

Today we decided to make a dash for it..
The weather was dry for a change and we thought we would put in a long day.
We started at 8.00am and made our way back towards Oxford. We were on a mission, and this trip which had took us four weeks, a few weeks ago, we had now got down to a tee. We got to Aynho and topped up again with diesel.
We ploughed through Somerton Deep lock and then on our way to Lower Heyford. We should have noticed why they have so many poor signals here, you just have to look at their tv aerials and how high they are.

We got to the River Cherwell section and this time the boards were on red but we decided to go for it, well we'll have to get used to it if we are going on the Thames.
We then pulled into Thrupp at 5.45pm and managed to spot the mooring warden doing her rounds. "Are there any moorings about" we asked, "No" was the answer "but you can use that one over there if it's only for a couple of nights" "Are you sure" we said. You should have seen this luxury mooring, it had a washing line, a lovely garden with bird feeders and garden chairs, spoilt or what.... but we'll take it.. with a big thank you!!! We moored onto it and then just crashed out for the evening...