Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dosser end of Newbury

Spent the night just before the lock.  Plenty of room for other boats but no many around at the mo.  Weather iffy again.  Some very heavy showers with bits of sunshine.

One of the few canalside shops.

Manatees caught up with us.  James is off to his mooring at the marina a couple of locks from here.  There are plenty of locks.  Around one every mile and a swing bridge in-between.  If Oxford is Lift bridge country then this is the land of the swing bridge and they aren't left open for you either.

More trees.  There seems to be a lot of tree surgeon work to be done alone the canal.  Several very large trees along the towpath with a ditch on the other side.  Just ready for a good blow to push them over.

Stopped (after getting absolutely soaked) between the swing bridge and the lock at Woolhampton. The speed of the water is astonishing. You need to open the bridge before leaving the dead water at the lock to be on the safe side.

There are some nice new moorings just above the lock

Stayed the night here as not sure of the next mooring.

Another load of stakes going up stream ready to tart up the bank somewhere. 

Yet another bank being repaired.

Out in the open.  Rather a nice day and it makes a change to be away from trees for a short time.

Loads of holes in the ground that are full of water in the area.  This is the reason - gravel extraction.  At the other end of the working I think they are backfilling and returning the land to some other use.

Another turf lock.  I think this is the one I read about being a listed item.  Not sure if the others are as well.

Suns out and the black clouds are only minutes away.  Been soaked several times and dried when the sun arrives.

Some lovely clumps of flowers on the bank.

If you are "The man with the long hair" then I would steer clear of this bit of the canal. The rest of it reads "I'm gonna kill you" Friendly around here.

The canal goes on and off the river very regularly and so there are weirs at short intervals.

Getting to the outskirts of Newbury.  Evidence in the reeds.  Plastic bottles by the dozen and the usual burger wrappings.

Time to start looking for moorings.

Right outside Tesco and we just fit in.

In the middle of the night 2am in fact the local scum come out and decide to try and pinch a bike of the roof.  Its locked up so they can't but why do these scrotes think they can help themselves to anything that is not nailed down.  If they are out earlier and stolen a pair of pincers they would steal the nails as well.  God help any I catch on board.

Moved up the canal a little.  Last night must have been the dosser end of Newbury. Half a mile and its a much better place to moor.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Moored at Aldermaston - nearly

It was belting down with rain first thing so we light the fire and stayed in.  Then the sun came out and we moved.  Ten minutes later the rain started and its off and on for the next couple of hours.

Ducked under the crane doing the piling.  With it sitting on the bottom the river goes at high speed between it and the bank.  Flat out to get through.

The facilities at Tyle Mill are mainly out of action and just above more work going on.

The work here is some dredging and redoing the banks on the other side.  Hessian bundles laid along the edge with grasses etc in them all ready to start growing. It will look great in a few years.

Suns out and very French view.  Time to look for a mooring.  Ended up just below the lock at Padworth.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On to Theale

Left the mooring in company with nb Manatees and heading upstream.

Lovely little garden next to the mooring  and to the prison. Problem with the trees and the pigeons spending all night sitting on a branch above the boat trying to cure, and succeeding, their constipation.

Out into the main stream and heading to the city centre.

Waiting for the lights to change.  Boat traffic lights control traffic up to the lock.

Into the centre and there are loads of nice buildings with Debenhams next to the water - again.

Is this place modern or what.  Pity you can't moor up in the middle.

The lock.  Only a couple of foot lift and a little weir on the right

Out to the normal houses and a bit different to the things you find on the Thames. It is surprising how some people spend so much time on the garden while others can't be bothers to even cut the grass.

Out in the country and trees all over.

There is a new wetland being worked on.   Ready to be handed over by the volunteers to the council at Reading.

This is the second I have spotted.  With all the school ties hung on the shrub one can only image the age of the person involved.

Some very tight turns indeed.  Much nicer than the Thames in my opinion.

The BWs best are out working on the lock.  Some of the ground is subsiding or something at the bottom gates so their are doing something to monitor it.

There is plenty of water here too.  What with Aire and Calder etc having too much water while its still droughting down here its time that a broad canal was dug from north to south so boaters can get about easier :-)

Is this what is called a Turf Lock? Must look it up :-)

Its turned out to be a lovely day again.  Mind you its a bit nippy when the sun goes behind a cloud.

Another different lock shape.  Why did they do this?

A swing bridge and we have decided to stop here.  Very good moorings.  Chatted to James off the Manatees and talked about moorings.  Didn't realise how well supplied with them the Foss/Witham was.

Monday, April 23, 2012

On to Reading

 The view first thing in the morning.  We kept going last night till rather late.  Passed several mooring points but no room to get in so ended up at a lock.  I hate doing it but apart from dropping anchor in the middle had no option.  There was plenty of room on the other side.

Delightful views.

At the lock there is a heron sat on one of the posts and only flies away at the last moment.

There are plenty of rich burgers living here too.  Bet I couldn't afford the council tax on their boathouse.

Great Western railway line ahead with HST going over the bridge.

This bit isn't like Doncaster :-)

How about that!  I almost got a pic of a Kingfisher.  That blue is astonishing.

The geese make themselves very much at home on the moored boats.

Its in the wrong place being very much over half way from Oxford but Beale Park has what must be a quarter of a mile of moorings for free.

Meanwhile back in Doncaster :-)

There are rich burgers here too but

This dilapidated boat is ready to sink and the house behind it is in no better condition. 

They can't even have ordinary sheep down south.  They seem to have crossed a giraffe with a goat or it could at the last resort be a llama.

Coming out of a lock its bit of a worry seeing this coming round the corner at high speed.  Luckily the lights weren't  flashing and its the fire brigade not the police.

Kept coming across the rowers from Reading Rowing Club. 

They became bit of a menace as they seems to be intent on forever stopping or moving in the my way and when I moved over they would end up again in front.

Outside Tescos - just before the turn off - been over buying on the tins stuff I should think.

Across the canal another boat that looks as though it is sat on the bottom with holes all round.

Gasometers so the entrance to the canal can't be far off.

Into the canal and the only lock not on the Thames run by EA

Someone tell the Black Swan its mate is still at Burton Waters.

The first views of Reading are not favourable but they are doing something about the canal edge.

There are two entrances to the moorings in Reading.  Its very quiet and only a few minutes from the centre.  Found out today that the large wall at the b ack of the mooring belongs to Reading Goal and it didn't have a plaque on the wall to Oscar Wilde after him living there for a while.

I found a new friend that came to visit.

Next door to the goal is the remains of Reading Abbey.

It looks as though Cassey found a new friend too

Iwan found the bell and couldn't quite get a tune out of it.