Sunday, 13 July 2014

The Thames or Bust...




We left Newbury, again great weather, and made good time with Bruce and Nat, getting the hang of setting the locks and moving the swing bridges, about a B+ skill level,  taking turns with Leonie going ahead to prepare the upcoming obstructions...



It's still a novelty as....



Running toward work is not normal...




Bruce  opens a swing bridge...




Stepping out under a rail bridge... Actually practicing Syncronised  walking for Bruce's  work place  3 legged race at the Xmas function...

Onto....




Monkey Marsh lock.. 1 of only 2 turf sided locks left and now listed as an Ancient Monument...

Exiting the lock we passed...

 


This NB that normally has a wooden centre section but during the night a large branch from a tow path tree, adjacent, came down and destroyed the centre section. Luckily no one was injured...

We unfolded the fold up bike....

 
Bruce saddled up to go ahead....
 
With time to Burn.....
There was time to do some Photo shoots for magazines such as....



Womans Day.....



Penthouse....

And..
 
 

Vanity Fair...

Back on the boat Nat...


Never missed a touch of the Rural Splendor.....

Came across an electric lift bridge that wasn't operational. The fixer had been called so with time to spare...



A couple of pints at a local were in store...

Leonie & Nat,.....


 

Stop the traffic and open an electric swing bridge...

Time to....




Take a breather going down in a lock..... with very Leaky gates...

Bruce decided he hadn't burnt enough calories doing locks etc, so.....



Started "Pumping Iron" as he walked the tow path using the Windlass for a weight...

A NB came past toward me and I observed the two crew starring in amazement at the strange antics on the towpath...
I said to the skipper" He's not with me"..
To which he replied " I don't blame you for saying that"...

And then something stranger happened...
 


He passed the bloody windlass to Nat, .. to do the same...
No boats passed so I didn't have to repeat myself....

All day as we came into a lock landing I would say to the crew "jump Now" knowing we were to far away to make it.
Never caught no one...

Later that day we decided to moor in the country by Tyle Mill... Lovely spot...

 



Bloody Wet though... Bruce jumped with no provocation.... the grass was 1.75 yds away... the hard of the bank was 2yds away....

Next mooring the sun was streaming....



Onto the patio... Jockeys under ware  Promo shot....
 
Bruce went to his secret  stash to get...



Some cash to pay for another day & nights  hospitality....

All the way from NZ...
 


"Jack the Bear" All Black supporter, was ready to go....


video


The K & A is not......




Low on water as it pours over the tops of the gates....

We turned a corner and the quietness of FireflyNZ caught out....

 

This fisherman.. two lines across the canal.. he tried frantically to wind them in but the second line caught on the front of the NB and he had to run along the tow path until we managed to halt the boat and unhook his line....

Approaching Reading Nat, had a brief steer....



And then we....





Canaled through the shopping centre of Reading....
 

Exiting the last lock, Blakes lock, of the K & A.....

 
 


This "Plastic" passed into the lock.. The fella on the RH side was large and was the reason for the "List" to Starboard...

Out onto the Thames and turned left to travel 200 yds to moor outside Tescos..




 
This Permanent moored  boat opposite...there seemed no reason as to why it remained afloat as was the condition......

The day was hot and it seemed we had taken a wrong turn and instead of heading to Paradise we were heading to Hell.....so..


Nat decided to cool her heels...

And Bruce decided to...


Try and Thaw some beers we had over left in the freezer... it worked....

Moored up before Henley...


A touch of tow path stinging nettle trimming was in order...

There was some flash DO on in Henley because a lot of water vessels passed with Spunky Chicks dressed up to the twelves  and guys with suits and bow ties...

And then passed...




 
This motorized raft complete with sofa, lampshade and flower arrangements......

After an adventurous day it was time to chill out...





 
With the Laptop on the roof to watch the Live Darts..... well me and Bruce......

And a few.....

 
Beers and Bubbles......