#53 River Thames – Teddington to Oxford (& Eynsham). September/October 2017


Tuesday 12th September 2017     Aaaarrrggh !!!   Loch Ahoy !  Loch Ahoy !!  Aaaarrrggh !!!      Tidal River Thames be just behind us. To aft. Tis also to starboard & ahead. But still to starboard. Confused ??  Knot just us cru ‘ear on nb:Black Bart then.


Having successfully completed a delightful upstream cruise along (or is it through ??) ‘The Tideway’ following a smitely early dawnly commencement of activities, Skippet continues fine tidal (& now calmer waters) skipperings (as were with the downstream tidal swim of two weeks ago) shepherding our trusty steed of a narrowboat oat o’Teddington’s brimful Launch Lock. Upper gates open, of course !!  Mr/Mrs Sun still only just surfacing proper like now & yawning like Cap’n Black Bart & all the red, bleary-eyed cru we ‘av ‘ere on board. Aaaarrrggh !!!   The tidal flow be almost at top level now. Aboat to return back towards the estuary & beyond, no doubt. There only be a minimum numero inches (if even that) of aqua-droplets o’er the Big Teddington Weir. Knot far off being the wrong whey roand. The weir being almost back to front. Scary !!!     Might be early butt there be k-no-w doubt aboat the yard arm being int’ write plaice sum-wears oat theres in the watery worlds far beyonder…..    Brings us the Finest Grog !!   Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!

A fair few days later. Mayhaps even weeks…….


Our vessel’s many barrels of rum is be dripped dry. Nutting left. Or right. Luckily fore us, 1st Mate (woof ! Woof !!) hath sniffed oat moor supplies. This ones a Biggy !!  Knot sure how we is going to ‘oik this Monster a’board.

Multitudinous Thymings later, that week….

Difficult it were. A Task of muchly awkwardnesses. The cru laboured ‘ard & long o’er many an ‘er. eventually, even moor tye-red & k-nackered the grog is safely (& Happily) quartermastered. Should keep us Pirates Aaaarrrggh !!!  going fore a wee (dram) of a while. Our glorious navy won’t miss just one of their Pussers.


A Fine Fellow(ess) signs our craft & Posse on through wide waters, negotiating long stretched Trowlock & bijou Stevens Islands be-fore our singular convoy


evolves two a fine craft of wood (& steel), securing our course to the next


airborne white ranger leading our tittle convoy bye Ravens Ait & Thames Ditton Island to Hampton Court


& afar….  Finally to upping Moseley aque-lift fore brief respite hitherto measured approach ripples us bye Ash & Taggs Islands and Garrick’s Ait too, heretofore enjoying a relaxed swim of Platt’s Eyot’s North shoreline & Grand Junction Island’s South beach duth gently swish us int’ all a moor wonderously greenly lush lands where


Scythian amazon creatures skilfully hunt frighteningly fearsome scaly beasts lurking in deep river flows. Wot an almost awe inspiring land of water in which we live. Untold, countless furlongs of our babbling path slide our Bart via Sunbury Court Island & Sunbury Weir Isle where arisen we Aaaarrrggh !!!  to Walton Reach & our eventually worn oat, exhausted, jaded & dog-tired band of pirates be is knackered to the point of resting. ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz…………………

Wednesday 13th September      We is chilled this morn. That Pusser’s shore be Mighty Fine Grog !  Aaaarrrggh !!!


Even the famous white rangers is still be struggling awakening from their slumberings. When cru is finally ready Cap’n Black Bart commands a moor direct chuggen jaunt via Desborough Cut & D’oyly to Shepperton aqua-boost where we is re-joined bye our tidal companions nb:Ursula & cru.


Bart distractingly weaves roand Pharaoh’s Islet won whey & Chertsey Meads t’uther. We crescendo to near dizzinesses swinging roand Dumsey Meadows where


Chertsey aq-upheaves Bart & companion to yet higher levels. Quick actions bye Skip & Skippet avert danger when our co-traveller’s tied-on centre rope goes tight, tipping said boat over alarmingly as water chamber is nigh brimming. Upper sluices closed. Lower sluices opened, releasing water from the loch allowing partial descention & rope/boat savings to be successfully complete. Photographs of lurching vessel unavailable at time of going to print. Sorry !!  Danger averted. sluice positions reversed & we is soon convoying onwards to where we k-no-w knot.


