Pangbourne

Over the past week we have continued our journey east along the Kennet and Avon Canal. We stopped overnight in the following areas, Kintbury, Newbury, Thatcham, Woolhampton and Burghfield. In Thatcham we spent a second day moored by the railway, so the crew could pop into London for the day. At Woolhampton we arrived at the mooring spot right on lunchtime, so we visited the Rowbarge P.H. for a Sunday roast. It was quite busy due to a weekend beer festival taking place. Walking back to the boat, we met some new neighbours that had turned up, and were then treated to rum shots for the remainder of the afternoon. Yesterday we travelled as far as Burghfield, mooring close to the Cunning Man P.H. and here we met the crew of nb Lady Penelope, for what would be the final time. It seemed fitting to visit the pub for a bon voyage evening meal. This morning we were underway by 8 am, intending to get through Reading fairly early.

Waiting to navigate Blakes Lock

Blakes Lock is the final lock on the Kennet and Avon, a few hundred yards prior to Kennet Mouth, and the River Thames. Here we turned left, heading upstream towards Oxford, and Lady Penelope turn right, downstream towards London. At Caversham Lock, we were relieved of some money by the Lock keeper, in exchange for a one week license. It is likely that we will only use four days of it, before we reach the Oxford Canal. We stopped for diesel and a pump out at Caversham Boat services, on Fry’s Island, and on departing, we navigated the northern channel, so now we can claim to have completed a circumnavigation of the island. Six more miles and one Lock, before we arrived at our intended mooring location. Pangbourne Meadow is a nice spot, but it does get quite busy, and we were lucky to find a sixty foot space. Four legs is also very happy, he has a large field in which to play with his tennis ball.

Moored at Pangbourne Meadow

We haven’t decided whether to have a rest day tomorrow, or push on. We suspect that the coming bank holiday weekend, is going to get very busy, the weather is forecast to be good. Having said that, once we get above Osney Bridge, the large cruisers can’t due to the restricted height. Other good news, our new calorifier has been delivered to Calcutt Boats, ready for installation when we get there.

Totals for the week 34 Miles 35 Locks

Running total 473 Miles 517 Locks 15 Tunnels

Kintbury

No blog post for yesterday when we stopped in Newbury, due to it being quite a long day. We had six Locks and eight miles to do, we also needed services, and a resupply of groceries. At Thatcham we encountered the second, of two surviving turf sided Locks, Monkey Marsh Lock.

Monkey Marsh Lock empty.
And now flooded

On arrival in Newbury, we stopped at Newbury Marina for a pump out. After about forty minutes trying to get the pump to work, we gave up. Fortunately we don’t leave pump outs to the point where it becomes critical, so we still have options. This delayed our arrival at Victoria Park, and space was tight. A lady boater agreed to move back a couple of rings on the mooring, to close a gap, and we slotted onto the end.

Moored Victoria Park Newbury

The boat secure we went off in search of Sainsbury’s for our restock of goodies. This morning we set off for Kintbury. We passed through the pub quarter of Newbury, and also spotted some alternative mooring spots for our return journey.

Cruising through Newbury Town Centre

At the second Lock of the day, we saw another boat approaching from behind as were about to exit it. We had another six to go, so we waited for them to catch us up, then shared the remaining Locks with them. It makes it much easier with two boats in the Lock. We arrived at Kintbury at lunchtime, so we checked out The Dundas Arms. Back at the boat after lunch, we gave it a wash whilst four legs sprawled himself out on the towpath. We were then treated to the spectacle of a bygone era, a horse drawn boat came along.

One horse power is all that is needed
Mooring at Kintbury

Tomorrow we head off for Hungerford. We have also received an update about the ongoing closure of the summit level. The restrictions are going to remain in place for the foreseeable future, so it appears that transits across the summit are restricted to twice a week. We will have to time our arrival accordingly.

Totals 11/7. 6 Miles 8 Locks

12/7. 6 Miles 8 Locks

Running total 313 Miles 332 Locks 9 Tunnels