Well no planes last night but the boaters were on the go most of the time including 3 AM and before 6 AM just before the rowers started.
We set off at ten past eight, looking back there was mist on the hills, but the sun was burning it off rapidly. I am sure there use to be public short term, ie. shopping moorings in Henley but I couldn’t see any signs to indicate that when we past today. There are still rings in the face of the wall.
Going up the Henley waterfront in front of the rowing museum we were following a wide beam and a large cruiser, Marsh Lock is only 137 foot long so with those two in front we wouldn’t get in behind them, then at the top of the island the wide beam turned back downstream so we were in with a chance which worked out OK, While the Big cruiser reset the lock ready a small cruiser turned up and there would be room for him beside me.
Above the lock we came on another wild swimmer heading up the Thames, the orange buoy is very light like a balloon but at least there is something to see.
At reading we didn’t need Tesco and a good job too. I thought they were charging for these moorings, but it doesn’t look like it. The old boat is still on the bottom on the opposite side and I expect it will stay there for some time to come.
Better Boating were selling diesel at 79p/lt which is good for the Thames and if you take the advert in from Towpath Talk you get 5p discount. They don’t say if that is per lt. or the total bill? Reading Festival was this weekend and the hordes where all heading homewards, a few looked as if they hadn’t slept all weekend and lots were wearing wellies. I don’t think they needed them as they all looked clean. Not only,were they walking but there were water taxis and trip boats full of them. It makes you wonder where they all go when they leave the festival, is it coaches and trains? some had next to no baggage when others had 4 wheel trolleys. I didn’t realise it was such a big event, they even build a suspension bridge over the river to get to the camping site.
The site must be a good mile and a half long including the camp site.
I felt I had to post a photo of this spoof post box that has appeared on the wall of the railway embankment. The wall runs down into the river so there is no access other than by boat. In 2013 it was attached to the central buttress of a bridge on the Thames, again on accessible by boat. Details HERE. The other thing you may notice is how brown the water is, further downstream it was crystal clear but now its as thick as any canal.
Whitchurch Bridge was rebuilt in 2014 but it looks as if it is already going rusty. It even has its own web site HERE. We came up Whitchurch Lock with 2 canoes, on shot in right on my stern and then went down the side of me before we had any ropes on, the other had problems going in the right direction and missed the mouth of the lock, well it is only 18 feet wide. Above the lock were three pretty little tugs painted in the company colours .
We were aiming for Beale Park as tonight’s mooring and there were quite a few boats moored there already, one of them this smart cruiser which I think comes from the Norfolk Broad, one of Martham Developments old hire boats probably built the same time I was born. I suspect the registration number is the old Broads Authority number. O and yes, there were people swimming in the river here.
We passed the entrance to the lake and then slid in behind the island in to a nice secluded spot away from the main river traffic.