That be a tittle white lie. We is ‘landing’ in Laleham to meet our Kiwi Buddies on nb:Th’owd Fettler. They herald from the delightful backwaters of Zeeland, in the lush wetlands of t’Nederlands. Knot far from the oat-post of Vlissingen in the South West agricultural province of their distant homeland. Fine waterway travelling companions on occasion in recent passed years. Their be a fair old splashing aroand of the favourite fruity broan sauce we can tell ya’ Oh Yes Sir-ee !!!  & Madams !!!  !!!

Thursday 14th September      This be like an ‘oliday. Cap’n Black Bart invites Fettler’s cru to join ‘is cru & we shall go


a chuggen bye Lister ‘Power’. All the whey up Penton Hook aquelevator to (Seaman) Staines-upon-Thames. With our narrow craft safely moored buy the Grand Old Town Hall we chummies is off to a’hunting. Sum thyme later. The George provides muchly needed refuge & refreshment And sustenance. That were be a mighty long walk of wanderings if ever their wure.


Quite sum thyme in the future Bart & swollen crew of five Aaaarrrggh !!!  swimming aft downstream, escaping that stained old seaman & stepping down the watery liquid step to Laleham agin. Wot a FUN !!!  saucy brown stuff salt of day that were. Yes !!  Indeed !!!

Friday 15th September      Fore we is off early this morn, taken a brief divergence to Chertsey in search of fresh water supplies.


On our wey back upstream we find we is being followed. Knot sure wot be going on ‘ere maties. Those Fettlers is on our tail. Bye the thyme Penton Hook Loch be welcoming Bart in, We is caught. Couldnee give ’em the slip. Bart’s chuggens just knot quite fast ‘nough.


Now we both be in dangerous swamplands. Alligators be snarling & roaring their attacking cries. Snapping at our afts. Moor Power Lister. Moor Power. Chuggen. And then sum. Pace a’swimming be t’only whey to escape. Speed. That be wot we need. Aaaarrrggh !!!   We manage to avoid the seamen & their very messy Staines, enroute to the ferocious Bell Weir Lock which duth rapidly arise Bart World upwardly to new heights. Tis butt a wee while of thymings be-fore we & our


Kiwi chummies is enjoying safety of staticnessly floatings. Skip’s Ma & Pa ‘av journeyed many a land mile to materialise in Runnymede.


Knot two far from our tittle static convoy of Egham. And through the ’round’ glass (porthole) (fore those bloggets that dunnee k-no-w) 1st Mate is oat there keeping an eye on developments. Got’ be aware & a’lert all the thyme. No’ting like a right lert. They is ‘ear !!  We can now ‘av that old fave. Fruity broan sauce. Cannee beat it.


A delightful evening in the Mightyo Fineo Italiano Restaurantio is extremelyo satisfyingly’o. We Aaaarrrggh !!!  All Very copiously agreemently. Tis later int’ evening when arrivees two Barticus be Pirates of Woodbridge who is of sailing Rivers Deben & Orwell waters. Crewsing Tractors. That wot it all aboat.

Saturday 16th September      Say our teary farewells two Zeeland chums we do. They is setting sail for the Nederlands where it be knot always so flat as sum of you oat there bloggets might tink. We duth bid them aurevoir & arrivederci to cover their atavistic lines as good is we possibly cannee.   Said it is, fore special one hundred & fifty years of ‘istorical celebratings. Two of the oldest, ruffiest tuftiest pirates (Won) of the Peckham Water Hills & (one) of t’Eastern Marshlands is adding up writely to a very large even numero. A day of jollity, treats & thymelinesses Aaaarrrggh !!!  (we is Pirates ya’noAaaarrrggh !!!  (Pirates. Just cannee ‘help’it) substantially appreciated & mayhaps even relished.


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Delights of the Bailiwick being the ‘Cherry on the Top’ of our day. No moor can try & explain.

Sunday 17th September      So, following our gloriously extravagant day of festivities we require a slowing down day of calmly, relaxation & diminution. So that be wot we is ‘aving. Mate !!  Later, their be Sadly Ciaos, Hugs & Kisses is ‘ad & waivings of Goodbye. Bart & cru continue that wind down slope & sink int’sofa (Yes) (we do ‘av one of them) to complete the ‘Chill’. We can start clearing up the awful mess slater. Nice cup of tea luv ??

