Rain on the Thames – 16th August 2022

We made progress of 13 miles today which took us five hours. We had four locks to navigate of which two were manned so the others we did ourselves.

Just on the other side of the bridge at Abingdon, we pulled in to get diesel. Unfortunately, this time we were not so lucky with the pricing and had to pay 1.95 pound a litre – ouch, that really did hurt. Surprisingly, we learnt that there are not too many options for diesel on the Thames, so we had to take what we could.

Big reprieve today from the heat wave with a high of 23c and rain – whooopeee!! Rain is not really a boaters friend but we were just so tired of the relentless heat.

Nemo was hot off the assembly line with not a scratch on her – won’t last looking like that. This style of boat is called a Dutch Barge which is similar to what Wolfgang and Marlene purchased in the Netherlands in July. Their style of boat is called a Dutch Cruiser.

As we get closer to London, the more frequent the palatial manors become.

Of course your own little boathouse is a gimme.

With each lock comes its own weir. The Benson weir’s history can be traced back to the 14th Century. The reason for this knowledge is that there use to be a mill built on the site which means better records were kept.

It is a pity more of the pill boxes along the Thames were not shown a little more love and care. As we cruised along this section of the canal and even into where we moored tonight at Wallingford, we were constantly being buzzed by helicopters from the RAF Benson air base. RAF Benson opened in 1939 and during the Second World War it was tasked with training aircrews. Apart from the base for RAF helicopters it is also houses the Police Service and the Thames Valley Air Ambulance. It continues to be a training airport.

Then it was time to try to find  a mooring. From now on moorings are going to be as rare as hen’s teeth and if we do find one, it will cost us. In this case it was free!!!

Luckily for us, a narrowboater in front of us, signalled that there were no moorings available close to Wallingford so we grabbed what we could which was in amongst the bushes. We are going to have to be creative going forward so this was a good chance to practice our bush skills.

We pulled in about 3.30pm and Fraser went for a run and got back to the boat just prior to the heavens opening. Being under the trees is probably not the smartest move as in the morning the roof of the boat is going to be trashed. Not much chance of going to the pub for a quick pint tonight.


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