Looking OutPosted: September 14, 2014
A walk on to Cleeve Lock saw us legging it back to the boat – watching masses of boaters badly queuing for the lock was entertaining until we realised the longer we watched, the longer we’d have to wait. Despite mooring on a £4 mooring last night the debt collector didn’t show up, although a Defender did seem to be kicking up a lot of dust and heading in our direction shortly after we pulled away…
Down at the lock most people were hanging about for water, figuring we could wait for the next hose we dropped down and out. One guy whose engine was causing him problems eventually caught us up, plumes of smoke and a spluttering motor meant he wasn’t exactly enjoying his Thames experience. Entering a later lock he mentioned being desperate to get off onto the Kennet and Avon…having bought his boat in Staffordshire he’d endured his rope wound round the prop, smashed the back canopy off under a bridge and boiled two sets of batteries. Things weren’t about to get any better. Leaving Whitchurch Lock the keeper explained there was a kayak regatta in full swing, ‘Basically keep left of the white buoys and sink as many kayakers as you fancy,’ were our instructions. On leaving the lock a total muppet pulled in front of us all – gesturing for us to slow and let a whole load of kayaks cross our path. That wasn’t part of our instructions. It seemed the poor guy’s engine either did flat-out or nothing at all and after smacking into the buoy he faded to a tiny dot amongst the colourful mass of energetic kayakers and was never seen again. Boat life isn’t always a walk in the park.
Reading came and went under the gloomiest skies all day, on past the turning for the Kennet and Avon it was just a short spurt downstream before things brightened right up with beautiful Sonning Lock. Houses grew bigger and wider and grander as we gained ground on Henley, tied up for the night and looking across at the jaw dropping amount of light filled windows opposite you have to think that pound for pound, our view beats theirs hands down.