Monday 18th September      Monday is the commencement of a new week. A different schedule to our River Thames life of the year two thousand & seventeen. Tink that were writely put down. Cap’n Black Bart requires some order to proceedings. Tings need to be washed, scrubbed & returned to sum salt of oder. Orders. ‘ors d’oeuvres. Tink that were it. Aye !!  Aye !!  Cap’nAaaarrrggh !!!   Quite sum thyme later. Slater.  nb:Black Bart is spruced & readied fore action. Aaaarrrggh !!!   Release those lines.  Hoist the fore-sail. Aye !  Aye !!  Cap’n !!!   Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!   Quite ‘nough of all that. Skip spins our long, narrow vessel & soonest, downstream we all flow. Together. We want to be together !!  Ok Lads & Lasses. Calm Down. Calm Down !!   Bart Leaps over the Weir-de-Bell & swims ‘Full Steam Ahead’ (trying to avoid all those dirty seamen). Shiver Me Timbers !!  Cap’n Pugwash & ‘is cru don’t stand a chance in their old ship the Black Pig. Pirate Willy & ‘is scoundrel maties Tom, Roger, Barnabas, Bates & old Staines (to name butt a few) is no match fore our trusty steed & wiley cru. Scurvey Dogs !  The Lot of ’em !!  Wi’ a wannion !!   Yo-Ho-Ho !!!  Them be Lily-livered & Loaded to the Gunwales.  Cap’n Black Bart hails they’d be Keelhauled if caught & soon to sea Davy Jones’ Locker. That saw ’em turn tail & run. Aaaarrrggh !!!   Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!   Wot excitement. Need a rest aft all that. Our craft slows to a gentle pace, taken we all safely to the quiet hidden berthing pools of Penton Hook. A Delightful Anchorage. None be finding us ‘idden ‘ear. Knot creeping up on us in the dark.

Tuesday 19th September      Thee need to ready ourselves for the final River Thames Crewsing of Bart World 2017. Shall likely be a max of Happy & Sad we have no doubt. Been pretty Marvellous it be has so far. Need to do our damnedest to finish our Big River Voyage Most Splendidly. Refreshment of tanks & scrubbing of decks amongst udder tings is the name of the early dawn ‘ers of hard labours. Off downstream, climbing down two Big watery steps to find the nearest fresh water supply. Refilled & we is back up to Penton Hook Pools for a few darkly ‘ers. There could be a surprise slater. Knot ‘appening today. Likely tomorrow though.

Wednesday 20th September      We is a’waiting the arrival of our new crewsing maties. A re-enactment of a certain voyage from whey back, two years ago. We is gonna ‘av ourselves a Convoy.  Yes.  Convoy !!


Leapy. A Fine Craft & cru. Appearing from behind the deep undergrowth of Laleham Cove. Cap’n Leap at the helm brings her in to rest beautifully, abreast. (Don’t say a word). We take a pleasant heap full of the old broan fruity stuff before commencing our convoy of crewsing upstream, against the ripples of this Wonderful old River.


Aft radioing-in with the Mute Anatidae overhead we is on our wey agin. We swish roand the Big S-bends bye Truss’s Island, swirling quietly passed those smelly dirty seamen one last thyme. Hopefully. Church Island guides Bart & matie to a climbing expedition, almost,


Leaping up & over the Weir of (Church ??) Bells. As we didnee start swimming ’til aft’noon we tinks our midweek jaunt shall be short. Just to Egham where anchors is deployed. Chains & warp (luckily) still attached to anchors at won end & boats, at’uther. Aft a walk & doggy play int’ Runnymede park, chums be is a’chillin. Tis later we be off on a long hunt to find Italian food. Just like tuther night with MnP & Kiwis. Understandably quieter during this mid-week gastronomic of delights, “ma certamente fino a graffiare” as a true Italiano “direi”.

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And to finito the evening’s celebrations we have the majestic splendour of Mezzogiorno kickboxing demonstration from two famously celebrated cognoscentes of this almost primordial art. Darned Good they were !  Really Enjoyed that !!  Most Impressive !!!

Thursday 21st September      The crues needed to stretch those limbs aft those breathtaking moves of last night. The kickboxing you fools !!!


