Sunday, November 17, 2013

Froud's Bridge Marina...and Back Again !!

On thursday we made our way west.  Fuel was needed for the tank and the fire, gas for the cooking and a pump out was required.  So we started off at 10am on a fairly sunny but windy day. Only 5 miles to travel but as many locks and swing bridges to get through.

Going up these locks is time consuming. They are wide locks and the paddle wash is fierce. So it was slow and steady but I still managed to throw the boat from one side to the other on occasions. Poor Paddington Bear took a swan dive to the floor a few times. Eventually I left him sitting comfortably on the chair instead Big Grin

The wind was picking up and turning decidedly chilly but we eventually made it to Aldermaston Wharf.  Only it was 4 boats deep along the whole section between the locks, with no space for pulling in for a pump out and diesel.  Although there were some folk around sorting out the hire boats they did not seem particularly interested in our money. So we pootled on to Froud's Bridge Marina. By this time Andrew was really feeling the cold, I was the one doing all the strenuous exercise and keeping moderately warm in the process. Froud's Marina relieved us of quite a few leaves from the money tree, which is looking well on it's way into winter but we are now stocked up with coal for another month or two (depending on the weather)  Sigh. Andrew decided that a night hooked up in the marina was called for, as he was not keen on travelling any distance back again.  From my point of view this was great. I got 4 loads of washing done, leaving the boat looking like the inside of a chinese laundry Laughing. In the morning we refilled the water before leaving, without even having to move, bliss.

We had hoped that on the route up to Aldermaston, we could find more spots to moor over winter. We were amazed at how shallow the edges were, leaving very few decent spots for mooring. Not only was it shallow but also very shaded.  All along the towpath were tall trees shading the boat from the sun. We need as much sun as we can get to keep down the running hours on the engine to charge the batteries. Not only that, access to groceries would require a trip by bus or train to get to a supermarket. So decision made, we would return to Theale and should the rain persist and the river rise we will take the boat up to Tyle Mill or just above Sulhamstead Lock. Both seem to be reasonably ok. Two of the other boats moored near us were in this same area last winter and said that they were fine. The water level rose and the flow increased but other than that no real issues. Well we shall see but I am hoping for a nice dry winter this year Praying.

So sorry Allan, for now we are staying east and with the sun. I rather like our little spot here by the lake. I will take a picture on the next misty, sunny morning and you can see why.

Until then folk, take care and keep warm Wave

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