Another beautiful day so…..

We woke up to another beautiful morning on Wednesday so decided that we would take a trip in the direction of Mapledurham and take the opportunity to “play” with the boat, see how she handles in close quarters and generally get to know a bit more about her characteristics.

Before we left we were visited by our resident heron apparently looking for his breakfast.Heron

Soon after leaving the marina we passed through Caversham Lock where the lock keeper was busy re-painting his white health and safety lines.  During the course of our chat with him he told us that the river was considerably busy this week than last and no doubt it would be even busier as Easter approaches.

We were soon passing under Caversham bridge

and then on towards Tilehurst.

The lock keeper at Caversham had advised us that the next lock (Mapledurham) was unattended and that he was going to lunch at 1pm so we decided to turn around just before Mapledurham and head back to Caversham.

P1020230

We duly arrived at Caversham Lock just before the keeper’s lunch break and passed straight through.

Mapledurham direction Caversham lock
In the lock cut approaching Caversham Lock
Mapledurham direction Caversham lock leave
Leaving Caversham Lock

We had time to play with the throttle in the lock and confirmed that we experience a fairly powerful prop kick when entering forward gear, resulting in the stern moving to port quite a lot whilst operating in the restricted water of the lock.   Valuable information for preventing scratches to the hull in the coming months!   We played some more in the wider river and the kick was still present but much less noticeable.

We returned to the marina and spent some time cleaning the boat before relaxing on the stern deck and witnessing this beautiful sunset.

P1020232

P1020231

Shakedown cruise after launching

While we were waiting to launch, we took the opportunity to unload lots of boxes from our car into the boat as this would save moving them in a trolley at the marina.   So, soon after launch, we began the unpacking process.  We also made several trips to Ikea and the likes to buy the necessary bits and bobs.

Angie and I celebrated with a bottle of champers on launch night and on Saturday afternoon, we were joined by our Daughter, Rebecca and her husband, Trev.   They kindly brought us some champagne too so that was seen off in due course.

Four days after launch, having got ourselves organised, we were ready to go cruising.

Dreadnought
Alongside at our mooring at Dreadnought Wharf

We were pleased to welcome our good friends Jackie and Tony on board to join us on Sunday afternoon and, guess what,….they brought us some champagne too!     We celebrated our launch for the third time and “wet the boat’s bow” with a glass of chilled champagne (we couldn’t bear to waste it by smashing the bottle over the bow).

Champers
Wetting the boat’s bow!

We had already decided that it would be a good idea to stay in the marina for the weekend and “hit the river” so to speak, on Monday.

As Monday morning dawned, the weather was warm and sunny, so we headed off towards Henley, with a loose plan of having lunch on board, alongside at Henley.

Our first lock was Sonning Lock which, despite having the self service notice hanging from the gate, was attended by a lock keeper so we were very quickly through that one.

sonningLock2
Sonning Lock

Further on we negotiated lots of rowers from Shiplake College before reaching Shiplake Lock.   This was also showing a self service sign and was, in fact unattended.   We moored alongside the waiting piles took a photo of the ladies and set the lock ready for entry.

20170403_112456
Waiting to enter Shiplake Lock

More photo’s after entering the lock (there were no other boats about so we weren’t holding anyone up, before heading off towards Henley.

The river was nice and quiet and soon we approached Marsh Lock (also attended).  We waited for one bopat to clear the lock coming upstream then entered and cleared through very quickly.

20170403_121726
Waiting for the upstream boat to clear the lock at Marsh Lock.

We were soon moored alongside at Henley. There was plenty of room so we had a choice of mooring spots. (All free before 3pm)

P1020217
Lunch at Henley……note the nautical tee shirts! 🙂

We enjoyed a very pleasant lunch before heading back to Caversham.

The boat, crew and, of course, the skipper all performed well and a celebratory cup of tea was enjoyed by all when we got back to the marina.