Anchors raised. We is off. Pursuing diving cormorants, hunting fish, off Magna Carta & Friary Islands be-fore ascending the chamber-de-Old Windsor. Cap’n Black Bart & cru have themselves a tasty Ham to chomp enroute. Knot sure wot t’uther lot is munching fore nourishment. Mayhaps a (smaller) Hamster.


Passing one of the many Gorgeous Dutch Barges of the River Thames


Told You !!  We Have Ourselves a CONVOY !!!


LOOK !  No Hands !!!   Idiot. That’s Very Dangerous you fool. Call yourself a ‘Skip’. Udder words Leap to mind. Romney Aquelevator foams & froths our tittle convoy up bye The Brocas & White Lilies Island, passing the trotting ponies. Colts & fillies they certainly were. We keep’a’moving. Swishing on bye eyots, islands, unnamed specks of


river encircled land to seethe & surge aloft the Bray (go away) (don’t want you in our tittle convoy) (messed it all up now) & Boutler’s. To Cliveden Reach we do ultimately arrive. A definite favourite of Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!   Land Ahoy Me Hearties. Skip softly glides our lean craft into a gap in the heavy overgrowth & drops anchor. Our companions follow suit, in a neighbouring berthing pool. Knot too close !!

Friday 22nd September      Fine


misty morn greets our pirate convoy to the new day.


The beautiful warm sun already bee-burning it’s whey through. Gunna enjoy an’udder Fabulous day. Summers still ‘ear. Wears t’uther vessel ??  Cannee see ’em.


It’s OK !!  There they Aaaarrrggh !!!  We can stop worrying now. Te !  He !!


Sum crues is just soo impatient. Charging bye our old ponderous Bart.


Leaping ahead towards all that Wonderful Blue Sky up there.


Cliveden Reach is even better when it be a Beautiful like this. Cookham aqualift soon ‘as the tittle convoy chuggen bye the unusually named Lock Island & along hamly-cooked Reach, swishing through most impressive esses of this ‘ear scene.


The local mute ranger prepossessingly glides on through, carrying oat

P1220151ones duties most professionally.

The Big Boss suddenly appears !

Cold Callers. Wot methodology !!!

No doubt, old Anatidae were easily up to scratch. Nice won matie !!

Bourne End Reach ‘flattens’ Old Father Thames oat to a smooth directional flow of ripples, swimmingly upstream as we do passed the straights of Gibraltar & negatively down via the ‘Chamber of Marlow’. Brings back happy memories that name. (Well it is Marlow you know !! )  Well Really !  Know !!  Knot saying any moor !!!  Bisham affords pleasant images to our visions as we wander along to the Temple Mill of arising,


the weir of white water & the wonderment that be Hurley Lock Tea Room. Oh !!  Joy !!!  (No, we ‘av knot actually been in there be-fore or this thyme, neiver ! ) Mad !!  Yes. Well Just a Tittle.  Aaaarrrggh !!!   Shiver Me Timbers !!  Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!   It wot pirates be aboat. Cannee ‘elp’it !!


Agreeably satisfying curvies swoosh old Bart & Leap onto Medmenham where Westfield Farm provides ample anchorages for safely night accommodations.

Saturday 23rd September      So, our tittle convoy requires movement.


Upstream propulsion passed udder moored craft we Aaaarrrggh !!! 


swinging bye the slightly unusually looking local magpies. Hambleden’s Mill End rapid flows Leap our tittle fleet of craft waterily spring up to new heights aft which we


is on the final curved approaches to Henley Reach when a noisy Branta Canadensis attack from downstream descends from aft to fore. Landing in colossus waives across the wide watery rufflings. At least they didnee dump bomb poor old Bart & cru like ‘appened a few weeks back. Quite unpleasantly gooey, sticky smelly splatterings which ‘ad taken quite a sustained effort to wash scrub & rinse off. Yucky !!  Yuck !!!  At least didnee ‘appen tis thyme. Extremely vocal gaggle of geese this lot. We ain’t great fans of this kind as they is dirty messy buggers. Knot nice wot they leave behind, in vast quantities, everywhere they go. Moving onto to muchly moor pleasurable tings,


Bart’s broader companion be steaming off in pursuit of udder floating craft as we enjoy the capacious rowing ripply wavelets that open oat in front of us. We waft flowingly to & through an arch of Henley Bridge aft knot ‘aving to dodge too many rowing boats. Expected there to be considerably moor floating obstructions than we actually experienced today. Marsh Meadow furnishes our tittle flotilla with place to ‘set down’ while ‘staff’ is off in an attempt to at least diminish whinging quartermaster’s grouching grumbles. Aft oodles of considerable Bart-erings us plebs is finally returned to quell (just a tittle) (of course) all that annoying carping. Sum peoples !!!   At least the cru can enjoy proper salmagundi scrumptiousness in addition to (hopefully) udder delish-ousnesses.

