Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Gentle Cruise to Reading - Wednesday 10th April 2013

We awoke to a misty morning but were not planning an early start as Phoenix’s ear problem had re-occurred and we needed to see the vet, fortunately I had seen one in Goring last night and made an appointment for 9.30 this morning. Vet seen and medication administered we returned to the boat, passing one of George Michaels houses on the way.
George Michael House
We set off at 10.15 having to turn the boat around in the strong current from the weir and headed down river encountering several groups of rowers on the way. It is quite a shock when a racing Eight suddenly appears over your shoulder from nowhere and passes you as though you are standing still.
Chance In Morning Mist with Sculls and eights
This crew were having a rest after over taking us next to Beale Park the site of the IWA National in 2010.
Beale Park 2010 IWA
The houses along the Thames begin to grow in size and magnificence and even the crew of Nb Chance became Gongoozlers and headed for the bank (not really the camera does lie sometimes)
Even the geese have taken up a posh residence in the thatch on the boat houses, and some of the human houses have their own turrets. June spotted her first Kingfisher and the Red Kites continued to escort down the river, still elusive to my camera.
Goose in Thatch
Turreted House
Negotiating the outskirts of Reading Nb.Chance were soon making the turn into the River Kennet. The river here is very narrow and the flow is quite strong so we had to use a lot of power to make headway against it.
Chance turns on K & A
Making the turn with some of the many swans on the river keeping a close eye the proceedings.
entering the K & A
The narrow entrance to the river.
A short way up the river comes the first lock and our intrepid crews were soon on the case operating the paddle wheels like professionals and standing back to admire their work.

First Lock on K A 

We moored up in the backwater next to the infamous Reading Prison and then took a stroll into the town centre. It is much larger than  I had expected with all the big shops and the new Oracle Centre which spans the river. They still have a market area next to the church.
Reading Church and Market
Phoenix was not too happy with trolling round the shops and showed her distaste by lying down in M & S whilst June made her purchases. So with that we headed back to the boat for tea and cake.
The boys are coming aboard this evening for a a drink and game of cards.

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