Sunday 23rd July 2017 Sunday Morning is the Most Finest Day on which nb:Black Bart & her Merrily Jolly Cru of three do commence a Real (Proper Like) (Old Father) River Thames Cruise. There hath been far two muchly of this Meanderings lark. Aye ! Aye !! Cap’n !!! Shiver Me Timbers !! Aaaarrrggh !!! Me H-aaarrrggh-ties !!! Aaaarrrggh !!! (quite ‘nough of All that Thankyou !! ). Nearly managed to sneak off be-fore tuther pirates hath crawled oat their slutherly beds. Darn-it !!! They noticed !! Hugs & kisses later, Bart is Cruising. Yeh !!!
We is being followed.
We can see you Cap’n Murk !! Aaaarrrggh !!!
One Big Moseley leap be shared. Cap’n Murk gives us the slip. That wot He thinks !! We make a sneaky manoeuvre. Let ‘im tink wot he likes. Fore noi. Pay-back comes later !! Shiver Me Timbers !! Me H-aaarrrggh-ties !!! Bart creeps oat from our tittle hidden bay of Moseley, to sea
Cap’n Murk steaming ahead, trying to find ware we has disappeared two, no doubt. And, we ‘av-knot even approached Ash Island, let alone passed Tags Island yet. Sorry Maties. Te !! He !!!
Soonest, there it were, Fred Karno’s Glorious centenary (+) houseboat ‘Astoria’ which be acquired & becoming a recording studio over thirty years ago, by a tittle known bladder fiddler, hurdy-gurdy-est & chabrett-est, a Monsieur D. Gilmour of the lesser known, classic Parisians, Floyd-de-Pink. Sum say, an acquired taste, but Very Good when you really see (hear) them, fore wot they really is. Highly Recommended. Fine ‘Boat’ too Maties !!! Back with our Cruise. Proper Like. Garrick’s Ait is kept to port, as be Platt’s Eyot. Grand Junction & Sunbury Court Islands Aaaarrrggh !! left aft, be-fore nb:Black Bart by-passes Sunbury’s lower lock gates, slows (even moor) & glides into a Fine nightly resting place that be Kings Lawn. Been ‘ear a couple of thymes now. Great berthing pool.
Monday 24th July Might ‘av only been a shortish swim yesterday. Today be even shorter. Just a whizz roand, back to & arisen floatation of t’Sunbury chamber followed by a chuggen plod along Walton Reach. Bart takes a starboard tack roand dark aft of Desborough Island, as yet, previously passings-de-multiplies unavailability, But’is thyme, surprisingly ‘free’ (& overnightly costly free too) at
Lady Lindsay’s lawn berthing ‘stream’. Really lovely position roand ‘ere mate. Loads’o’green green grass for doggy playings, pleasant walk through t’woods to Shepperton for a looksea
& a plentiful supply for the deliciousness of ‘starters’ Fungi soup. Yummmmyyyyyy !!!!
Tuesday 25th July This is wot one might term as a Really short crews. We’s leaving the lady’s berthings & creeping from the aft darkness, roand D’Oyly Carte Island (complete with the Magnificent Eyot House) & t’junction with t’River Wey. Lines secured safely, thyme to visit local provision facilities, to bring old quartermaster back int’calm equilibrium of happy-ness. We have a full schedule planned (oh yeh !!) (Really !!!) & need to fill the chillers & larders with muchly stock. A hungry cru be no good t’no Cap’n. Aaaarrrggh !!! They !! No they is knot ! Cheers Skip.
Wednesday 26th July Well it be write ‘ere the Real Crews duth commence. The proper hard work starts. nb:Black Bart is readied for the Many Many (& Many moor) Furlongs that ripple & flow ahead. We is be swimming upstream, ‘fighting’ (likely) sum fear-sum current. And mayhaps a few foes too. Aaaarrrggh !!! YOU Ready Cru ?? Aye ! Aye !! Cap’n !!! WE Aaaarrrggh !!! !!! Off We Go then. Lister hath been (relatively) quietly ‘warming-up’. Old Prop & ‘is chums waiting for Real Propulsion. Lines free, neatly stowed & ‘Engage’. Craft & cru leave port via Shepperton water lift, heading North-West via the wide, wavey, wriggerly River Thames. Skip keeps Pharaoh’s Island to port, swishing passed Chertsey Meads & upward through namesake upward motions with the help of our favourite lock keeper. Aft chitty chats we is on our moor curvaceous wey, onwards & upwards. Recent ‘haunts’ be briefly revisited as Bart chuggens bye. Many small & knot quite so tittle islands/eyot/aits Aaaarrrggh !! negotiated calmly & safely. Extra care being required by-passing the larger isle-de-hind leg o’swine. Bart & cru waive to Her Majesty & Co as Cap’n deals with the multiple varied craft sloshing aboat roand ‘ere. Ridiculous !! Windsor Isle watches our ascent of Boveney to Dorney’s olympic rowing lake where moor rest is now desired bye cru. Knot going to ‘appen maties !! No room in the berthing lake. Onwards we must chuggen go. Moor furlongs & ascended ripples is aft of Cap’ns motley bunch bye the thyme Cliveden Reach provides (just aboat) a ‘gap’ fore Black Bart to creep into.
Shallow waters dark from the swathe of trees above. Safe from those prying eyes. Hope we Aaaarrrggh !!! The woods is lush & green aplenty, smothering the slopes rising above Old Father Thames. Cosy. Lovely hidey ‘hole’. Fore quite a large nb. Long old swim that were. Latest arrival (almost) ever. Very tie-red. And quite Damp. Thyme to drip dry. And (when, if dry) thyme for sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………
Thursday 27th July Yesterday were a blooming long swim. A smite shame to leave this shadowy berthing pool behind, but tis the wey of the world. Bart World. The cru of many (toes) be slumberly this morn. Cap’n (almost) caring, ‘permits’ a snoozingly sedate calmness to the early daylight ‘ers. Knot going to put up with that two long though. 1st mate manages to drag ones chums from their slugness & with all the necessaries sorted, thyme to consider sum fore-ward paddlings. Wonder where we might end-up tonight. Only one wey to find oat. Get there !! Cookham sloppy lift swishes Bart up & along Cookham Reach, dodging sailing craft & steadily on/up-to
Marlow & Bisham Abbey. On & on. Swish wey & that. Up & up agin. Long Wide Henley Reach (mostly devoid of all the regatta paraphernalia) is mildly splattered with the occasional manually propelled slenderly floating vessel. Hazards being greatly reduced compared to previous visitation. Of weeks(+) ago. Cap’n Murk’s pirate ship be moored int’ harbour. Don’t tink we was spied as Bart crept bye. Might ‘av to ambush ’em later. watch-oat !! Upstream of Henley bridge is suddenly moor interesting with narrows, wides, cruisers, dragons & rowing craft appearing from almost know-wear. Bart carefully, considerately avoids all the moving hazards & then leaps the Marsh, passes the Ferry & just aboat manages to slide int’tight landing opposite Poplar Eyot. Lower Shiplake just o’er t’horizon. Hennerton Backwater defines the large island tuther side of the Thames from Lower Shiplake, on which we is currently ‘hanging’. Even moor drip (& air) drying now required. And a tittle recovery two. or three.
