Friday, 13 July 2007

Steam lives.

9 Locks, 8½ Miles 7 swing bridges, 1 Lift Bridge. Now moored at Theale.
526 locks, 631 miles, 18 Tunnels, 36 swing bridges and 10 lift bridges since Nov 2006

With the weather forecast for the forth coming week-end being more rain we pushed on further than we normally travel, another reason was no available moorings at Aldermaston.
At Thatcham a Reading marine hire boat which had been moored up with us over night left heading downstream ahead of us. We let the guys get a head start so that we could carry on locking together. Even after giving them a good head start we still caught up with them at Aldermaston lock. Luckily this lock is big enough that all 3 of us got in together with enough space left over for another 35 footer.
The crew was South African and they commented that we had our own Tri-nations league in the lock because we had a UK boat, a NZ boat and them.
They told us that they were not impressed with the boat as the engine smoked badly and made them feel ill. Also when they came out of Old Woolhampton lock which has the river entering the canal at right angles across the lock exit the engine died. This is not the place to be without power as you have to negotiate a sweeping curve to get through the lift bridge. Luckily they managed to restart the engine before they collided with anything but it frightened the life out of them.
Sad to say this is the 3rd Reading Marine hire boat that we have come across while on the K & A which has had serious mechanical failings while out on hire. When you pay big money to hire one of these boats you should at least expect it to work properly.
At Aldermaston we stopped to use the facilities and have lunch. As luck would have it the self pump out facility was out of action so we had to improvise in a nice way of course. While moored up I heard a steam whistle but never thought much of it until I saw the steam traction engine and caravan which had been stopped by a boater using the lift bridge. Luckily for me it gave me time to grab the camera and get some very valuable photos of this rare sight.

We are now moored at bridge 19 in striking distance of Reading and the Thames.
May meet up with Maffi tomorrow as he is now at Mapledurham heading downstream to Reading.

Spotted whilst out walking tonight. Anyone know what it is?

1 comment:

Del and Al said...

Hi Dot & trusted source (my Dad!) tells me it's the Lesser Burdock. Hope this helps. Enjoy your travels, we're really enjoying your blog!