So far…

For those who like numbers: since leaving Poynton (on the northern end of the Macclesfield Canal) on 22nd May, Cleddau

  •  has cruised on 10 different waterways
  • nosed into 9 different counties
  • travelled 293½ miles
  • worked through 210 locks, of which
  • 11 were manned locks and
  • 199 were unmanned and self operated.

The crew

  • have slept on board for 54 nights
  • moored in 43 different locations
  • including 3 different marinas
  • published 22 blog posts
  • used 500 litres of diesel fuel and, since joining the Thames on Saturday,
  • counted 20 swimmers bathing at Shiplake College
  • and 1 bridal couple.

Torrential and constant rain halted play on Friday, but there was a great catch up with Office Mate and wife L on Friday night, eight and a half years since the last meeting.

Saturday saw the last downhill locks to Reading, CS21-01   rural at first, then came glimpses of tall structures. CS21-02   Next came thin terraced gardens, CS21-03   then round a bend  CS21-04  to a broad weir and County Lock. Take it too fast here and your boat could end up broadside on to the weir   CS21-06   (the boat in the centre of the pic had some very nasty moments and a lucky escape).

After the lock it’s press the traffic light button,  CS21-05a  and when it is green (only when it goes green) you have 12 minutes to cruise through Reading’s Oracle Centre.  CS21-07    CS21-10 CS21-08   CS21-11  Shoppers wave and dinosaurs roar  CS21-09   – and then the traffic light controlled section of the canal  CS21-12  chucks you out near the prison*.  CS21-14   Onward, past old (even famous buildings)  CS21-15   and new,   CS21-18  the canal reaching Kennet Lock and the odd experience of paddle gear worked by wheel.   CS21-17   The gasometer is on the left,  CS21-19   there’s a railway bridge   CS21-20   – and the River Thames ahead.

So here on the Thames the water is wide, the craft different,

CS21-24    CS21-22

(“Ready? Now let’s test out our boats made from cardboard…”),  CS21-23   folk just mess about on the water  CS21-26  CS21-27 CS21-28  – or smile happily beside it!   CS21-29

Posted from Henley-on-Thames, after a first Thames night near Shiplake College. Heavy rain (again) and high winds (forecast for Monday) have brought the flotilla to a halt, the cruising to be resumed when fairer conditions prevail!

Stats since last post: 21½ miles, 18 locks

Monkton Moments* to date: 11

(Monkton Moment*- a reference to / recognition of Cleddau’s Pembrokeshire connections)


*Inspiration for Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol

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