Thursday, 3 March 2011

Catching up

So as I said last week, we were meant to spend Tuesday to Saturday of last week on the Witch cruising the K&A around Newbury. Delays in completion of work on the boat however, meant we lost a couple of days. I've decided that I want to be as positive as possible about our experiences on the boat; as a result I shall only mention names of companies if our experience of them is good. Needless to say I won't be mentioning the name of the marine engineers where we had the work done on Water Witch, as we found their approach to things rather unprofessional. I know things go at a slower pace on the cut, but this particular company seem to take that ethos a little too far; and I know for a fact that we are not their only customers who are of that opinion. Needless to say, we won't be rushing back for any work to be carried out on WW (for one thing it's a good week's sail away!!)

So eventually we got away from the marina on Thursday afternoon and took the boat westwards. Things went a bit slower than I had planned - making the turn out of the marina was rather interesting (!) and we stopped for coal and diesel; we ended up mooring just below Benham Lock.

Here she is at Benham. That's Noel our galley slave friend on the front:

Galley Slave

Note the traditional bag of coal on the roof!

On Friday we moved on westwards. By this time we knew that Dunmill Lock was closed and the last winding hole would be at Kintbury, where we arrived at about 1400(z). We moored up and went for an excellent lunch at the Dundas Arms. I had liver - yum yum!

Back at the mooring we picked up some timber which had been left on the towpath. Will need a years seasoning under cover, but eventually it will keep us warm. Probably got enough for a week or so. In the evening SWMBO went to see a pantomime (don't ask!); she only managed to endure about half of it and then met us to go for a swift half.

Here's the front of the boat at Kintbury. Note the the lack of plank!

At Kintbury

Saturday was rainy and we thought about staying at Kintbury for the day. However, on the Sunday Richard the boat mover was due to pick up the boat to bring it up to London. Picking it up from Kintbury would probably add the best part of a day to the journey which meant we would be very pushed to get the boat up to our mooring. So we pushed off, turned at the winding hole and headed back east. Weather was changable, but not catastrophic. A long day and we eventually moored up just below Ham Lock. Was very tired at the end and had some rather scary moments...note to self: when tired, go to sleep.

Here we are on Sunday morning. The picture really doesn't show how slippery the towpath was. Later in the day solid rain set in and it got v. muddy and slidey.


On Sunday Noel and I walked back to Greenham to pick up his motor and meet Richard the boat mover, who had brought a whole bootful of stuff with him. As we went along the towpath to the Witch, laden down with Richard's stuff and trying not to fall over, I kind of wished we had stopped and tied up back at Greenham!

Gave Richard the tour of the boat and then left it to him...

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