We found the Falmouth Arms on the main road much more to our liking. Good food, good music and much cheaper beer does it for me.
We set off at 10:30 down the lock on to the fast flowing river section and through the bridge. Having only done this section up stream I watched a few others go down to see where the pit falls are. I confess to being a bit nervous, it is so easy to screw up this part. Down the lock and sitting in the lock tail waiting for the bridge to open. Kim gave me the nod and I was away. Lots of revs, tiller to the left to keep the bow into the side flow. Going sideways at an angle. Straighten the tiller as the flow moves down the boat to the stern. Tiller right to keep the stern from being pushed too far out. Now parallel with the moored boat that came a cropper yesterday. Tiller over to the left to tuck in behind him and then line up for the bridge. Ooops!That space looks very small, but through I went without touching the sides. No chance to stop and pick up K&J as 3 boats are now moored up below the bridge. Well that was easy enough cant see what all the fuss is about. I suppose it does help that I have a years worth of boating to count on.
I moved over to the bank as soon as I could to pick up K&J and we were away. This stretch to Theale is a good day out, but it is quite a lot of river and you have to keep your wits about you or the side washes at river sections will catch you out. Aldermaston Lock is a scarey place to get hooked up on the wall. It's an awfully big lock with scalloped edges and at the top for some reason there is a block of wood bolted to the side in just the right place to sit your counter on. Fortunately it is just below the water level as the lock is emptied so though the boat was sitting at an angle that belied it normal floating position it was never in danger of sinking. However a shorter boat may have had a problem.
I must have been in the vicinity of Uffton Swing Bridge when, while waiting for K&J to close the bridge, I thought, "that girl on that boat look familiar just like Bones". I must have it bad seeing Bones on another boat, but Bones it was, what a lovely surprise! She had cadged a ride on nb Spirit of Gizmo from somewhere near Theale. What ever possessed her to seek me out again so soon we will never know, but I am not complaining. She sure is unpredictable! The more I know her the more she gets in my head.
Kim and Jim's holiday has come to an end. It has been great fun having them aboard this week they worked like Trojans both on and off the boat and are always fun to have around. I am sorry to see them go. Packed up to the gunnels we set off to the station. The 1607 was late, 1615 1611 1620 1619 then the screen went off as they seemed to confuse themselves at the announcement desk.