Remember that mission we were on?
Well, Wednesday 30th August was the last leg
... as we left our mooring at Sonning and continued to cruise upstream
There be dragons here!
Passing Thames and Kennet Marina as we enter non-boater friendly Reading
The very inauspicious gateway to the Kennet and Avon Canal
The new mooring spaces at Dreadnaught just past the marina are now fully taken with barges (in good condition)
... and then we come to Tesco
... despite the notices recently installed ...
(picture from Sue's blog)
... some boat owners are still refusing to move
... and there's even more mess than usual there
This is exactly the same situation as occurred perhaps 4/5 years ago when attempts were made to remove overstaying, old, unlicensed boats from these moorings. By the time warnings to owners were issued and the appropriate length of time for owners to comply (but didn't) were taken into account and the amount of time it then took to apply for and present court orders and time again for owners to appeal etc., etc., another 12-18 months went by (with boaters still enjoying their free moorings). So it looks as if we're on this merry-go-round once again.
I understand that not everyone chooses to live the way we expect them too, that some cannot afford a decent dwelling place or mooring fees, some may be homeless if it weren't for their boats no matter the conditions and I feel for them, I really do.
But ... these people should have looked into the costs of living on the water; licence and mooring fees, fuel/heating costs before they stepped onto a boat, let alone live in it and are irresponsible for not doing so.
Housing authorities should look more at affordable or sheltered accommodation for those boat owners who can't through illness or poverty move back onto the land. The water authorities/law should have more power to move on (as in cruising) or remove the offending boats of those boat owners who couldn't care less and just want to defy the rules that the rest of us live by. It's these few people who spoil it for the rest of us (and I'm not only talking about boaters as there are 'bad apples' in all walks of life).
I would say 'rant over' but I don't think it is ... but now I can breath again!
Our journey continues ...
Approaching Caversham Lock
Flats with matching litter box
As expected since it was only 8:15 Caversham Lock is still on self-service but fortunately another early boater has come down it so we can go straight in
Closing the gates and letting the water in
There are some council owned moorings by the park between Caversham Bridge and the new footbridge
... and apparently you can moor opposite Caversham Boats (but watch out for their ferry here), there are no 'No Mooring' signs here but no 'Mooring Allowed' signs either.
Moorings also opposite Caversham Boat island
Unfortunately my attempt to take a picture of the rules and regulations for mooring here was photo-bombed by passers by!
More boaters ignoring the signs
8:40 and the racing boats are coming out to play
Moored on 'The Promenade'
... and spreading their 'stuff' all over the walkway
A bit blurred, but this is the same as the one at Tesco's and this notice is repeated
... all the way up and past the Reading Festival site where we've enjoyed in years gone, several evenings with boating friends before the no mooring signs apeared (again due to one boat overstaying for months on end)
I've looked at the TVM (Thames Visitor Mooring) website for Reading and the only ones appear to be just over 2 miles from Tesco at Scours Lane where the charges are first 24hours free and £5 for a maximum of 2 more days. The fine will apply if you do not register with them on your arrival. To date I have no knowledge of any boater being fined or TVM wardens being in evidence. The problem with this system (in my opinion) is that the boater has no evidence that he/she has registered so it's easy to 'buck the system' unless mooring sites are monitored daily.
Earlier this year the Canada goose was nesting here and I did wonder how the goslings were going to 'fly the nest'
... today they were gone and so has most of the thatch. I don't think she'll manage to nest here again next year.
Approaching the temporary Reading Festival footbridge. On our right as we cruise upstream we can see through the trees the camping areas for the festival where there are now huge piles of rubbish including cheap pop-up tents that campers have left behind them.
The Thames becomes narrow and windy
... as we approach Mapledurham Lock where boats were exiting. It was on self service and we followed the cruiser closest to the lock in the picture, inside. Still on self service the lady on the cruiser saw up and through.
Mooring is available at Mapledurham House and Estate. A charge is applicable but I'm not sure how much.
Now moored on Pangbourne Meadow for an arranged visit tomorrow.