Friday 28th July Fore tis noi an’udder long swash bucker-ling crews ahead of nb:Black Bart & the many toed cru. Got know eye-dear of who, when wear, wot. Only thyme will tell us. If we behave. Fore wonce. We leave Hennerton to aft via Wargrave & then be swished up Shiplake to where many moor tittle
islands & aits wave us through, on our whey to Sonning & Caversham. nb:Black Bart is (almost) steaming through our current wide watery scape passing through Berkshire & into Oxfordshire & up, bye Mapledurham House. We is enjoying the final wide tree lined ‘run’ to one of our Favs Pangbourne Meadow. We likes if there. If only we could actually moor. Busy. only a couple of small ‘holes’ left. Onwards & upwards craft & cru must swim. Being a pleasant sort o’f(el)low, Whitchurch lock raises our Bart level with Hartslock Wood & it’s opposite ‘number’ Beale Park where we
glide int’a cosy spot following our third (in as many) long day’s crews. All those tittle legs & tings Aaaarrrggh !!! becoming a smidgely worn oat. Don’t know high long cru can maintain this heightened level of concentration & skill.
Saturday 29th July So, it may be the weekend for some of you bloggets oat there, but Cap’n Black Bart is knot the strongest believer in such tings. The most we could ‘av expected were a tittle ly-in. Just aboat managed to get away with a teany one. Problem being the shipping forecast is threatening even moor higher winds & thrashing rain tis aft’noon, so need to free those lines & propulse upstream in a Northerly sort o’direction. Gatehampton Railway bridge tutors us on our whey, up’thru Goring & Cleeve be-fore Moulsford Railway Bridge instructs our progression through the oar infested waters ahead.
Traversing via Wallingford (where the milk is kept cool & fresh) & up Benson to the planned Shillingford overnight stop. Knot ‘appening. Cannee ‘land’ so we is extending our Saturday crews furlong-er. The river which guides Bart & cru (of many many toes) roand t’hamlet of Dorchester (Yes ! We is in Dorset. You Foo-ells !!!) sneakily changes as the River Thame charges in, running swiftly from that local shire. Waters Aaaarrrggh !!! a’meeting. We manage to avoid Diz-Aster from the wild torrent swashing in from the Shire in the North, continuing safely into the fresh calmer flows of The Isis (Arking aft to old’en tymes, when named Tamesis, t’waters flowed all the whey to ‘ear from sum-wear in those luscious green Cotswold ‘ills). Two moor lifty-ups drift craft (& all who sail in her) through Clifton Cut before Appleford Railway Bridge coaches us safely through to yet an’udder chamber. Now we is swimming Culham Cut which leads Bart into wide waters agin, flowing smoothly into Abingdon. ‘Aving failed to locate any sensible berthing locations since extensions were (almost) forced upon us, the most favourite pool of ’em all saves us of our (within reason) sanity. Andersey Island is a muchly inviting watery world to all passing boats, of shapes & sizes. And there be ample berthing options available from which to choose. Cannee believe our Luck. Aaaarrrggh !!! Me H-aaaarrrggh-ties !!! !!! Cap’n sees the cru is a tittle weiry aft all those ‘ers. That were an awfully Bloomingly Long Crews of a Day. Nigh finished us off Cap’n. Moor than just plain Weiry We !!! Aaaarrrggh !!! !!!
Sunday 30th July Sunday must be a day of rest Cap’n Please !! Please Cap’n !!! We is been steaming the furlongs bye last long days. Knot sure tis be allowed though my (relatively) loyal cru. Good News !!! We is staying write ‘ear. Yeh !!! Tis a real relax & slobby sort of thyme. 1st mate being the most experienced in relaxation techniques takes the lead.
Monday 31st July May we be in the early stages of recovery from all that excessive swimmingly crewsing fur-long-thymes, in ‘ers. We shall remain in this almost astonishingly, amazing place that be Abingdon. ‘specially fore boaters like that we all be. Pirates two. Three. Four, actually. Two be moor exactly likely.
1st mate is off to check out sum of t’local historicals
& to wave at our Glorious Queen Victoria, as were. Gone, but knot forgotten.
Andersey Island is be definitely a
Fine land to which we Moor.
Created bye the true, original course of
The Isis, that being Switch Ditch.
Now, unfortunately forgotten bye many.
Cap’n Black Bart Darth Knot Forgotten !!
NO !! Aaaarrrggh !!!
Me H-aaaarrrggh-ties !!!
Tuesday 1st August August ! YES !! We ‘av made. 1st mate & Black Bart be flow-ting (nigh-on) statically bye Andersey Island. Skip & Skippet is off to the main land. Journeying in a Big Red Bus. Wot FUN !!! All the whey to t’delightful spires of Oxford. Sorry !! Knot stopping. On We Go. Of t’ l’ospitale de John Radcliffe. Do-knot worry our tittle bloggets. tis OK. Just doing our blooding ting. ‘Appens when you need to bleed on occasion. Under controlled conditions of course. Tony Hancock could tell you all aboat it. If only he were still with us to help explain this matter. Ah !! Railway cuttings. Numero twenty three it certainly were. After a fair degree of donation, senior members of cru Aaaarrrggh !!! enjoying an’udder splendid bus ride all the wey to Abingdon. Back Home to our Lovely nb:Black Bart. Yes !! In-deed !!!
