Thursday, 11 July 2013

Penultimate day on the K & A

So it has nearly come to the end of our stay on the K & A.  By tomorrow evening we should be once again on Old Father Thames and heading towards London.

I must say, the brilliant summer weather of late has enhanced our visit and perhaps we have seen the canal in a more pleasant light since we began the journey, when it was a tad damp and dreary.  The weather today has been, well HOT...

In some ways this has tested Triskaideka.  Our choice of a light grey roof has been vindicated. Not to light to cause reflection, but light enough to reflect much of the heat in this weather.  The three Houdini hatches have likewise allowed a good air circulation, and coupled with the two side hatches, have kept the interior temperate even in direct sunlight when the day has been at it's hottest. A side effect of fitting a 12v fan below the bed to aid ventilation under it, has been the cooling effect this has had in the bedroom.  It has been surprising just how much difference this has made.

This year we have done without the freezer. It has never been satisfactory and so we have eaten fresh produce and used it as a booze store. Good news on this front though. After Ali spoke with the Shoreline stand people whilst at Crick, they have agreed to replace this with a new model at no charge, this confirmed by e-mail. Brilliant service and all credit to Ali for her persistence.

Anyway, on a somewhat chillier morning than of late, we left our mooring in Newbury at what seems to have become our customary time of eight o-clock.  We were soon at the first lock and down onto the section were the river Kennet weaves in and out of the navigation.  Once again, it was quiet. Where have all the boats gone? We made good progress down successive locks which appear a little wider than those higher up the canal. As the temperatures rose, we approached what I thought could well be my Nemesis, Woolhampton lock and swing bridge.

The river enters below the lock at quite a pace and exit from the lock has to be delayed until the bridge has been raised. Angie & Ali opened the lock gates then Ali attended to the bridge and lifted it. It was then go.  Dave left first and when Ali signalled he was through, I followed.  Whilst the flow was not insubstantial, it was not too bad, certainly less than when we came up and less than my fears!

At Aldermaston, we stopped at the services immediately below the lock and as you do, had lunch next to the Elsan point!  Then it was bridge up and onwards.

I think it was three pm when we secured a rural mooring just short of Tyle mill lock. It was certainly a tad warm by then and we spent a pleasant afternoon sitting and chilling out, whilst the local sheep population came to take a look at these strange creatures, especially the one with the mop who is always on his roof!

Miles 10
Locks 11
Swing/lift bridges 7


  1. Are you coming into London, methinks we will be here for another couple of weeks!

  2. Yep, we are coming, but are concerned in regard to moorings, as SOME people seem to be hogging them all! ( tongue in cheek)


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