Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Newbury (Part 3 (Yup, still here!!))

Lat/Long N51.40159 W001.31627

Map reference  SU 47660 67179
Distance 0 miles
Total 331 Locks 8 Tunnels
Running total mileage 469.3 miles

Today we have finally managed to get the replacement alternator and I’m hoping that problem will now be solved (fingers crossed) but a further problem has now arisen, whilst we were waiting for the replacement alternator, both the River Kennet and the River Thames have gone into flood. Worse than that is the River Kennet is now closed to navigation from here in Newbury all the way through to County Lock in Reading, so we are going nowhere anytime soon! 

And of course the final problem is that a boat has got stuck at County Lock itself due to the river flow. Think I’ll just stay where we are and pray for no further rain!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Newbury (part 2)

Lat/Long N51.40159 W001.31627

Map reference  SU 47660 67179
Distance 0.4 miles
Total 331 Locks 8 Tunnels
Running total mileage 469.3 miles

Whilst I said that there are worse place to be broken down than Newbury, it seems that we will be staying here a bit longer than I wished. The boat engineer advised me that the alternator that had been delivered was the wrong one (a 55amp instead of a 70amp) so now we will have to stay until at least Monday whilst the correct one is delivered (hopefully!!).  Since we have pretty much overstayed our welcome on the 24 hour moorings I decided to disable the alternator and move through Newbury to the 14 day moorings below the lock. This involved the quite interesting bit through the bridges of Newbury. The first one by the Lock,Stock and Barrel pub is where the river and canal meet, just to add to the challenge it all narrows as well so that the flow speeds up to a fast walking pace. This means that you need to power the boat a bit faster than that otherwise you have no steering, so the result is that you pop through the middle of Newbury at quite a respectable rate of knots given how narrow it is. It all went pretty much to plan with no dramas, these things always look worse than they are, but the photos of the challenging bits are below (along with Newbury Wharf).

For those with an interest in my location I’ve now attached the Lat/Long on the top of the blog, if you cut and paste this into Google Maps (excluding the words 'Lat/Long') it will show a little red marker of where I am.

The view from downstream of the bridge

The view from Newbury Lock (this is where it all converges)

Newbury Wharf

Friday, 25 April 2014


Lat/Long N51.40149 W001.32583

Map reference  SU 46995 67161
Distance 5.4 miles
Total 330 Locks 8 Tunnels
Running total mileage 468.9 miles

Here in Newbury, listening to the rain beating down on the roof and watching the yellow boards going up again on the Thames, things aren’t going quite to plan! Still waiting for the replacement alternator which the Engineer tells me will arrive this morning and he will then come to fit. I checked with Debdale Wharf boatyard and they confirm that the faulty alternator is still under warranty but the confounding factor is that they will need it to be returned to them so that they can send it to the company who refurbished it so that they can bench test it. Since this would require us finding a marina berth whilst this is done (since we would otherwise have no power) we have decided that the best option will be to buy a new alternator here in Newbury then take the faulty alternator with us back up to Debdale so that they can then do whatever is necessary with it. Once it is back working again we will carry it as a spare. So just waiting for the engineer to do his stuff now. 

In fairness I can think of worse places to be broken down since, when it isn't raining, Newbury is quite a pleasant town.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014


Map reference  SU 38389 67146
Distance 3.3 miles
Total 323 Locks 8 Tunnels
Running total mileage 463.5 miles

A short day’s travel today from Hungerford to Kintbury, which was just as well really since we have now developed a problem with one of the Alternators on the engine. Fortunately it is the domestic alternator so it shouldn’t stop us travelling however it is particularly annoying since that was the alternator that we had refurbished at Debdale Wharf last August, I would have hoped it would last longer than that! Anyway the upshot is that we will have to put into a marine engineers in Newbury to try to get it fixed, either by getting the one we have replaced under warranty, or forking out for a new one. The minor problem is likely to slow our travel a bit but hope that the engineer can get it fixed reasonably quickly.

So tomorrow it is (hopefully) to Newbury where we may be spending a few days!!

Monday, 21 April 2014


Map reference  SU 33518 68744
Distance 6.4 miles
Total 319 Locks 8 Tunnels
Running total mileage 460.2 miles

A proper day’s travelling today covering nearly 6½ miles and 13 locks, all in pretty good weather; it doesn’t get any better than this. As hoped for we made it as far as Hungerford and found a good mooring above the lock when we got here. Weather has taken a turn for the worse however as I sit here listening to the rain coming down, hoping that it isn’t going to make any difference to the river levels.
Not sure how we are going to play it from here to Newbury, whether to break it down into a short day to Kintbury and then an average day from Kintbury to Newbury or to make a long day of a direct trip through from Hungerford to Newbury, we’ll have to see what the weather has in store for us tomorrow.

Had a Skype session to keep up with family matters, have to say that the internet in Hungerford is excellent.

Sunday, 20 April 2014


Map reference  SU 26331 62349
Distance 3.9 miles
Total 306 Locks 8 Tunnels
Running total mileage 453.8 miles

Made it to Crofton despite the rain, one tunnel en route and not much else of note. When we got here it looked as though the Crofton Beam engine was under steam but, because the weather was dire we just moored up and got out of the rain. Fortunately the forecast for tomorrow is better so we may try to get as far as Hungerford although that will include 6 miles and 14 locks so may be a bit of a big call. Trouble is we either travel a very short distance to Great Bedwyn or a long distance to Hungerford as there doesn’t seem to be much in between. Coming up we moored at Little Bedwyn but the pound was short, the lock leaked and we found ourselves aground in the morning, would rather avoid that if we can.

Crofton Pumping station chimney

Crofton engine house