The Upper Thames

We’ve had a busy couple of days as we cruised into what, for us, is uncharted waters – the upper Thames above Henley. To be fair, we were launched in Reading and then were piloted back to Henley by Vinnie and Josh from Piper’s (our boat builders). But that was 11 months ago, and we can’t seem to remember anything other than amazement that we actually had our boat under our feet!

Our generator has been playing up a bit but contacted Pipers on (bank holiday) Monday – great service from Josh, they have arranged for a Kohler (that’s the genny manufacturer) engineer to take a look. He’s based in Reading, which is quite handy as we will be passing  back through there at the end of next week. Hope it’s nothing too serious.

We’ve now done 93 locks since we had Anticus, one of which was Whitchurch. There was no lock-keeper on duty so I took a few photos of the procedure of operating the lock.

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Anticus waiting in the “cut” on the lay-by approaching the lock gates.

Especially when there is no lock-keeper on duty we have to moor on the approach to the lock and, usually, Nicola wanders up to operate the lock sluices and gates.

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The lock sluices are the red ‘h-shaped’ things on metal rods

The sluices need to be opened and closed at either end of the lock to allow water in or out to raise or lower the water level in the lock pound allowing boats to move up or down stream.

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The lock operating panel

At each lock gate is an operating panel similar to the pic above. It is by pressing the buttons (in the right order!) that we operate the sluices and the gates. It’s pretty easy really, and after nearly 100 locks we are getting the hang of it!

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And off we sail

The wild life, especially of the feathered variety is fabulous along the Thames, and travelling at just about walking pace allows us to take in the wonderful sights and sounds. If we are lucky, we get glimpses of things like this little fella.

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A kingfisher perched alongside the boat.

We are aiming for Goring and then onto Wallingford in the next couple of days, so more to follow then, with pictures of Alfie our Border Terrorist Terrier because Nicola say’s Im ignoring him on here !!! 🙂

 

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