Wednesday 2nd August Well it be grey & blooming windy oat there Cap’n Black !! aye !! that it do. Aaaarrrggh !!! Almost been growing green slimy under foot. Crews we shall. To wheres we no knot. Lister chuggen. old Prop & olde’ g’box at the ready. Lines slipped. Mooring stakes oat & ENGAGE….. We glide to a sharing of Abingdon Lock be-fore the long wide greenery lined pound opens up in front of us, steadily surrounding our craft as we chuggenly waft along.
The Isis (Tamesis) wonders along as we duth with it wander too. The farmer & ‘is farmer wife is working them there fields hard. Tuff work is true-ly be, on the land. Proper like. Nuneham Railway Bridge prepares us motley lot fore the Biggy. Sandford Lock. One of the monsters in these ‘ere flows. Quite a pleasant beast it ‘as to be told. None of this white water stuff from the upper gate sluices (or those strong side floods which force one’s craft away from the lock wall) No !! The sluices open gently & water ‘bubbles’ up from the bottom (No !! Sorry !!! Knot ‘aving any of that silly giggerly stuff. Tis no’ a naughty word) of the chamber & the arising craft hardly move, let alone ‘break sweat’ as like with some chambers attempting to stress their occupants. Nuff said aboat that !! Kennington Railway Bridge (a train of cars is wot the locals say) edifies our helmsperson, ready fore the final thrusts of propulsion up Iffley & ont’waters meeting, where the River Cherwell swishes it’s swash bucklerlings into our current companion’s watery girth. Boathouses Walk waves to us as the rowing clubs sleepily sneak a peek to the passing nb:Black Bart. Aaaarrrggh !!! Aaaarrrggh !!! In Deed Cap’n Black Bart. The Marvellous Isle-de-Folly splits The Isis write bye the Head of the River. Just Bamboozles Skip even thyme that one. The write wriggerlies interrupt skip’s relaxed approach of recent long wet sweepy curves & quite long liquid straights. The Un-Named Railway Bridge trains our attention on wot will hopefully be our last arising of the day’s traversing. Osney Lock is expertly controlled bye Skippet & we is on the hunt for a Bart sized watery plot. Aft some (we’ll call it) ‘cajoling’, statics Aaaarrrggh !!! (we is Pirates. Aaaarrrggh !!! !!! ) positionally tweaked & our splendid craft drifts int’position & cru secure those lines. Job Done. Well Done Cru. Time fore meety, chitty chatties & fruity broan sauce with our wonderful (if slightly crazy) (just like us then) local Leapy friend. No explanation required there, Eh !! Bloggetts.
Thursday 3rd August The obligatory day of statically restingly is be arrived. Might sea ya tamorra………
Friday 4th August Fore this day we shall go fore a swim, upstream. Yes !! upstream, through the clear flowing waters of The Isis….. Tis Bloomingly windy oat ‘ere Cap’n. Aye ! It be that !! All the usuals sorted & readying fore (an’udder of those sort’o’relative kind’a’terms) action. nb:Black Bart departs the Port-de-East-St-Oxford, gliding serenely under the short butt widely curvaceous Osney Bridge & passed dirty olde’ Sheepwash Channel, be-fore swimming the narrow bushy tree encroached watery path to
Port Meadow where (in addition to many a wonderful creature) we noi ‘av a proper wide river feeding craft & crew (And Cap’n two) (Aaaarrrggh !!!) Godstow Lock where we is greeted bye a (FLLK) Friendly lady Lock Keeper. We ‘as a chitty chatties whilst floating aroand fore a (wey be-aft) following boaty. Craft share the lock arising & onwards, tack to starboard, tack to port, tack to starboard (& so-on) to negotiate the (map says) ‘Sharp Bends’ (that we can agree) twisting us two-&-thru King’s Lock. Our companion tacks East along Dukes Cut as Bart holds True Aaaarrrggh !!! Me H-aaaarrrggh-ties !!! !!! swimming onwards, with only a couple moor o’those tighty-twisties, spinning our vessel bye the River Evenlode & Cassington Cut to an inviting spot alongside t’waterway. Nearly missing it Skip. Bart reverses. Takes a while, fighting the wind, but we manage to pullover (tis a tittle cold with that strong wind) & secure those lines. As one(s) Must. Cannee be floating away overnight maties !
We ‘av ourselves our own private peacefulland of green. Gorgeous !!!
Saturday 5th August Short tittle glide through the ripples we will likely ‘av. Keeping Wytham Great Wood to port Bart safely pilots to
Eynsham Lock, aft which we is landing. But still floating. Just wanted to clarify that slightly confusion sort of statement. didn’t quite make it in thyme. A delugely plunging from above swamps crew (dunno where that suddenly came from) (idiot !! ) as we is trying to create a floaty sort’o’staticness. Following sum thymely drip drying our crew of many toes is deciding air drying duth also be required. Over the delightful Swinford Toll Bridge (pretending we is in a tittle car, so the bridge-keeper can take the regulation 5p off Skip) & off to town we go. Wot an Absolutely Splendid plaice Eynsham is. Delightful stone constructions & dwellings. Fine array of scattered establishments offer various skills & wonderments. 1st mates makes a write fuss so we take her to the vets (Yes !! they even have a veterinary personage ‘ear) so she can partake of the wormy medications. She really enjoyed that !! It be a fair old wee while later, Bart relocates from the shadowy berthing pool adjacent (Oh !! Skip likes that word) (adjacent) (Yes !!) to the bridge, passing under the
Magnificent Georgian limestone structure to find an open meadow surrounding the next (perfect this one) berthing pool. Moor energy four them solar panels. They just Love-it.
Sunday 6th August Knot ‘ad ’em fore a while. Eggs Maties. That’s wot. Lovely jubberley !! Softy squichy & toasty soldiers all lined up ready. Yum ! Yummy !! in our hungry Tums !!!
Bart has informed crew we is staying ‘ear for the day. Yeh !!! BUT. Tis a Boat-worky day. Oh !!! Alright, we’ll come back now. On with it then. Suppose it ‘as to ‘appen sum thymes…..
Monday 7th August May be thyme fore a real proper swim. Leaving the fine meadow to aft, Pinkhill chamber flows us (almost) level with Farmoor Reservoir.
