Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cruising down the river

While at Abingdon we walked across the lock and along the riverbank in the shade of the trees. Back at the boat we were entertained by the antics of an incompetent boater trying to maneuver his boat between the water point, weir and lock. It took several attempts as boats kept getting in his way. Next morning all was clear and we pulled Moore 2 Life on to the water point. When our tank was full the lock keeper arrived to open the lock for us.
Had to shoot the rapids to get on our way past the church and beyond.
We stopped at midday when reaching Day’s Lock and were pleased to find a space before the lock by the field.

All the locks are operated by the Environment Agency. The keepers are there to help and offer advice about navigating the river. When they are not doing that they are cutting the grass and keeping the garden flowers looking colourful. We have passed through Kings, Godstow, Osney, Iffley, Sandford, Abingdon, Culham and Clifton, cruising down 20 miles of the Thames. 

 Day’s lock is near Dorchester, a lovely Oxfordshire village with an Abbey Church. It was once the cathedral city of Wessex. In the morning we walked across the fields for supplies.

Geoff rang wondering where we were and suggested a gathering at Beale Park or Reading Park on Friday. So during another hot day we moved on down through Day’s, Benson, Cleeve and Goring. 
Goring Lock
 A further 13 miles got us to Beale before it got too hot. The Thames is very wide here and we watched ‘fours’ and ‘eights’ rowing up and down the river. Sadly the lake here is almost inaccessible because nature has been allowed to reclaim it! Even the Thames path is overgrown with nettles.

Friday was the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games. At 12 minutes past 8 (12:20) bells were rang all over the country. We rang mum’s old cowbell. 
Plastic n metal in Mapledurham lock
 We did another nine lock miles passing Whitchurch and Mapledurham locks. We passed Derwent 6 on the way and found Rock n Roll and Seyela at Reading Park. Del and Al arrived later in the cool afternoon. 
 Then George n Del got out the BBQ kit and we all enjoyed the gathering with donations of food from each boat. The opening ceremony started at 9 so we went into our boats to watch the wonderful event.


Carol said...

Hi Chas - as the Rushey lock keeper pointed out to us that the most important role is to look after the river flow by adjusting the weirs in conjunction with the other lockies on the reaches to keep boaters safe and stop flooding.

Chas and Ann said...

Thanks Carol, yes there is more to a lockie than meets the eye.