After a really enjoyable weekend at Reading our little party broke up this morning. Last night Chas and Ann hosted our final get together, nibbles and drinks aboard Moore2Life.
The weather had turned cooler else we’d have been out on the bank like the previous two nights. During the day we suffered a couple of really heavy showers, and there was a cool breeze developing.
Shower yesterday PM
We were supposed to have odd showers today, but, although it’s been fresher, it has stayed dry.
Del and Al got away soon after 09:00…
…they are heading for the Kennet and Avon.
Chas and Ann were next…
…They are continuing downstream, probably taking a trip up the River Wey.
We left shortly after, heading back upstream and leaving George and Carol behind.
Rock’n’Roll still tied up.
They intend to follow M2L, catching up with them later today.
Our original plan was to head back to Oxford, taking maybe three steady days for the trip. Once back on the canals we’ll be heading north, aiming to be in Ripon in North Yorkshire by the second week in September. A bit of a journey; 337 miles and 144 locks. If everything goes according to plan we’ll be picking up Mags’ son Neil and his wife Val in York on the way. Then on the 16th we’ll head up to South Shields by car for the Great North Run, leaving Seyella in the marina at Ripon.
My sponsorship webpage is here, by the way….
The plan went a bit awry straight away. After her paw infection caused by a grass seed, Meg has been on a course of antibiotics from the vet at Pangbourne. The course finished last night, but the abscess, after responding well for the first few days, is still there. So we decided to make a return visit to see what the vet thinks.
Passing Appletree Eyot and Poplar Island
Cormorant drying his wings
As divers they need to dry out after a fishing trip. They are very successful fishers which has led to conflict with anglers. There are calls for a cormorant cull…
This boat’s a long way from home.
She’s a Humber keel, and would have spent her working life carrying cargo around Hull and the Humber estuary. The design is believed to be derived from Viking longships, the word keel a modern version of the Anglo-Saxon coel, a single-masted square-rigged sailing vessel.
This one, Hope, was built in 1908 to trade on the Sheffield canals.
We had only one lock today, at Mapledurham. There were two boats waiting as we approached, and we were waved in behind them. Up the lock and we topped up the water tank, emptied a loo tank and got rid of the rubbish. There seemed to be an awful lot of wine and beer bottles to go in the recycling….
Above Mapledurham Lock
Mapledurham Mill just visible through the trees
Two more miles and we arrived at Pangbourne, with all the possible mooring spaces taken. You’d have thought that at midday there would be some space on 24 hour moorings, wouldn’t you? After all, they can’t all have arrived this morning….
Having cruised to the end of the moorings and turned around to look again for space for maybe just one end of the boat, the chap on NB Fishpool gave us a shout, they were leaving in 10 minutes. So we hung about in the stream till he vacated his pitch, then dived in before someone else snatched it.
Waiting for a space, NB Fishpool just pulling away
I did a bit of shopping this afternoon (there’s a good DIY shop in Pangbourne), then Meg and I went up to the evening clinic at Valley Vets. The vet recommended surgery to remove the lump Meg still has between her toes. There may still be something in there, so it’s a precautionary measure. When I explained our situation he obligingly booked her in for first thing in the morning, so I should be able to collect her again before lunchtime. If she’s fit to travel we’ll go a short way in the afternoon.
Locks 1, miles 5