Technically speaking we were coming off the Kennet Navigation, as the Kennet & Avon Canal officially ends at Newbury but we’ll not split hairs.
Our first job on the Thames was to do a Tesco shop. We’d been warned by Barry and Carol from nb Winton’s Folly that the mooring here can be a bit dodgy. They’d gone to shop and found a large tub of marigolds missing when they returned. We played it safe and Gordon stayed on the boat while I shopped.
We’ve never been on the Thames before and it has been very much as we would have expected. It’s wide (compared with canals anyway), pretty and lined with the houses of the uber rich.
Shiplake lock had developed a mechanical fault on the day we were going through and, even after it was fixed, a queue had developed. As you can see, the other feature of the Thames is that Cruisers are the boat of choice rather than narrowboats.
Our initial plan to moor up in Henley was thwarted by the fact that it’s coming up to Regatta week. Henley Reach is divided off from 16th June onwards and many of the moorings are off limits. This allows boat crews to practice in relative safety, without running the risk of being mowed down by powered craft. Not much room for us!
We carried on and got a very cosy mooring just before Hurley Lock. There is a charge for most Thames moorings and this was supposed to cost £5 a night. Our luck was in however and nobody came to collect.