Monday, 14 August 2017

Early morning cruise.

Last night we paid the price for a sound nights sleep the previous night by being awake before dawn. When I got up to make the tea a mist was rising off the water and the suns rays were peeking through the trees.

We had planned to get going early this morning but not this early, just before six we pulled the pins and set off for Whitchurch lock . Today we were the culprits that get mentioned under the duvets of sleeping crews.

Exiting Whitchurch lock.
Letterbox Folly.

Sonning bridge.

Reading swans.
A long cruise today we pulled in at Henley at noon.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Lower Basidon

We have had a lovely quiet weekend moored on the meadow above Childe Beale Wildlife Trust. A few jobs got done yesterday I missed the 200 hour engine service by one hour. The first this year, we don't seem to be doing the mileage of previous years, oils and filters have been refreshed.

An annoying roof rustspot was dealt with to the under coat stage, I've worked out that the roof paint must be 18 coats thick in places so after rubbing down and rust proofing the patch the filler came out to make up the depth before a primer was applied.

The rest of the time was spent picking a few blackberries from the hedgerows but mainly sitting on the bank waving at passing crews.

While out picking the fruit I came upon a young chap having problems with his engine on his Freeman 22. He called out to me 'do you know anything about 'injuns' . Well his luck was in I used to own one of these vessels 35 years ago, the engine in it was a Ford 105E his was a little older  Ford Popular 100E.

As I stepped aboard I couldn't help thinking back to Capricorn and her highly polished walnut interior this one was a bit dull and showing its 55+ years.

His problem was an oil leak from the breather, to be more accurate the hole in the engine where the breather should be. He'd overfilled the engine with oil, after a while the leaking seemed to abate. I advised him to stop at Sheridan marine( only 3 miles away) a Freeman specialist to find out where to get the correct breather parts for his engine.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Dorchester to Goring

What a difference a bit of sun showing in the sky makes to the day. Yesterday we hunkered down as the rain showers kept coming, today all is well with the world, we move into Days lock an hour before the lockie is due. 

Wide stretches on this part of the river.
 With sun warming us we can cruise and drink in the vistas. Benson was on self service and Sue did the necessary for the assembled boats. A huge aircraft carrier type hire boat would have to wait for the next locking. Through Wallingford and onto Goring where we find a good mooring just before midday.

Goring lock

George Michaels adoring fans are still making  a pilgrimage to his Goring home

FL is fifth on the bollards

Across the bridge in Streatley the Swan is having renovations.

St Mary's Streatley

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Days Lock

Leaving Culham lock.

Passing fuel boat Merchant

Clifron lock

Since 1985 and our first Thames boat we have always moored on the meadow at Dorchester near   Days lock, for us it was a tranquil spot in a beautiful landscape, form here we had good walks up the nearby hills or into the picture postcard village for groceries or a drink in the pub. 
Things have changed , read about it here

We could still moor there for a fee and still visit Dorchester and Wittenham clumps as we are fit enough to scale the locked gate to get out of the barbed wire fenced pound. 

Bad enough for us boaters who stop here for a few days a year but devastating to the locals who use the area as a recreational facility all year. They host the World Pooh Sticks championship there. 

We will not moor there on principle and in support of the villagers who are fighting the new owner to get the fencing removed so they can continue to use the area as a village green. They have a campaign going. FL is moored on the opposite bank.

This saga reminds me of another knobhead who took a fancy to a beauty spot and fenced out the locals. It took 5 years using the courts to get the fencing removed. read about that here

Looking down on the meadow taken  last year.
Wittenham Clumps from opposite bank.

Abingdon to Days lock.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Pinkhill to Abingdon

We spotted the barn owl at Pinkhill, unfortunately the light was too poor to get a decent camera shot, it sat in a tree twizzling its head then flew straight to a spot a few yards away where it swooped on a rodent of some description and made off with it.

We have now passed Oxford and over the last few days have moved on to moor below Abingdon lock. 

Mini Gondola at Oxford

Unusual vessel

Someone in the E.A. has cocked up big time . The E.A. waste disposal contract has ended, Biffa has removed all of its bins. The new contractor if there is one hasn't supplied any bins yet. So now there isn't a bin for boaters to put their rubbish into on the whole length of the Thames, the couple of lock keepers we have spoken to are livid about the situation.

Abingdon lock it was the same at Lechlade and Rushy lock's when we passed.
Hopefully this will get resolved before too long.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Still on the Upper Thames

Had a quiet few days moored in Lechlade the cows were in another field so we didn't get the early morning wake up call of tongues licking the roof of dew.

We have made our way back to Pinkhill where we have stayed for a few days. The weather has continued mild,  bright spells intermingled with blustery showers with the occasional deluge - a typical summer holiday period for the school kids.

I got well and truly caught in one of the downpours on my way back from the Co-Op in Eynsham. The following day I had a walk around Farmoor reservoir, we had been wondering where all the coots were, plenty of Moorhens but we hadn't seen any Coots on the upper Thames so far, happy to say I found around 100 of the baldies up on the reservoir.


Shifford lock

While FL descended in the lock Sue went scrumping in the lock keepers garden  for a few sprigs of rosemary - I dobbed her in when the lockie turned up - he didn't seem to mind.

Pinkhill lock.

This lot compete with the fly fishermen for trout  on Farmoor reservoir

Some of the coots

Pinkhill mooring