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

Woolhampton

Yesterday we did what seems to be our standard distance on the Kennet and Avon, four miles and four locks. We had several more opportunities to hold up the traffic, at three electric swing bridges, before arriving at Aldermaston Wharf. We needed to acquire, some Canal and River Trust prepayment cards for the service points. We have some old ones we have not used, but suspect they may be out of date. So just in case we purchased a couple of the newer version. A couple of miles further on we arrived at Woolhampton swing bridge and Lock. This is also where the river flows into the canal from the left, and the current can be quite strong. It wasn’t too bad as we have had so little rain, so entry into the Lock was barely affected. I imagine when there is a bit of a flow on the river, it might be a different story. This may explain why the boat moored opposite, is covered in vehicle tyres. No doubt fed up with being bashed into, by boaters who have got it wrong. Once above the Lock we secured the boat on the 48 hour moorings, then with four legs went to explore the local pub.

Moored Woolhampton Lock

Today we returned to the pub, the Rowbarge, for lunch with family. I had the sea bass and it was very tasty indeed. The pub is also dog friendly. Tomorrow we head off towards Newbury, there have been no further updates on the restrictions at the summit level, so we will take it slowly, and hope things improve before we get there.

Totals 4 Miles 4 Locks

Running total 301 Miles 316 Locks 9 Tunnels