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.
- 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, rural at first, then came glimpses of tall structures. Next came thin terraced gardens, then round a bend to a broad weir and County Lock. Take it too fast here and your boat could end up broadside on to the weir (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, and when it is green (only when it goes green) you have 12 minutes to cruise through Reading’s Oracle Centre. Shoppers wave and dinosaurs roar – and then the traffic light controlled section of the canal chucks you out near the prison*. Onward, past old (even famous buildings) and new, the canal reaching Kennet Lock and the odd experience of paddle gear worked by wheel. The gasometer is on the left, there’s a railway bridge – and the River Thames ahead.
So here on the Thames the water is wide, the craft different,
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