Weigh Anchor and Hoist the Mizzen!  

Aye !  Aye !!  Cap’n Black Bart !!!   Aaaarrrggh !!! !!!

We is crewsing agin, our tittle armada. Two Marsh levitations, soaring up to Hennerton Backwater, which be just a smight shallowly narrow to sensibly navigate so we just keep a trogging the moor capacious ripplets of the Thames. And Mr/Mrs Sun hath come oat to play since our staticnesses of Henley commencement.


Tis only a sprinkling of furlongs & fathoms that lead our vessels to calm floatiness in the shadows of Lower Shiplake. Skip even manages to find wood in the forest, just to add to our collection. Need to continue preparations for the harsh winter that be soon upon us. Aye !  Aye !!  Cap’n !!!   Aaaarrrggh !!! !!!


To end our crewsy day the Wonderful floating cyclist whizzes bye, slowly !!  He be extracting rubbish from the river, ‘carelessly’ dropped by thoughtless beings !!  Shame he has to do it, but wot a Star !!!

Sunday 24th September      Sunday is be a day of Rest. Well ya’ wouldn’t believe it. Cap’n Bart is got a few mean streaks through him, of that there be knot a doubt !!  Aaaarrrggh !!!  The cat o’nine tails could reappear if cru ain’t got int’ line ‘on the double’ !    Avast Ye !  Bilge suckers !!   Heave Ho !!   Haul the Killick !!   Aaaarrrggh !!  Me Hearties !!!

That be quite ‘nough of all that nonsense. Aft a slower start to a Bart World day than ‘as been ‘ad fore wot certainly duth seam like ages, we is eventually under whey. The chart table ain’t two busy neiver, so cru’s ‘opes is up fore a moor relaxed, gentle jaunt. Well, tis Sunday ya’k-no-w. ……………….  Trouble be, they is likely getting them there hopes up far too muchly like………. Will ‘av to wait & sea how disappointed they soon become……….

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Aft wildlife joyeties Bart & cru is truly swimming the river Thames, Leaping Shiplake’s weir, dodging & weaving our whey bye isles of all salts.


OK. Summit be wrong ‘ere. Is someone possibly swimming in the wrong direction ??


It’s alright. finally noticed the error of their weys. Swishing aroand & heading upstream agin. Correct !!  Thankee !!!   Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!


Successfully negotiated Sonning Eye & this stone construction. Just !!   Now we is floating up Sonning’s aquelevator & carefully anchoring in a fine berthing pool four the night.

Monday 25th September      May we awaken in Sonning Bay. Yes we do. That’s Good. We haven’t unwittingly moved during ‘ers of darkyness. Soon we is unstatic-fying and Bart & companion is chuggen our watery whey towards Reading a book. Aft dieseling delays


& waterfowl admirings. That be a most marvellously Great Crested Grebe.


We on Bart is quite rudely overtaken bye sum write scoundrels !!   Agin.

Now we must arise the white Caversham weir ridings


& be steaming along

mostly wide straight

river with beautiful

countryside adorning

both sided banks, a’plenty.


Critters of many different

kinds is busily paddling &

in sum cases, flipping aboat

airily, above the river.


Just fore a mo there be one

of those Glorious Kingfishers,

flown bye & just perched there

on a post. Knot fore long. Then he/she were gone agin. In a bluey, orangey Flash !!


Knot sure the Tilehurst Postie hath been along in his/her tittle red boaty yet. Great idea for us water traveller peoples. Wish the powers that be would install a few moor aroand the watery network in which we live. The convoy of two positively glide in ascendancy through Mapledurham as we is on (hopefully) final approaches of furlongs


of this day’s crewsing. The wonderments of our green landed pastures is looking aft a fair few strangely fore legged critters it has been noted in them their narrowboat’s log. Skip is simply astounded by such hairily furry weirdnesses. Strange tittle fellas & lasses.


