Friday, 12 April 2013

Fallen at the last fence!

We had a great mooring last night at Sheffield Lock near Theale.  The rain fell very heavily on the roof at one time so we expected the river current to increase even more this morning.


Just in front of ‘Chance’ we found a clump of Primroses braving the sodden ground next to the canal.  Spring really is here.


At this end of the K and A the River Kennet comes in and out of the canal at monotonous regularity.  At several of the lock entrances the river decides to “barge” into the canal and, with the current as strong as it is at the moment, it concentrates the mind of the steerer!  Here’s Bob broadsiding  ‘Autumn Myst’ into the lock mouth against the river coming in on the left……….


……….and here’s Phoenix on the lock side thinking “Is Dad going to get that boat into the lock without scratching it?”


June and Doug producing a veritable “Niagara” for Bob and James to contend with!

We got to Aldermaston Wharf, making good time against the river, where we had planned to refuel both boats and take on water.  The staff were very helpful and moved four hire boats which they were preparing so that we could get to the fuel pump.


We were on our way again soon after refuelling and got the chance to hold up the traffic on the busy Aldermaston road (or, specifically, June got the chance!)


‘Chance’ and ‘Autumn Myst’ on the other side of the bridge and ready to go into Aldermaston lock.

Our mooring destination for this evening was just above the lock at Woolhampton  but first we had to negotiate the tricky and infamous road bridge / river entry/ lock combination.  On our arrival we moored up on the bridge landing which needed swift tying of the ropes before the boats took off back down the river.  We all walked up to the lock to reconnoitre, as Bob and June were new to this “special feature”.  As we approached the lock we noticed two hire boats moored in the mouth of the lock.  Their occupants explaining that they couldn’t move as the road bridge had broken.  A quick call to the ‘can do’ C&RT supervisor who helped us through Fobney lock yesterday and we were informed that contractors were scheduled to repair it at 9 o’ clock tomorrow morning.


So here we are, stuck on the bridge landing for the night, safe but about five hundred yards short of our intended mooring position and still with the prospect of this “special feature” to experience tomorrow (hopefully).


‘Chance’ on the bridge landing with the offending bridge in front.  Oh well – failed at the last hurdle!  Never mind, worse things happen at sea.

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