Fabulous farmyard creatures enjoy legs a’stretching, swing-ball & relaxations in the long grass. The wiggerly squiggerlies stretch oat two a moor gentile flow, bye-passing Bablock, up the Northmoor aquelevator
& many moor furlongs to Newbridge’s Wonderful 13th century Taynton stone bridge. Soonest aft, the River Windrush ripples in from starboard, making a joyous connection with the Isis. Riverside meadows, trees, plants, ‘farmyard’ critters, wildlife & far too many udder tings to mention gently pass on bye as we steadily approach Shifford aquahoist. Hoped fore staticness near Chimney Meadows prove fruitless so we is onwardly swimming, under Tenfoot Bridge which leadeth nb:Black Bart and her motley crew of eight legs (or is they moor ?? ) (knot sure !! ) into a write old wiggerley sqiggerley swirley swishingly flow. Fortunately, duth knot last two long a furlong. We is Saved !! Yeh !!! Tadpole bridge comes too our rescue. Thankee !!! Aaaarrrggh !!! !!!
Bart manages to slide into position just downstream of the single arched stone road flying across the river. The Trout (kept by A. Herring) manages to provide much needed sustenance fore sum of the crew. Knot sure wot 1st mate is up to. Poor poochy !!
Tuesday 8th August This is a continuance of crewsing The Isis. The Upper Thames. Tis knot an awfully long whey to Rushey aquaraise where we is (almost) bumping int’ Cap’n Huffler & his wiley cru. Aft chitty chatty fruity broan sauce we is hollering our goodbyes.
Cap’n Huffler & cru onwards & downwards. Cap’n Bart Onwards & upwards. Old Rushey be swooshing Cap’n Bart Aaaarrrggh !!! Me H-aaaarrrggh-ties !!! !!! & Cru Aye ! Aye !! Cap’n !!! into a ridiculously wiggerley sqiggerley swirley swishingly dizzyfyingly disorientatingly (the map ‘says’) (Oh !! How writingly accurately it blooming well is !!!) ‘sharpingly bendingly’ furlongs of upstream river we is trying to chuggen well crews. An’udder wooden (Old Man’s) foot bridge gives us a tittle relief, guiding we four to the very uplifting Radcot aqua’aloft. A pleasant relax from recent chuggens. A moor gentile flow is enjoyed to Radcot dwellings where the quite tight single
stone arch of Pidnell Bridge is ideally positioned writingly bye a quite cosy flow (but ‘port’ly) bend. Tis quite soon we bees tacking to starboard agin where the moor splendid Radcot Bridge is seen to aft. ‘Oversails’ a moor ‘minor’ channel of the river where many a cruiser duth now preside. nb:Black Bart cannee traverse that tittle section of ripples. Oh ! Well !! We duth continuing our Westerly swimalong through moor casual curvaceousnesses, blipped with the occasional tightly twisty. ‘Specially fore a tittle craft like our Bart. Te !! He !!! Grafton aqupwardly heaves Bart to the 16th century limestone Kelmscott Manor, via a brief splattering of squigglies, closely following bye Eaton Footbridge be booked ended bye moor relaxed watery furlongs. Muchly tightly wriggerlies suddenly interrupt the westerly smoothly book end, on the final propulsions bye the eighteenth century Buscot Park And into the aquahigher de-Buscot. Aft Bart’s arisings, the bendy bits squiggle agin, taking us through (the frilly edged) ‘Bloomers Hole’ & the quiet swishings of the rivers Cole & Leach be-fore yet an’udder chamber arising. St. John’s Lock aquilifts nb:Black Bart the final watery step to the navigable ‘summit’ of The Isis. A pleasant meadow lined liquid traverse is the nigh ending of our Wonderful West-fordly chuggens. Stakes & club hammer oat & actioned. Lines secured. We is moored. Lubberly Jubberly !!! Welcome to Lechlade cru. Tink we all need to commence the olde’ drip drying method noi.
The locals pop roand to say Mooooooo !!!!!! And t’av a drink !!
Luckily, 1st mate ain’t too bovered. Knot Bovered Mate !!! Noi Mooooo-ve On !!!
Aft a drying off period cru is off fore a walk int’locality. Leaving poor old Bart on one’s own-sum. Lovely position.
Won’t bee Long. Hopefully.
Sensibly make use of (the Fabulous 1792 Cotswold Stone) Halfpenny Bridge (the original pedestrian toll) to negotiate wide water
& investigate the delights that Lechlade hath to offer all who visit. Could be described as a tittle ty-red. But Mostly Marvellous !! To end the tour. The Gem. The Christmas Shop. Yes !! You read write.
The Christmas Shop. Been hear fore years & years. Fabulous !! & Yes We Did !!! Mayhaps you should Too !!!
Wednesday 9th August Wet ! Wet !! Wet !!! Even moor soggy than yesterday. Glad we is hunkering doin & ‘staying in’. It finally clears late aft’noon so cru Aaaarrrggh !!! duped. We is off to walk the last few steps of The Isis/Thames (to save Bart’s ‘legs’). In July 2014, shortly aft we (the original crew of then, only two) joined Cap’n Black Bart Full Time, craft & cru swam through/under Halfpenny Bridge, to Inglesham where the last/most easterly of the five Thames & Severn Canal’s Round Houses be proudly standing. That be the most furtherest a Bart like boat can traverse the river, upstream. The Thames & Severn Canal you may ask ?? Yes. ‘Opened’ in 1879, part of an inland waterway link between Bristol & London connecting the River Severn & the River Thames/Isis. Unfortunately, the T&S Canal has long ‘gone’. Though. Fortunately, since 1972 the Cotswold Canals Trust has been working to restore both the T&S canal and the Stroudwater Navigation. Mayhaps, Hopefully, one day, boats will agin be able to navigate this Wonderful Waterway. Be Fantastic if nb:Black Bart & cru can experience these particular watery paths, one day in the future. Going back (or was it fore-ward ??) (knot sure) to July 2014, twas/twere when Skip be attempted to ‘spin’ Bart roand, where the River Coln water is meeting Thames/Isis waters, in front of the Round House (near to where the T&S Canal be hiding). Did Knot ‘appen. The suppose-ed ‘winding’ hole in which a 70′ boat can be turned duth Knot seem to be anywhere aroand ‘ere maties. A then fairly ‘interesting’ period of reversing quite sum distance, through several (fortunately gentle) bends, in windy conditions ensues, to where, finally Bart could be ‘spun’, in the shadow of Halfpenny Bridge. Memories. Wot FUN !! Fore-ward (or is this one Back) (Stop trying to confuse me) to August 2017. That be why we is walking this thyme. Only to be rained on, so we hide under some trees to attempt avoiding the most soggiestness. We is able to come oat from ‘hiding’ a tittle while later & continue our most pleasantries for wandering walks.
