Shillingford

We departed Pangbourne just before 9 am, and arrived at the nearby Lock, before the duty lock keeper had started work. The crew therefore had to deal with the electric operation of the sluices and gates. We met very little boat traffic as we cruised upstream. Setting the engine to 1400 rpm, we created barely a ripple, gliding through the water at about 6 knots. Mid morning we navigated Goring and Cleeve Locks, then had a five mile reach, where we encountered several rowers in training. We had seen hundreds of geese on the approach to Goring, and these were flying overhead up and down the river in formation. As they did so we spotted lots of splashes in the water, it was like a scene from the dambusters, only this time we were the target.

Just some of the geese we encountered

Our intended destination was going to be Wallingford, but on arrival it was full. There was some mooring available beneath a line of large willow trees, but not somewhere we would choose to stop. Shillingford was only two miles and one Lock further on, and as we approached Shillingford Bridge, we could see plenty of mooring space available in front of the hotel. We found a spot and secured the boat. The edging to the bank side is quite high and a bit wonky, so we have deployed the wheelbarrow wheels to keep the cabin side of the boat away from the edge.

Moored at Shillingford

Four legs was left on guard, whilst we popped into the hotel for lunch. It was then we found out, there is a charge of fifteen pounds to moor overnight. This does entitle you to a ten percent discount on any food purchased. Tomorrow we will be aiming for Abingdon.

Totals 12 Miles 4 Locks

Running total 485 Miles 521 Locks 15 Tunnels

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

Pangbourne Meadow

Today we departed Goring, with only a relatively short cruise planned. Most of the cruisers had gone yesterday, and some earlier this morning. Presumably heading for the famous regatta at Henley-on-Thames. We are pleased not to be going that far, as the crowds and river traffic will be horrendous. The stretch of river below Goring is beautiful, and there are some good moorings adjacent to Beale Park.

Cruising, our view ahead
Views astern

Our only Lock of the day, Whitchurch Lock soon came into view, and was manned so no work for the crew to do. Within a few hundred yards below the Lock, we found our mooring spot.

Mooring Pangbourne Meadow

Four legs was happy, he had a huge grassy field to play in, and later would recline himself beneath a sun shade. We had spotted a pub above the Weir, The Swan, so we went there for lunch. We also met the crew of a pair of narrow boats, that we have been playing leap frog with since leaving Lechlade.

After lunch we watched the river traffic, some of which is commercial, and were also treated to an impromptu air show, as someone practiced their acrobatic display.

Tug boat pulling a barge

Tomorrow the plan is to travel the remainder of the Thames, and then through Reading on the Kennet and Avon Canal. First we need a full set of services from Caversham boatyard.

Totals 4 Miles 1 Lock

Running total 282 Miles 302 Locks 9 Tunnels