Indigo Dreaming

The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

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Boat Blog: Aimless meanderings (5)

Posted by indigodream on 4 September, 2013

Rewind to Saturday 10th August

Sonning (donwstream of the bridge) to Thames and Kennet Marina

Moored at the Thames and Kennet Marina

Moored at the Thames and Kennet Marina

Uri Geller’s meadow moorings were wonderfully quiet and we would have had a peaceful night’s sleep if we hadn’t let bed monster Ollie sleep with us! We felt sorry for him because he seemed out of sorts and would otherwise have spent the night pacing and whining (which keeps me awake) – letting him on the bed meant that we were BOTH kept awake, which seemed much more fair 😀

Nonetheless, we awoke reasonably refreshed and had an unhurried morning of pottering around the boat and getting ready for our trip home later. We were at the far downstream end of the meadow moorings, so I stayed on board to see the boat through Sonning Lock before walking back for the car.

I was dreading another encounter with the truculent lockie that we had met on Thursday, but I was relieved to see that he wasn’t on duty. This firmed up my resolution to make a complaint about “Mr Nasty”, and went to ask the duty lockie what Mr Nasty’s proper name was. I was astonished and delighted to be told that I wouldn’t be seeing Mr Nasty again – he was gone! The duty lockie was very discreet but it seems that a catalogue of events has led to Mr Nasty’s demise. I was so pleased, a boater shouldn’t dread a lock passage because of an unpleasant lock-keeper.

Cafe culture - Henry and Archie at the boaters cafe in the Thames and Kennet Marina..

Cafe culture – Henry and Archie at the boaters bar in the Thames and Kennet Marina..

Once we’d risen up the lock, Richard took the boat onwards and I walked back to the car in good spirits. I was soon at the Thames and Kennet Marina, where I received the usual warm welcome – this marina is one of our favourites. I paid for 6 nights mooring (bargain), got details of our berth and went down to the service pontoon to await Indigo Dream’s arrival, which I thought was imminent. But there was no sign of the boat, and, with Richard’s phone having died, no way of checking where he was! The next minute I got a text from an unknown number – Richard had picked up a broken-down narrowboat drifting in the middle of the river and was giving her a tow to the King’s Meadow moorings. Serendipitously, the boat was  called “Calamity Jane”!  The boat’s owner had called River Canal Rescue but she was anchored in mid stream so unlikely that RCR would come to him mid-river, mind you that conjourns up visions of a rib with flashing lights leaping over the weirs….  Several boats had gone past and not said anything, she was anchored and stable but seemed best to offer them a tow to Tescos. It took a while for Richard to brest up to her right hand side as nutty rowers kept passing on that side !!! Grrhhhh !!! Full marks to Calamity Jane as they had not only successfully deployed their anchor but managed to get it up again before an easy cruise and pole position parking outside Tescos. We wish them luck with the rest of their journey.

Knowing there would be delay, I settled down for a cup of tea – there’s a plain but welcoming “boaters bar” near the marina office with tables/chairs outside and squashy sofas inside.

Eventually, Richard came along with the boat and we got to our berth. Immediately we started chatting to the locals; then we chatted some more as we loaded the car. We were almost away when we bumped into another greyhound, Sooty, who lives in the marina. Sooty’s owners immediately came out of their boat in excitement at seeing the three boys and yet more chatting ensued! The greyhounds got on famously, with Archie, Henry and Ollie vying for Sooty’s affection and for fusses from her owners. Sooty’s hu-dad wants to adopt a big black greyhound to be Sooty’s companion but her hu-mum wasn’t so sure; after meeting the boys they’re both now convinced that they need another hound – result! I took a photo of Sooty which I texted to her owners; I had to get in touch with them later as it turns out that Sooty is our Ty’s half-sister! Just as well we didn’t have Ty with us – he’d have had yet another offer of a new home (he’s a popular hound, despite being a total wuss jellyboy).

Sotty - Ty's half-sister - nothing scaredy or wussy about her though..

Sotty – Ty’s half-sister – nothing scaredy or wussy about her though..

The day was wearing on, so we decided to have a late lunch in the marina “Boaters Bar” – the food was plain pub grub but well done and tasty – the hounds attracted lots of attention and we could have sat there happily all afternoon. The subsequent queues that we encountered on the M25 made me wish that we had stayed – but Surrey and an extensive to-do list beckoned….

We’ll be back on board on the 15th for another week’s bimble before we have a substantial invasion of greyhounds – hurrah!


Calamity Jane safely moored

Calamity Jane safely moored


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