Quite sum thyme later…  We is eventually safely anchoraged alongside the delightful Pangbourne Meadow. An upgrade on the tree berth we had a few weeks back. A walk to town proves fruitful on several fronts for cru of both Leap & our Bart. The extremely jolly Laughing Halibut duth be a fine purveyor of the belaboured large marine fish with a small barbel on the chin and many a’long rectangular piece of deep-fried potato. Yummy !!!   Yum !!  Yum !!!


Trying to ‘catch’ the Cormorant during his evening meal fishing trip is knot easy.


‘Catching’ Him/Her with the ‘prize catch’ is be knot necessarily possible.


Never seen this before. Poor duck with


presumably a birth deformity. Seems to be coping OK though !!

Tuesday 26th September      There is knot a doubt that skippet’s walky roand trip to Greens of Pangbourne were viewed bye skip as a tiny bit disappointing when the anticipated puddings (of the steak & kidney kind) (or similar) (suet y’no) (Lovely !! ) weren’t of the expected forthcomings. The bundles of Healthily Large sausages looked promising though, so tweren’t all bad. Aft muchly delayings our tittle fleet of boaties is readied & having climbed the very wetly Whitchurch step,


making pleasantly progress upstream onto &, eventually passing Beale Park bye. To port. Just in case you feel the need to k-no-w. Sum of ya is likely to require such moor particular informations. Handy to be fully awares of the full pictures. So-two-speak !!  Having slipped roand the North of Lower Basildon (Yes !! weir in Essex luv !! ) we is enjoying


moor greenly walled ripples aft the ‘race’ fore Gatehampton training bridge,


(and reddies two) which be soonest chased by a duo of slimy slippery stairs. Goring & Cleeve ‘av us up most smartly to where a well earnt


lunch break be taken during l’aqua-stop. Some gently weavings are swashed through aft Moulsford cavalcading flies-over be-fore river flows calm to a


moor linearly unswerving nature. The high walls of Wallingford provide a safe (if sightly difficultly clamberings) dependably assured attachment four bow & stern lines a’duo floatation.


Most impressed with the very pleasant town of Wallingford, it’s many


Fine Establishments And architectural splendour & ‘istoricals in abundances.

Back int’town later fore a Fine treat of salmagundi in the Old Post Office a’shore be a splendiferous culmination to the day. Cheers !!!   Chink !  CHINK !!  CHINK !!! 

Wednesday 27th September      We is on a planned wee voyage whilst in the county of Dorsetshire in the southern lowlands. Weir their be water thee bee.


Departed Wallingford we ‘av. We is knot long to nigh on Benson where the Royal Air Force helps our tittle convoy of craft almost fly up the weir of water. As many weirs do tend to be.


Their she/he is, checking us oat of Shillingford. We almost whippingly steam bye Rush Court which is knot long in sending us to Shillingford Court’s many tight wiggerly flows. The wide rivery ripples Aaaarrrggh !!!  smoothed oat sum-wot on the approach to


Thames & Thame & Isis waters a’meeting. (There it is !!) Tis only as we near trip over tittle Wittenham (t’were quite a titchy place, so nigh-on easy to miss when skip be knot concentrating as one should) that a watery hitch-up of Day’s chamber soon ‘as us safely buoyantly anchored fore a smitely restfulness. It hath been such a troublesumly crewsing week already & we ain’t ‘ardly over the ‘alf whey (dash dot dash) line. The really Great News is the Lovely town of Dorchester (we is in Dorsetshire) (told ya’ earlier maties) is but a mere few shortly steply furlongs a-whey. Our crues of two vessels is on foot. Feet to be moor exact. And quite a few toes.


And even sum hooves & horns. A lovely rural passage through


luscious green fields takes us all the wey to


the local produce ‘shop’ &

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And the many delights of this west country village.


There be an’udder ‘interesting’ post box


delightful ‘istorical streets & dwellings. And an Abbey. Fantabulous !!!


And This Fantastic cottage (in the grounds of the abbey), (be fore sale). Wow !!

Enroute roand this delightful hamlet we spy a large Marrow. Offered as a free gift to any passers-bye. We gratefully accept this Fine cucurbita pepo cultivar specimen.


A green hilly return trip cross-country welcomes our sore feet & delicate toes.

