Saturday, April 30, 2011

On through Newbury

We were up early, but the rest of the crew were not, so we walked into Woolhampton and picked up some bread and a paper at the local village store. The guy who owns this shop is a really nice guy who made us visitors feel really welcome. When we got back to Derwent6 the rest of the crew were ready to go, so we set off in the bright sunshine. We followed a hire boat on a 30th Birthday trip, and they were having difficulty with the boat and the locks, but we soon sorted them out. We got to Thatcham, and managed to get on one of the moorings here for some breakfast.We were then off again and passed through Newbury town centre with some very pretty locks every mile. We were surrounded by people watching and asking questions about Derwent6, with one guy even telling us we should have a remote control duck on the roof which goes quake quake!!!! Hmmm.

The funny thing was that Sarah was so relaxed in the sunshine, she slept all the way and never saw Newbury or all the people.Once through the town, we needed to moor up, but no moorings appeared, so it ended up being a dive into the river bank, just to get the bow in. We were sticking out a bit, but we were hungry, so out came the BBQ. After a few beers and wine, we didn't care anyway.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Wedding Day with Extra Crew

Al was up at 8.00am and it was telly on, to see the guests arrive on the big Royal Wedding day. Derwent6 had all our flags flying (well all two of them) and we sat and watched a fabulous wedding. Traditional, Patriotic, and very British. It's great to have some good news travelling round the worlds media. Just after the big kiss on the balcony, some new crew members arrived. Bernie and Sarah had come up from Kent while the roads were a bit quieter.

Once they had settled in we pulled the pins and set off a couple of miles up the K & A to Woolhampton where there was a nice pub called The Row Barge Inn, with people basking in the sun with a pint in their hands. We managed to get a mooring at the top of the lock and then walked back to the pub. We soon walked back again as the food was so expensive at £20.00 for a steak and £4.20 for a pint of Magner's cider.

We know we should have gone to The Falmouth Arms in the village where they had music on, but instead Al cooked dinner on Derwent6 where the beers were free.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Short trip to Aldermaston

We left our lovely Sulhamstead mooring at 10.30am and made our way up to Tyle Mill lock. We now have to encounter more swingbridges which sit in front of the locks. We had to get the lock ready before we stopped the traffic by opening the swingbridge. The locks are still very fierce and it seems we will have to get used to it. We passed Lower Padworth and made our way to Aldermaston Whalf, where we passed under the £250,000 lift bridge which carries the busy A340. In fact we are not allowed to use this bridge during the rush hour period. We were lucky enough to get a mooring at the top of the locks.
We then had a walk about and ended up in the nice tearooms here and had a ice cream in the lovely sunshine. It's a shame that the family run pub close by, The Butt Inn, has had to close during these hard times. So it was a beer on Derwent6!!!!!!We did have time to put our little Union Jack flag up for the big day tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Damage Limitations on the K & A

We left our mooring in Reading a bit sharpish as they were tarmacking the path alongside Derwent6, so we said goodbye to the workmen and got into King's lock just 200 metres away. We then pulled into Better Boating marina for diesel. He is normally the cheapest around here at 99p a litre, although not cheap by our standards. We then stopped at Tesco's which is right on the Thames. We filled up all the cupboards with food and drink and Derwent6 was getting rather heavy.It was then a right turn up to Blake's lock which is the only manned lock not on the Thames, but it was self service by the time we came through. We then passed right through the centre of Reading and you had to press a tricky button to operate a traffic light before proceeding. It was funny seeing everyone having their lunch and watching us as we passed by the Oracle shopping centre, where we had been shopping only yesterday. It was then out into the country and you soon find out that you are still on a fast flowing river. The lock landings are very difficult and the locks are tricky, fierce, and also all different shapes and sizes. Not a place to bring you luxury yacht Derwent6 did get a few scars but it was damage limitation, as we made our way to Theale.We had the unfortunate problem that we were following a widebeam, so it meant we had to stop and fill every lock we came to as we couldn't share. This was the case till they had stopped at Theale swingbridge. It wouldn't open fully and they couldn't get through. Del went up to the bridge to assist in getting it open and with a bit of pushing it opened a bit more. The widebeam had a go at getting through and ended up putting a deep scratch all down the side. They were lucky not to take the windows out, and would have if Del hadn't been pushing the boat away from the bridge. Derwent6 fitted through with ease and we moored up the other side and phoned BW about the problem as we had difficulty closing the bridge again to let the traffic across.

We carried on through one more lock and a swingbridge as it was now 7.30pm. We found a mooring just before Tyle Mill lock and we quickly set up the telly for the football. Ahhhhh sat down just in time for the kick off, thirsty hungry and worn out. We soon sorted that out!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Short trip to Reading

It seemed funny waking up with nobody else on board this morning and we pondered what to do as the sun rose up. We decided to move on to Reading and then set ourselves up for the K & A tomorrow.

We were first at the Mapledurham lock and it soon got busy. Everyone seems to have taken these three days off extending their bank holiday. It makes the river good fun with loads going on so we're not complaining. We carried on for the next hour or so, doing some washing on the way. We passed some very elaborate houses including this one with a helicopter in the back garden. We soon pulled into Reading and there were loads of moorings, surprise, surprise.........These are strictly twenty four hours only and there is a charge of £4.80 between the 1st May and the 31st August, so lucky there then.We then took a ten minute walk into town. The Kennet and Avon goes right through the shopping complex but more about that when we travel through tomorrow. We picked up a few things before getting back to Derwent6. In the late afternoon and evening we just sat in the cratch in the sunshine.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Time to Relax

Early start today as Zak was taking Thomas back to Kent and needed to be back in the morning. After saying our goodbyes we then proceeded up to the lock as we were in desperate need of a pump out, and got rid of all our rubbish and filled with water at the same time. On the way we spotted a nice mooring, so we turned around on this nice wide river and moored up for the day. We just decided we wanted a nice relaxing day after the hectic weekend (certainly for Del) so we did absolutely nothing! Late afternoon we bumped into Derek & Sheila on nb Clarence. Hope to see you guys over the summer for a longer catch up and a few beers!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Eggs & Cups

Del & Zak left early again this morning, but this time to watch the finals. Al & Tom decided to have a lazy Easter Sunday enjoying the sunshine and of course Easter eggs!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friends for Lunch

Del & Zak woke this morning not feeling too brilliant after a night sleeping on the floor, but carried on gaming all day in the hot weather. Al & Thomas on the other hand, after a relaxing morning, met up at the Swan in Pangbourne with Joy & Steve for lunch. They had a lovely lunch overlooking the Thames, and after tea and cakes back aboard Derwent6, said goodbye at 5.30pm. It was lovely to see you both and hope to catch up again soon. Al & Tom then settled down to watch one of their favourite programmes together.........Doctor Who!! Del & Zak managed to get back to Derwent6 totally shattered, to get a decent nights sleep.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Guy's and Gaming

Del & Zak were away early as they were going to a PC gaming competition (Insoniac i42). Zak was playing with A.J, Ramo, and Paul. Nathan and Del were supporting and spectating. It was an event that would take over three days.
Al stayed with Thomas and they caught the train into London to see how Len (Del's dad) was getting on. They went via Hamleys, the largest toy shop in Europe, which Tom loved as he is a big Lego fan.Len's progress is still very much up and down , but the news is he could be home for a couple of days over the Easter period. Al & Thomas got back to Derwent6 at 7.30pm, while Zak and Del never got back at all, as they were playing into the early hours, and ended up sleeping in what is known as the red room (on the floor)