First thing this morning (after she’d run a few miles before any of us were up!) Fatima came aboard and gave us a bottle of wine as a thank you for helping her yesterday. They had a very uncomfortable night, as it was quite cold, and they hadn’t had the central heating explained properly to them. We got that sorted for them and also gave them some coal, kindling and some fire lighters (oh, and some dental floss!) With that we saw them on their way – it’s been a lovely sunny, if slight chilly, day so we hope like us, they had a good days’ cruising.
Saying farewell to Fatima and her family this morning.
We also had a welcome surprise visit this morning by Tom from nb ‘Waiouru’ who walked up from Aldermaston Wharf to see us. It was nice to see him and to catch up over a cup of coffee.
After Doug walked to Woolhampton to get his weekend paper. We got cracking at about 11:30. We ought to say the Kennet and Avon Canal is much improved at this eastern end since our last experience in 2007. The locks are much improved and easier to use. This was something which definitely needed to be done as the rest of the canal (from Newbury westward) was always a great experience in our opinion.
It was a very short hop of three miles and three locks to Thatcham where we’ve moored up on the very good visitor moorings just short of Lock 90. Now, we have to stand corrected by Adam from nb ‘Briar Rose’, that lock 90 is also a turf lock and therefore (as we said yesterday) Garston Lock is not the only turf lock in existence. However, Garston Lock is pretty much original and not caked in concrete and other inappropriate restoration like lock 90.
This afternoon James had just enough time to do an oil change on the engine and gearbox before Chris arrived, one of James’ very close friends from his days at the Aldermaston weapons establishment, came to visit us. We had a very pleasant afternoon chatting and catching up.
Chris and James.
Doug spent some time this afternoon preparing for Halloween by carving a pumpkin – a tradition we always keep up, on or off the boat.
Doug with his pumpkin amid a wonderful sunset.
We’re eating in again tonight, albeit an Indian takeaway being delivered to the boat! A great day – good company and an engine service to boot!