Would you believe that yesterday afternoon we had kids from the village swimming in the river just down from our boat.
Yesterday evening we walked into Dorchester to eat at the White Hart Hotel. We had a look round in the afternoon and thought it would be the best choice. I will just say we will not be calling there for a meal on our way back.
This morning we were off at quarter to ten and about a mile down stream we passed yet another boat high and dry. Approaching Shillingford Lock we passed a canoe and there was a second waiting at the lock. I didn’t think there would be room for us, but the locky pulled them forward and we got in with the two canoes beside us. They had started at Lechlade 3 days ago and were going down to Wallingford.
There was a fair amount of water coming over the weir at Shillingford and like lots of other locks they have a sand spit running between the lock entrance and the weir stream. I finally managed to get my photo of a Red Kite, not so well lit but here is one having a set to with a crow.
This one shows the wing patterns better, but again it was against a bright sky. We stopped for water at Cleeve Lock, someone had managed to pull the valve off the pipe and reconnected the pipe without it, leaving it running. All that was required was to close the isolation valve on the upstand . This lock was on “Self Service” and the hire boat going down while we filled with water closed everything as they left, quite correctly. By the time we were ready to go a Narrowboat was approaching from down stream, so we set the lock for them. This is not a quick operation, as although the lock is empty you have to raise the paddles fully which are a timed sequence and then wait for that to time out before you can open the gates, by which time the Nb. skipper had walked up to see what we were playing at. When he finally was able to enter the lock I could see it was Nb.One Moore which I am sure some of you will remember. If you look closely you will see the very sensible method of securing the bottom edge of the cratch cover rather than letting it flow over the gunwales to slip on when trying to get to the bows or the fastenings knocked or the hull sides.
Moored a short way above Goring Lock was the late Raymond baxter’s boat L’Orange a Dunkirk Little Ship looking splendid in the sunshine. There is more information about her here.
Goring Lock has a slightly tricky approach for a Narrowboat as the lock waiting moorings are along a finger that runs out between the lock approach and the weir, this means that no mater how slowly and gently you approach you always slap the finger as the weir draws the water through it. This is extremely uncomfortable for the Moorhen that has decided to build a nest in the emergency ladder. This egg has already rolled out of the nest she has built in the corner.
I was a bit sorry we didn’t want to stop in Goring as there was only one boat on the very good free moorings below the lock, however our destination was Beale Park for the night which was another couple of miles where we found a convenient tree to moor the bows of the boat to. I much prefer that than a stake when we are on a river.