Thursday 10th August This be a Fine Blue Sunny skyly commencement to our day. Combined drip & air drying techniques can now be used to their most effectivenesses.
The field of those mooooey critters & their fine arrayed display of cowpats is most splendid, but we feel traversing of this curly wurly waterway must be approached in a downstream sort’o’whey.
Cap’n Bart reckons we can rotate our long boat through a 180° write hear. Right Noi.
Is the wide water ‘ere of sufficient width & depth ? Only won whey to find oat !! Everyone’s ready. Lister is chuggen. Lines released. Mooring Stakes extracted, cleaned & Weir Off. Constant low revs. Tillerings combined with fore/neutral/aft/neutral/fore etc.. etc…. & sum thyme later our vessel is ‘pointing’ tuther whey, withoat any unfortunate incidents.
skippet & 1st mate is off stretching those legs. Quite a few furlongs later. We finally meet agin at St. John’s Lock
where there be the borrowers waterside dwellings. These provide a fine view over the local vista, fore said tittle peoples. Downwardly we flow & oat, swimming those ziggy-zaggy ripples to Buscot’s fine liquid descender. Yet many moor tortuous-snaky-ness bee-fore waters calm to a gentler kind of drifty-ness. Tis many days later that we is finally spying Grafton Lock on the horizon. Only to be delayed yet further, bye many a delicious looking ripe, swollen blackberry. An opportunity Knot to be Missed !! No wey !!! Cap’n Black Bart finally manages to take control of the situation. Discipline !! That’s wot this lot need. Discipline !!! Aaaarrrggh !!! Shiver Me Timbers !! Aaaarrrggh !!! !!! Aye ! Aye !! Cap’n Black Bart !!! With control regained craft & cru is soonest downwardly mobile & swishing through the wibberly wobberlies of wetly furlongs
circulating to Radcot, where a lovely dutch barge is staticness personified
& a finely mooring is located for nb:Black Bart. On a lovely big waterside meadow.
Told you’ll bloggets it were BIG !!! Can just aboat see our Bart, miles away in the distance. Teach sum’o’ya to be moor believing like ! Eh !!
Good Night. Rest Easy Bloggets……..
We shall hopefully do the same………….
Friday 11th August Fore this day we shall ‘av a slobby lay-in. Why Knot !! Why Knot indeed. An’udder gorgeous start to the day. We leave the meadow behind & be soonly swishing down Radcot to the next level of our currently watery world. Old Man’s Bridge sends us write into the dizzy-fyingly ziggle zaggles which give us know rest at all. All the whey to Rushey. Blooming mad-y-fying. Heads is just a spinning. Be even moor careful with this loweringly aqua-lift (‘lift’ in the negatively mathematical term of course). Fortunately fore us, the waters down ‘ear Aaaarrrggh !!! a less headly spinning, gentile flowingly route, t’Tadpole Bridge. But, Now is becoming increasingly curvaceousness agin, with a few moor sharply bendies as we be swimming bye Chimney Meadows. T’last stretch enroute to Shifford’s aquelevator is a relaxation of horizontal liquid flow.
Suddenly that flow is directly downwardly vertical, fore just a few feet (a fair few moor toes). The monster that be 325 feet high Harrowdown Hill is keeping a beady eye or too as nb:Black Bart & cru is a’weaving our whey to & bye Newbridge,
(nice horns mate) (Moooo !!!) and all the ripples too Northmoor aqua-down-lift. We is hoping that mite bee the last ‘drop’ of the dais crews. We is pleasantly surprised to find the lovely mooring alongside the beautifully mown field at Bablock Hythe, spied only a few weeks ago, whilst swimming upstream, fighting aginst that downly flow of current. A perfeck end to a Fabulous voyage. Cheers Cru !!! Later in t’aft’noon nb:
Saturday 12th August Sit still know longer cu of (2×2 legs) + (1×4 legs). We is be crewing downstream on this fine warm (yet windy) (& increasingly cloudy) English summer day. Lister chuggen (all the usuals done) Bart be a’floating in a generally Northerly (A-Ma-Zing !!) direction. A most pleasantly gentile, increasingly wider watery whey ripples vessel & cru via Farmoor Reservoir (& a couple of sudden sharpies to wake us up a tittle) to the delightful Pinkhill aquedescention. Tis knot a long period of loweringly-ness & soonish, Bart is making ripples of one’s own agin, as we is swimming the moor generously width-ed wobberlies enroute to Eynsham.
Suddenly, there on the horizon Cap’n Black Bart spies (we tinks) old Cap’n Murk’s vessel. We creep slowly but steadily on to make sure. Yes !! It duth indeed be. Bart quietly creepily turnly roand & hideth behind the bendy bit of the river, just upstream. Oh !! We ‘av been spotted. Knot all that bad maties. We is buddies really. Just a’playing at pirates. We three be invited roand later fore tea & on-boardly baked cakes. And buoy. It were Mighty Fine Cake two. Tea ain’t bad eiver. Lovely !!
Sunday 13th August Sunny summer Day of relaxation, reading
& Red Kite (attempting to take pictures) (proving quite difficult) watching. The Wonderfully Amazing Accipitridae bird of prey.
Monday 14th August Mayhaps be quite early fore us ‘ear cru & our floating vehicular, butt down we must go, horizontally through the central arch of the Magnificent Eynsham Bridge & vertically through the aquadown float machine. Pass the wood, meet watery adjoinings to our liquid path, enjoy surrounding fields of crops & Sunday lunches
be-fore waves of dizziness flood through our heads. Once on a moor even keel, Bart progresses all the whey to a very wet lowering of King’s soggy box before a very rare onslaught of tightly squiggles. Thank Goodness we made it through them safely & impact free.
That’s quite ‘nough of That !!!!
Unpleasantly Grating Words ! !! !!!
