Monday, 17 April 2017

The Tidal Thames

Hi There

I've just put up another page tab on our blog for our trip on The Tidal Thames in February.

Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

The Kennet and Avon Canal

Hi there

Well day one of Nicky's challenge and it's 3 locks down and 205 to go.

First lock of the day and a different sort of paddle gear to normal.

Yup, she's sussed it and she's off. . . .

Bit of manual work needed after the easy button operated locks of The Thames.

Go on dear, you're getting there. . .

And that's us off on our travels

Until you get a traffic light! and of course it just has to be red

Anything up to a twelve minute wait as well

but as luck would have it, one press and it was green and off we went through a fairly narrow and winding town center

Weir to the right and lock to the left and the other end of the traffic light system

Getting to the outskirts after the second lock

The Boys just having a snooze to pass the time

And out into the countryside

Decided before setting off to moor up at the first place we came across that was open for the solar panels and a nice outlook that turned out to be about two and a half miles from the junction just above the third and final lock for the day.

Then a walk to find a mooring spot for tomorrow that'll be two miles and one lock away

And finally, a bit of today's wildlife

First time on The Kennet and Avon Canal for us and if it's as nice as it's been so far then we should have a good few months.

And so in signing off,

Day 1356 in the Badger Sett Narrow boat - 2912 miles, 1788 locks and 1447 cruising hours further on from when we started.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Bourne End to Reading and the stresses of boating !

Hi there.

Oh for a stress free life, but even as simple a life as boating is, it still throws up its dilemmas and decisions. One of the worst being 'where are we going to be in ......' . Where are we going to be tomorrow, i can cope with, where are we going to be next week, getting harder and any further on from that, well, I couldn't even stab at a county. I'm sure many of you have had the same question asked of you and the 'but how don't you know where you'll be next month!!!'

Well this time our dilemma and decisions are more of our own causing and based around two events. Firstly, Nicky's decided to do a half marathon (she's never run before) back home in Jersey the middle of June. As I'll be staying home alone with The Boys we haven't got the added headache of where to moor the boat, but we still need to sort out flights from either Southampton, Bristol or East Midland airport, BUT, where will we be. Then, secondly, we've got some friends hiring a boat to do the Avon Ring at the end of July for a fortnight so we've then got to decide how to get from wherever we are when Nicky flies back to Stratford on Avon without having to doodle around for weeks or going like a bat of hell to get there.

So to cut a long story short, for those that haven't got bored by my ramblings and gone away already, is that we've deviated from our original plan of doing The Thames and are now turning left onto The Kennet and Avon Canal and off towards Bristol where we've booked Nicky's flights from. So if nothing else, we know where where we'll be for the next eight weeks, well, sort of. Then it'll be a home alone week for me followed by a six week trip back along The Kennet and Avon Canal, do The Thames that we haven't done yet from Reading to Lechlade, backtrack to Oxford, up The Oxford Canal, along a bit of The Grand Union Canal then down The Stratford on Avon Canal to Stratford to then do a fortnight around The Avon Ring. Oh the best made plans, watch this space....

In my posts over the next few months I'll be starting off with a countdown for Nicky, nothing to do with her half marathon though, just the number of locks on the Kennet and Avon canal she'll be doing (there and back). So at this point she's on 0 done 208 to go (chuckle chuckle).

Anyways, less of the writing and some pictures of our recent travels between Bourne End and Reading.

Our Bourne End mooring for the day with a walk forward to Marlow to check mooring options, about two and a bit hours and then a walk round the lake before setting off the next morning.

And that's us off for just a quick half hour journey to Marlow.

Moored up below the lock at Marlow for the night.

Then an even shorter hop the next morning with a lock in our favour, a lock keeper on duty and about a half mile journey to moor at Marlow.

Nicky with a day in the office doing the dreaded tax forms,

And me, well I'm Benji's cushion for the day who still thinks he's a puppy and not a twenty something kilo dog.

Then once we've had our fun! it's time for The Boys walk

Very photogenic aren't they

And what we're assuming are Red Kites, are we right?

The romantic in Nicky, who credit goes to fot all the photos I use.

Moving every day at the moment, but only another half hour trip this time onto Hurley where some friends are coming down to meet us so a non moving day tomorrow, yippee.

Moored up and ready for

Our friends, Chris and Maralyn​. Chris fitted our solar panels about four and a half years ago now and stays in touch. One of our best ever purchases and paid for themselves about two years ago. Just not sure whether to sell them with the boat or transfer them onto our motorhome next year. Oh, decisions decisions.

On the move after our day of rest

Just passing through Henley on Thames as we've stopped there a few times before on holidays and running the cupboards and fridge down for our shop at Reading.

Getting close to the lock at Sonning

And moored up for the night just above it.

And of course, Nicky does like a sunset. Just a shame she's a sleepyhead in the morning and misses the sun rises.

And that's just about us, moved onto Reading this morning and moored just before the junction with the Kennet and Avon Canal that'll be our home canal until about the beginning of July I'd guess.

And so in signing off,

Day 1355 in the Badger Sett Narrow boat - 2909 miles, 1785 locks and 1445 cruising hours further on from when we started.