Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Traffic jam!

We only needed to move half a mile and through one lock to fill the water tank ...
 … but within 10 minutes we were in a queue below Abingdon Lock
 boats coming down
 … and a Salters trip boat sitting on the lock landing going nowhere it seems!  Another lock full goes up and we move slowly on but there’s no more room on that landing so we ‘hover'
 Another Salters trip boat Goring fully loaded comes behind us
 Still hovering as we’re informed that a deal had been done with the lockie to allow Goring in on the next lock up going ahead of us
 Time is money!
 After just over an hour of waiting it’s now our turn
but there’s still eight boats waiting behind us! A very busy bank holiday Monday!

Friday, 26 August 2016

Returning to Abingdon

We left our secluded mooring near Dorchester early on Wednesday morning, turning mid-stream once again
Looking back into the sun at 07:50
This boat passed us a few days ago, not sure what it is, a cruiser? a replica dutch barge? or a one-off?  It’s very big and brash, I don’t think I like it!
Leaving Clifton Lock still on self-service

We arrived at Abingdon at about 10:30 and went through the town and lock to fill the water tank after which we turned once again to find a town mooring, there were plenty to choose from
Looking back from the stern deck
… and forwards, pretty much as it was on our stay a week ago except we’re just round the bend (!) and facing the other way.
We do like it here!
A strange orange glow in the sky at 8-pm, the forecast is for a hot humid night with heavy rain.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Just when you thought it was safe to go out ...

When you moor on the meadows above Day’s Lock you have to expect cows ...
… these were on the opposite side of the river to our mooring
… sheltering from the hot sun and having a drink on Monday afternoon.
We’d been for a walk in the late afternoon and seen the farmer herd the cattle on our side of the river away from the moorings, round the lakes and off the land, we wondered if they were off to market and hoped that there would not be another herd brought onto the site for a few days.
Tuesday morning before 7-am the sun coming over the meadow

and lighting up the tree tops

… very calm and peaceful after the howling wind and rain
… made reflections just about perfect!
It was going to be a hot day so a bbq was planned for our last evening here
George was going to light the bbq at 5:30 but just when we thought it was safe a whole herd of cows came to inspect the moorings!  It was an hour later when they finally wandered off and we could start to cook our evening meal.
Sunset at 9pm … is getting earlier by the day … enjoy it while it lasts!

Monday, 22 August 2016

Apart from the wind and rain ...

A bleak day dawned on Friday with heavy rain and the wind picking up to gusting at nearly 40 mph!
We were curious on Friday afternoon on hearing lots of tooting from the river and looked out to see nb Milly M coming by.  We helped Maffi to moor up in front of us and invited him onboard for tea and biscuits.  It was great to catch up with him, it was 16th October 2014 when we saw him last at Goring, and hopefully we’ll be able to catch up further when he’s on his way back to the cut later in the year.
The lovely sound of old engines took us to the window again an hour or so later, when we saw GUCC butty Brighton passing by, we couldn’t see the name on the motor but assume that it’s Nuneaton.
Later still on Friday at just after 9pm we could hear a bow-thruster and engine thrashing the water outside Still Rockin’ and when we looked this boat was either trying to moor in the very shallow water opposite or had beached in the silt by accident.  George went onto the deck to ask if he could help in any way and the steerer said that he was ok, he was firmly on the bottom and was going to stay the night! George reminded him that if the rain continued the way it was the river may well rise during the night and take him off the bottom to drift downstream (backwards) so we were pleased to see on Saturday morning that he’d managed to paddle his way onto the bank to secure his boat with one mooring spike!  He did manage to get away safely later.

So, apart from the above and the wind and the rain there’s not been much going on! No long walks with Molly due to the inclement weather but hopefully today that will change as the day wears on and brightens up a little. We need a few supplies and hopefully we’ll manage to stay dry as we trek into Dorchester and back.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Don’t know which way is up!

Thursday morning 6 o’clock, an early start today we need to fill the good tank and empty the nasties!
9:15 and jobs done George winds (turns) Still Rockin'
… and we re-enter Abingdon Lock, we’ve got time to kill so are retracing our steps

This notice made us smile but at least it’s clear for novice boaters!

Red floaty things!

We say cheerio to Peter and Karin on houseboat Gypsy Willow

The River Thames between Wallingford and Abingdon is a huge horseshoe shape and we pass Didcot Power Station at least 6 times sometimes on the left bank, sometimes on the right!

Collecting the crayfish traps from the riverbank

The chap on the narrowboat said that the’d had an ok harvest this morning.

George quoting the mantra ‘leave the green bouys on the right when going upstream’ and this threw him a bit until I pointed out we were now going downstream!  

I tell you, we don’t know which way is up at the moment!
It’s not long before we can see Wittenham Clumps in the distance

Could he be waiting for someone to open that gate so that he could meet up with his pals on the other side perhaps?

We’re now back at Dorchester moored about a mile above Day’s Lock

… with lots of open space on the meadow

… a good view upstream

… and downstream

… of the wide river just here

… and we can still see those chimneys!

I am astounded at these pictures of the sunset here at just after 19:30.  These have not been enlarged or edited in any way and with no special camera settings either!

We shall sit out the forecasted gale force winds and rain here for the next few days and then we shall be turning once again and returning to Abingdon.  (we still don’t know which way is up!)