Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Easy day to Beale Park

I tried last night, without success, to get a picture of this “super moon” everyone’s on about. Apparently it’s at perigee at the moment, it’s closest approach to Earth on it’s slightly eliptical orbit. I couldn’t get my camera settings right for the very high contrast of a bright moon against a black sky. I did have better luck at 6 this morning…

The clear skies had started to cloud up a bit by the time we got going, following a mini convoy of narrowboats leaving Reading.

Looking back towards ReadingIMG_1025

It was warm in the sun, cooler in the shade with the brisk westerly coming from ahead.
Near Reading Marine Services a small launch was towing a large cruiser, and making heavy weather of it.
The cruiser kept veering off to the side, at one time nearly disappearing into the bushes on the bank.
In the background one of the temporary bridges connecting parts of the festival site is under construction.

Appletree Eyot and Poplar Island are Canada gooseville…IMG_1034



I often wonder how boats come to end up where they do.

MV Hope is a Humber Keel, built in Beverley, East Yorks in 1908. She’s been about a bit…IMG_1036

We had about 40 minutes to go to Mapledurham Lock, and I made sure I slowly overhauled the three narrowboats in front to arrive at the lock at around the same time.

Just a glimpse of Mapledurham House below the lockIMG_1039

Mapledurham Lock and weirIMG_1040

Unusual for the Thames, a lock full of narrowboatsIMG_1041

It’s a bit exposed above the lock, and waiting boats were struggling in the crosswind.IMG_1042

One that didn’t get away…
…destined for the ever open beaks of the chicks

Another couple of miles saw us at Whitchurch Lock, after passing the quiet Pangbourne Meadow moorings and under Whitchurch Bridge, due to re-open soon after major surgery.

Pangbourne meadows, plenty of space today on these popular mooringsIMG_1047

Whitchurch Bridge, built in 1902, modified and renovated in 1920s, 40s and 70s, and 2014. IMG_1048

We’d lost one “narra” at the pump-out above Mapledurham Lock, but had gained a cruiser, so there was no room for us in the lock. It’s only shallow though, so it didn’t take long for those to go up, three more to come down and us to go up on our own.

Splendid houses on the Pangbourne bankIMG_1053

And a couple of Severn tugs on the Whitchurch sideIMG_1051

There was plenty of choices for mooring at Beale Park, we opted for a Seyella-sized length of bank a little past the entrance gate to the grounds.

Moored at Beale ParkIMG_1055 Mags is happy, Meg has a scratch.

We stayed dry this morning, although it looked threating around Whitchurch. The afternoon has seen spells of warm sun and thundery showers. More of the same tomorrow.

Locks 2, miles 6½


Mike Todd said...

Bit confused by your picture of Beale Park: I understand that you are going up stream but I thought that BP is on the left (in that direction) so you appear to be pointing downstream?? Or am I confused?

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Mike
No you're not confused. We ARE heading upstream, but have moored facing t'other way. There's a scoop out of the bank where the stern is, so if we were pointing upstream we'd be struggling to get on and off. Simples!