The awkward askew bridge is knot soo difficult approaching downstream as it seems on the upstream ‘leg’. Godstow watery wonder drops Bart as carefully as is possible to Port Meadow & the final ‘run’ South (Yes !! We ‘av turned somewhere) (must of) to the Delightfuls of Oxford.
or is it an ‘Hat ??
Sorry aboat your foot.
Looks a tittle sore.
Hope it duth gets better soon !!
Big Fella !! Got a write old Fluff-on !!! Spied ‘im during our ‘ascent’ of Port Meadow many many days ago. Unless that were ‘is sister. Twins one tinks.
That’s ‘is uver bruv. or Sis. Knot sure. Black bird of the family.
& there it be. The aqualevel crossing for baby otters & (no surprise) water voles. No-ting waiting to swim across so onwards we is floating. Safely bye the channel of the soap-sudsly-foamly washing sheep, under Osney Bridge & We Is In Luck. Yeh !! nb:Black Bart is securely re-attached to land (via the lines) (you bloggetly fools) for the fore-th-coming ‘ers. Knot sure how long yet. Only Thyme Will Tell.
Tuesday 15th August The guests Aaaarrrggh !!! enroute. Need to re-stock & mentally prepare all the crew fore the trying thymes ahead. Cap’n Bart requires all to maintain the highest of standards when these sort of tings is occurring. The Very Naughty & Trouble-sum crew of the good ship Hail-Dell-Sham do certainly arrive.
Muchly chitty chatties & the old Favourite ‘Fruity Broan Sauce is partaken of. Most Scrumptious !!! A strange, passing lady requests our swollen (but slightly reduced) cru of four (1st mate ain’t interesting in this silly idea) tryout her newly created fashion accessories. Very Nice !!! We all agree. Even Roxy (she of 1st mate title) is now, finally quite impressed. Thankyou !! Off you now go Deary !!! And We go a’Punting in the moonlight of the eve. Most Deliciously Enjoyable that were too !!!
Wednesday 16th August Well. Sorry Folks. We is staying floating in a statically sort of whey. Fore a’nudder day. Far too dangerous to go fore a swim. Poor old Bart may knot get back in & then we will alls be write stuck in the sticky stuff. Knot wot wees mean. Yeh ! Messy !!! A most splendid of (all singing & dancing) cooked breakfast sets the day off on a most marvellous direction to where some of you mayhaps will never know. Wye Knot you is asking ?? ’cause we ain’t telling. There you go. Sum ‘ers later & (it’s knot all aboat food) we enjoy a finely late lunchly of m/rare steak. Masterfully created ‘ear at the home stead. Yes ! On Bart. Our vessel of floatation. Where we is liven. Silly Bloggets !!! Very Sadly ciaos & arrivedercis & baci. Even Abbracci. Heareth endith your Italian lesson fore the month. Grazie Molto !!!
Thursday 17th August The thyme hath arrived when Cap’n Black Bart & his Motley Cru need. Sorry, Must unstaticfy their craft & make an almost hazardous descent of the Osney white rapids. So dangerous they be nigh on vertical. In fact, our spirit level duth confirm our worst fears !! It is Vertical !!! Helllpppppp !!!!! OK. It’s alright. We is Fine. Made it doin. Horizontally we shall traverse passed isle-de-Head-of-the-River & flow most majestically through the widely wet world of ‘the Isis canoeist’ to old tittle Iffley-down. Almost cannee believe it. The vast impressive Sandfordly hollow is knot as many furlongs through the wilderness as Skip thought. Doesnee take too long to negotiate l’aquamonster & nb:Black Bart is crewsing a gloriously green lined expansiveness of Isis. All the whey to Abingdon where Bart is hoiked down bye quite a few toes & now we ‘av to find sumwear to ‘land’. Very busy ‘ear. Manage to ‘nick’ the last space, on the run to/from the aquahoistly chamber. Just downstream from us ‘ere, Abingdon Port is packed oat. Muchly rafting & breasting there. Don’t Ask !!! Far two rude to explain that one in black & white as they say.
Ok ‘ear though. Bart in clear open water. No breast or raft available. Off you Pop !!
Friday 18th August Free day for slobbing. Knot slobbering. Cru is requested to practice their relaxation techniques. Have been sumwot lacking in those skills in recent thymes. You mayhaps tink different like, but is likely wrong with a capital R.
Saturday 19th August Shall we stay or shall we go now ??? Knot completely shore. Tis on a long list of our favourites, this ‘ear place. The weather ain’t bad. Bit windy. Clouds is swirling aroand up there. Mr/Mrs Sun is playing with their ‘hats a bit too. OK.
Weiry we might be, but Skip & 1st mate go off to find a big field & then even moor countryside to amble through. Now the poor (four leg-ed) girl needs a rest, Skip & Skippet is off to check a few tings oat in the local. Many rotations of the sun later, with sum fine acquisitions in hand Cap’n Bart & his tittle (four leg-ed) friend is Extremely ‘Appy to sea our return to our Barty spot near the Weir. That’s clever. Rhymes that does.
Sunday 20th August Sunny blue sky. Early for a Sunday but we is up & ready like tittle spritely cheeky chappies/lassies. Dunno why ! Cap’n Black Bart commands his cru. Downstream Maties Aaaarrrggh !!! Aye ! Aye !! Cap’n !!! Ahoy There Maties !! Aaaarrrggh !!! Sumthymes, we ‘av no eye-dear wot our Great Pirate Cap’n is going on aboat. anyway. Quite a pleasant bloke when you get to know ‘im. Most of the thyme. Knot with everybody, mind !! Craft & cru swim past the hoards of vessels floating int’port & through the arch of Abingdon Bridge slowly leaving the powers of the White Horse to their busy-nesses. The Isis opens up to moor ample proportions for a wee while of Barty propulsions. Only as be passing Jubilee Junction (where the Wilts & Berks Canal will hopefully one day ripple it’s watery path all the whey to Semington Junction at Melksham, where this Wonderful old water met with the K&A, East of Bath) & tacking to port does the river narrow. Considerably. This be Culham Cut. Manmade flow to Culham chamber of descention which downwardly leadeth us all to a moor natural flow of improved river width, swimmingly to now narrow Clifton Cut & it’s loweringly chum of (fortunately controlled, slowly) falling water. Only then is we back on a fully proper like river of fair wateriness,
swishing nb:Black Bart through Clifton Hampden Bridge & bye St. Michael and All Angels Church. Now our floating vehicular (Le Bart) tours a very agreeable broad, expansive sweeping curve of the River Thames/Isis, Leading us towards the ‘istoric market town in Dorset. Dorchester. A small number of you bloggets oat there may well be aware of this delightful habitation. On the approach to the next chamber-de-aqua Skippet observes possible berthing pools. Yes Pools. Plural.
