Saturday, 24 September 2011


Sorry for lack of blog updates recently. We are shuttling up & down between Reading (for supplies), and Sonning (quiet and peaceful idyll). Unfortunately, 3's mobile broadband signal is...

PantsChas has kindly helped us to change our light fittings over to LEDs, throughout the boat. We can now have all of our lights on at once (which then makes it resemble Wembley stadium inside). For less than the electrical equivalent of ONE of our old style 21w bus bulbs.

1.5w !!1.5w?! Amazing.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Beale Park

(new graffiti spotted near Wallingford Bridge)

Had a frustrating time, trying to get away from Dorchester. Every time we pushed the bow out, the wind blew it back in again. Eventually, we made it. The 'not very nice' weather, meant we had the river virtually to ourselves again. On the journey down to Wallingford, we only saw a couple of other boats moving. And when we got there, one side of the town jetty was completely deserted. Which was a very strange sight, as it's normally heaving with boats here in the summer.

Empty JettyWe've done about 11 miles today, and come down through 4 locks (Days, Benson, Cleeve and Goring).

Staying at Beale Park for the night.

Sunday, 18 September 2011


Tucked up under the trees.

DorchesterArrived here yesterday, in the pouring rain, and unremitting chilly wind. Discovered that all the narrowboat moorings were taken, and had to turn the boat around, before we were commited to going through Days Lock. But the wind wouldn't let us do it, and we got blown down the river sideways for a few hundred yards. Until we found a sheltered spot to swing the bow around in. Thankfully, nothing was coming the other way.

We had hoped to walk up to the Wittenham Clumps today (colloquially called "The Berkshire Bubs" and "Mother Dunch's Buttocks"), but the weather is not very nice again, so we've treated ourselves to another well deserved lazy day.

Al Fresco Lunch

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Guess Who?

Just moored behind us...

Timothy & Shane SpallVery kindly posed for this photo, and told us about the 'lock every mile' of the K&A. "Enjoy your life on the boat", they said.

The Princess MatildaThankyou Timothy & Shane, we do.
Nice to meet you both.

Back at Abingdon

We were pinned against the bank by the winds for a couple of days, but it was no great hardship, as we had supplies, and the Farmoor nature reserve was such a lovely place to be stuck at. Nice summery weather going downstream.

Scrapped BargesStopped in Oxford for 30 minutes, to let the engine cool down a bit, have a cup of tea, and say hello to Dave (Nb 'Chavori'). Didn't fancy overnighting there, as it was all a bit grey and nondescript. On the way down to Iffley lock, we noticed that Salter's Steamers have finished cutting up their barges for scrap. Didn't take them long at all.

Annoying DribbleOn our way back down to Sonning now. We have an annoying dribble of diesel leaking out of the fuel pump nozzles, and Chas (Nb 'Long White Cloud') has offered to help us fix it. Not a major problem, but it's making our pristine engine look a bit grubby, so it needs sorting out before we tackle the K&A. (Yes, we are finally venturing onto a CANAL!).

Sumo Vs. the Stuffed Sea CreatureYesterday, we did a grand total of 17.83 miles, descending through 7 locks. (Pinkhill, Eynsham, Kings, Godstow, Osney, Iffley, & Sandford). Our longest journey yet. I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. zzzzzzzzz...

Through the Back DoorThis morning's view.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Pinkhill Resevoir

Windy at PinkhillThe gale force and gusty winds are angrily howling down at us from straight across the river, pushing us snugly into the bank. We're tucked up securely and safely, listening to the fury of nature outside, with a nice log fire going. Not seen another boat moving all day, unsurprisingly.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

King's Lock

Sandford, Iffley, Osney, Godstow, & Kings.

We were hoping to get up to Eynsham meadows today, and tie us up safely before the predicted storms from the tail end of the hurricane broke. Our little Bukh engine carried us 12.19 miles, and negotiated us safely through 5 locks, before we decided to call it a day at the luxurious and manicured lawns of Kings Lock.

Travelled through a complete mixed bag of weather today. It was heaving it down with rain one minute. Severely gusty the next. Then followed by periods of brilliant sunshine. Rinse and Repeat. Quite Odd. We got blown around a fair bit, especially coming up to lock layby's at low revs. But, with no flow on the river, it was nothing for us to be unduly concerned about.

Burnt out BuskerPassed the burnt out shell of Nb 'Busker' at Port Meadow.
Glad there was nobody on board when that happened.

Burnt out BuskerHappy to see our friend Dave on Nb 'Chavori' at Oxford.

But the sad news of the day, was that Oscar (his Akita) had died. Aged 12. It only happened a couple of days ago, so he was understandably still quite gutted about it. But I'm glad we were able to stop, and offer our condolences. Oscar was a lovely dog. A real gentle giant. Will miss seeing him around.

RIP Oscar. Thinking of you, Dave. You gave him a great life.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Charity Swim

David Walliams arrived at Abingdon yesterday evening, to a welcoming reception from around 1000 people, all gathered around the lock. Never seen the towpath so busy.

This morning, his support boat woke us up, and he swam past at 7:15am. Local radio reports say he's picked up a bad case of "Thames Tummy" (symptoms including: high temperature, vomiting, and the squits). Swimming in the "dirty old river", he also risks getting E-Coli, Salmonella and Hepatitis. Brave man.

The BBC's documentary film crew.

David Walliams Vs. The Thames

Thursday, 1 September 2011


Sumo chewing GrassDoing a 5 day stopover, while Sheena visits her mum again.

Abingdon againI like Abingdon a lot. Unfortunately, even a garden shed costs £500,000.00 around here. But, I guess the same can be said for much of the thames. Having a boat has allowed us to visit some places we couldn't even have afforded the bus fare to.