We snuck int’ Bart size (almost) pool with grass covered jetty. Ideal. Tis only aft Bart is safely ‘anchored’ that Cap’n Bart notices wiley Cap’n old Murk & his pirately lot be skulking in the shadows of a darkly pool, knot that far, beyonder. Will ‘av to keep an eye (or mayhaps even two) on them marauding buccaneers. Rogues, picaroons & Scoundrels. The lot of’em.
Monday 21st August Many of you Bloggets oat their may knot realise or even know this. Well you do now. We is on Bart World. And Yes. We is going on a Bear Hunt. Oh !! Sorry !!! Got carried away there. We is all going on a crews. Swimmingly downstream. Quite literally, actually. Via (Mon)Day’s Lock chamber of Doom !!! SCARY !!! Actually. All were OK. Just tought we’d ‘say’ that. Might wake you lot of bloggets up. Just a tittle. Tis quite soonest aft the River Thame flows int’ our path. We is waving a watery eyed goodbye to ‘The Isis’. From ear’ the River Thames is flowing all on her/his lonesome, all the whey to the sea. To infinity & beyond….. nb:Black Bart is blissfully unawares of all that dramatic stuff. Just toodling along in a chuggen kinda style. & Wot Style !!! The Shillingford Wiggles is no match for those upper ‘dizzifying’ reaches recently traversed. Ha !! We all laugh in the wake of such ‘slight’ obstacles. Ha !!! We is ducking down old Benson to avoid those Big RAF Beasts in the sky above. Yeh. Above (Surprised at that eh !!). We quack under the tight arch-de-Wallingford & chill through Winterbrook’s span.
A Gaggle of Freeman’s is ‘nough to put any helmspersonage on edge. Hold Her Steady Skipper !!! Aye ! Aye !! Cap’n Bart !!! Old Moulsford instructs (mayhaps prepares) Bart & cru to/fore the sweeping flows of Cleeve & Goring’s negatively elevations. Gatehampton coaches (possibly trains) our chuggen Lister & old prop’s momentum fastly bye Beale Park’s river islands. These being the start of the island/ait/eyot ‘flood’ that now be adding to our voyages difficulties of negotiations. Might be pushing our luck, ‘so to speak’ (where on earth duth that ‘saying’ come from ??) but we swim passed the berthing pools availabilities & two Whitchurch we we do glummer to an’udder level. I Pangbourne Meadow duth look busy. Berthing pools Aaaarrrggh !!! knot plentiful. Even fore smaller craft. Bart is knot particular midget like. One ‘gap’ is be remaining. Land Ahoy !!! Might struggle ‘ear Cap’n. Go fore it we shall. Bart spins to upstream orientations. Better suited to particular situations. Gently does it…. The bow is in. The stern is knot. That’s OK. The (gardening equipment) secateurs is bought into action. A few carefully gentle klippings later & aft is now only a few feet off the bank. There she will float the night away. The local tree trunk becomes the saviour fore a darknesses rest.
Tuesday 22nd August This foliage in right in the whey. Careful extraction methodology required on this departure day. Once we is oat, Bart spins & makes East through the choppy waters of Mapledurham. We Aaaarrrggh !!! downcast (but only bye a few feet & moor toes) fore many a furlong (on the level sum might say) to a Caversham of slurping. You might Quaff at that remark but Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!! & Cru is knot easily pushed off their strong holding of course set bye those charts.
Sum of the birdies of our watery world is knot an easy bunch to study & ponder aboat. Mighty Fine when they is aroand for a wee while to wave us bye. A Delightful area of Sonning floatation provides a welcome safe haven fore a few Zzzzzzzzzzz…………
Wednesday 23rd August Welcome to this Fine misty commencement of festivities. A shame it be but, must swim we must. Our delightful Cap’n is knot one to be messed with. No Sir-eee !! A gentle descention of Sonning chamber-de-aqua swishes our vessel through the (mostly casual) S-bends of Boggy Borough Marsh to Shiplake’s drain of loweringly flow. Yet Moor of those deliciously wet curvaceous deviations swirl our lot bye Hennerton Backwater, finally smoothing oat to a wide linear stretch ushering Bart World to the real boggy Marsh of guzzling. Safely downed, we is enjoying the visual splendours of Henley on a (grey) summer’s day. Through the arched brick wonder & tack to starboard. The Magnificent Reach opening oat & stretching far ahead…….. Many moons passed, we is finding our craft & cru downed agin, thru Hambleden. The tittle land masses of varied types & names be coming thick & fast on occasions as the flows swish us along, this wey, then the udder whey. Hurley & Temple aqua-steps is the last of our chuggens & a Fine (but has to be said, later realised, rip-off expensive) Marlow Mooring is available fore the night. Cheaper to ‘land’ in Henley or Windsor than ‘ear. “Well it is Marlow” according to the ‘parking attendants’ who appeared early evening to rob us. Shame really. Won’t stop ‘ere agin, now we knows. The insignificant signs at the visitor berths do not tell arrivees aboat the vape of gold coins that will be slipping from their grasp. Worse than Pirates that Marlow lot. Aaaarrrggh !!! Land Ahoy !!! !!! Aaaarrrggh !!! !!! !!!
Thursday 24th August The quartermaster has been silenced aft some local
Bart-ering & we is one our downwardly drifting traversings passed the delightful All Saints Church. Marlow, Cookham, Boulter’s & Bray aqua-steps guide Bart & who-ever ‘sail’ in her along rampant reaches, through Wonderful woodlands, passed remote tiddler isles, under flying trains & udder soaring vehiculars, boatyards, marinas, ‘istorical buildings, busy places & quiet green abundances. Eventually, Boveney provides sanctuary & relaxation.
Friday 25th August Fore it be an’udder early start. Early for Bart World anyhows. Cap’n Bart can be a write old slave driver sum thymes. Could make one MAD !! Probables already has. (Yes, you is Skip) (Just a tittle) (Sorry !!). At least ‘The Summer’ hath come back. Been gone for ages Matey. THANKYOU !!!
The quaintly charming Chapel of Saint Mary Magdalene shepherds nb:Black Bart & her cru of a fair few toes (& some claws) write down the river. BIG flowing watery stoops of Boveney, Romney & Old Windsor swish our Bart bye nags-a-racing,
Chapels-a-la-Eton, Queens-a-Castling, sizeable chunk of Ham, udders land masses of varying sizes including a charter of liberties & there it bee. Like an old friend. A Fine berthing pool opposite the sensibly named land lass surrounded by water, called ‘The Island’. Inspirational !! Good position though. Never failed to ‘bag’ a (large murky) puddle ‘ere. Eh !! Maties. No Cap’n. Aye ! Aye !! Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!! !!!
Saturday 26th August Summers Still ‘ear !! Lubberly Jubberly !!! The premature (tis a berthing pool y’no) starts to our recent days continues. This really needs to stop !! We Cannee Cope Cap’n. ‘Av to discuss later over a ‘Nice Cup Of Tea’. Cap’n Bart is Extremely Fond of a Proper ‘Nice Cup Of Tea’. None of this drinking the alko fluids. Knot on our vessel. No. Knot from any glass vessels. Definitely knot. Mr. H. (fore Happy) Lock Keeper of Weir-de-Bell flowly aqua-stair greets us with a BIG rosy smile as always & then we is ‘flushed’ unceremoniously, on our whey to the wey. Via, of course Penton Hook, Chertsey & Shepperton Big Wide, Long, Deep, Flowingly Wet Steps down to the junction with the River Wey. There. Knot quite lost it, like you lot of bloggets tought. EH !! Although we is staying open the River Thames, we tack hard to port, snicking roand the back of Desborough island to try our luck. Yes. There we ‘av it maties. Lady Lindsay’s Lawn is the perfect place to rest up fore a wee while of darkly nightly restfulness. ZZZZzzzzzzzzz……………………..
Sunday 27th August GOOD MORNING EVERYBODY !!! !!!
No-ting quite like an eight-legged predatory arachnid to brighten anybodies day. Just a tittle joyous addition there fore any multiple legged ‘critter lovers’ oat there.
Slightly hopefully today. Quite an early commencement of non-static-ness, particularly bearing in mind the particular day is happens to be. We appear (seem, almost) to be well on the whey to being sum-wot Mad !!! ‘ear in Bart World. We sneak a’wey from Lady Lindsay’s Lawn, making a break fore it. Chuggen back to int’ proper Thames flow, & onto/into Sunbury Chamber of water. Mr. Lock Keeper wonders wot be going on. He were tinking, nice & early. Sunday morn. Thyme for a brew. No chance. Cruiser arrived demanding a bit of the old aqua’lifting & then our Bart (with us ‘in toe’, of corse) (it’s a unit of measurement, if you don’t know) terns up to go down. ‘Up to go down’. That’s a Blooming confusing statement if ever Skip saw one. Back on horizontal mode, Lister & friends (far two many two name at this stage of proceedings) put the ‘foot to the metal’ (almost) & only ‘ers later we ‘av slunk through Aque-Moseley with the valued help of one of our fav. lock keeper’s (who re-cons Black Bart accounts fore at least 1% of boat movements on the Thames this year) & with A-Maz-Ment find a comfortable Bart sized ‘parking space’ write in the shadow of (Yes !!) (We Know !!!) Hampton Court Palace. Incredible !! & on a Sunday two. Knot Just any Sunday either Maties. No. & in Hot Sunny conditions, when everyone seams to ‘creep oat o’t’woodwork’, so to speak. Strange. Very Strange. But. True. Well we made it. Bart World is Certainly a Wonderful ‘land’ (‘water’ really) to ‘occupy’.
Monday 28th August Monday Holiday of the Bank We Aaaarrrggh !!! Cap’ns R. & E. Store of the Good Ship ‘Danson-del-Radnor’ ‘av ‘ad an almost nightmare voyage of trials & tribulations. BUT !! At least they is finally, safely ‘ear. Thyme to Relax & enjoy a tittle bit of Bart World. They is verily Welcomes to enjoy a writely good whole-sum sharing of fruity brown sauce. Love the stuff !! AND. The Summer is still ‘ear two. Back with a’vengeance o’er last few days. GLORIOUS !! Tis a great shame (much MUCH Later) as we watch the beautiful lines of their craft float away (with cru of course), back to homely still waters. Goodbye old friends !! Hopefully sea you’ll agin sum thyme soon. Ciao fore Noi.
Tuesday 29th August The earliest arising of Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!! & his (mostly) (sumthymes) Merry Cru Aye ! Aye !! Cap’n !!! is the ty-red-ness of eyes. A real, Proper crews is this day, to be travelled. Up & swimming bye 6.30am. Yes !! MAD !!!
A vessel of spin points us downstream agin & the magnificently shinny brass gates of old Hampton Court Palace ‘av disappeared wey behind. We drift through Kingston at ‘pace’ & steadily glide through the wide but relatively still waters of the ‘Lower Thames’. nb:Green Buoys departs Steven’s Eyot just aft we passing bye. We is noi being followed.
All the wey ‘down’ to Teddington & That BIG Scary Weir !! Craft & cru arrive at Teddington’s three locks (Yes !! Three aqua-lifts !!!) (We Know !!) just as three cruisers is moving off the lock moorings. One cruiser be approaching us, heading upstream having just departed the ‘Launch Lock’.
We follow downstream cruisers int’ ‘Launch Lock’ & our (relatively ‘new’) convoy narrowboat companion floats in beside our Bart. Lovely. 7.45am. Here .. We .. .. .. GO … … …. …
Come And Find us if you Can…………….
It Won’t bee That Easy !!!
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
That be the end of our Magnificent River Thames/Isis Swimathon.
Number of Miles crewsed – Lost count weeks ago.
Number of bridges, weirs, aqueducts, Large watery chambers (& wot ever else one never really quite knows) negotiated – Do WE Really Care !!! !!!
Knot this thyme.
Maybe next one. We’ll Sea…….
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Ciao for now !
Mayhaps sea you aroand sum thyme. Aaaarrrggh !!! !!! !!!