Thursday 28th September      The tittle fleet of craft is be swimming the Big sweeping curve of Burcot, through Clifton Hampden Bridge. Clifton aquelevator & cut combine to swish Bart & Leap under Appleford’s upskilling civil engineering construction to where we then soonest find the very deep Culham aqualift & cut. They duz knot hold our lot of meanest tuftiest pirates Aaaarrrggh !!!   Led bye Cap’n Black Bart   Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!! fore very long. We can tell ya !!!   No Sir-ee !!!   No Madame Cholet !!!

Aft a few moor weavings, swishings & steamings our tittle fleet of two is gliding serenely through the big arch of Abingdon Bridge & finally berthed in Andersey Island Pools. Lovely !!!

Friday 29th September      Friday this week is a full day of staticness for Both craft & all the crues. Knot shore wot is going on most of the thyme. In to much of a daizey. No’ting unusual their then. See ya’ tamorra. If ya wanna…..

Saturday 30th September      So !  Good Morning !!  To You’ll  !!!    Following a brief foray int’town anchors is ‘auled up from sea (river) bed and our tittle fleet is crewsing along through choppy ripples,

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and making new friends whilst raising through the white waters of Abingdon’s weir before chuggen our wey under


Nuneham bridge of instruction (& mayhaps sum tutoring two), where we is now charging along in a chuggen manor along this widely Isis of water thoroughfare.


Cap’n Black Bart be leading our newly extended convoy of three, carefully dodging carelessly wandering rowing craft & crues. All the whey to Sandford’s arising of the wet stuff. This be one of the real ‘Big Daddies’. Deep. Wide. And Long. A very pleasant ascendancy though due to fillings from below, all the wey along, in addition to the ‘standard’ upper gate sluices. Particularly compared to udder arisings where water floods in from just the upper gate sluices or on occasional chambers where water flows enthusiastically from the sides too, which is knot ideal or pleasant for our Bart. Onwards & upwards. OH !  Sorry !!  already done the ‘upwards’ bit. Onwards.


Kennington’s tuitional tutelaging of construction crosses the River Isis to the fore, above & finally to aft as our itsy-bitsy tiddly fleet of craft swim on to a baby of soaring levitation. That being Weir-de-Iffley. We is soon swishing bye the River Cherwell & swashing passed Folly Island into the final tighty squiggles directing us to Oxford. Our convoy of recent days is be dissecting back to singlets. Leap of Faith is diverting to one’s own base camp. Osney Marine. nb:Black Bart is continuing swimmingly along the Isis fore just a tittle bit longer & upper, via Osney’s weir of ascension. Aft our craft is guided safely from white waters we is luckily berthing is a fine pool of anchorage bye the East Bank of Osney Island. A very fitting conclusion to our River Thames & Isis voyage ala convoyings. Crues regroup for an evening meal of salmagundi in a favourite haunt, ‘The Punter’, to celebrate our successful passage to the medieval Saxon settlement of Oxenaforda. The pirate dish ‘Salmagundi’, loosely described as salad consists of a random hodge-podge of ingredients. If you is lucky you might get sum of eiver, scrambled concoctions of meat, fish, vegetables or fruits. Even luckier ?  You might get moor than one of the above. Oh !!  Wot we savour tonight is the best of all amalgamational delightfulnesses. Better than the hardtack and hard salted beef ‘enjoyed’ during sum of the passed days as sea. Look it up if ya wanna be educated further moor !!  Learn was it pirates ‘av to put up with maties. Knot all rose petals ya-no !!!

Sunday 1st October      Soft boiled eggs. Toasty soldiers. That gorgeous tittle spoon. Wot a Delight !!  Havnee enjoyed that gastronomic wonderment fore a fair few Sunday’s passed. So duties of cheering up old quartermaster is successfully achieved. That were quite a long wandering. Felt even longer coming back, loaded up like too pack’orses. Aft a coffee & recoveries


Lister Leaps int’action giving our Bart a pleasantly thrumbing propulsion a’whey from Osney isle to a brief foray across the ‘entrance’ to Sheepwash Channel


& back into wide waters swirling Cap’n Black Bart  Aaaarrrggh !!!  & Pirates  Aye !  Aye !!  Cap’n !!!   & Maties  Aaaarrggh !!!  !!!


along the West seaboard of Port Meadow, fighting increasingly strong windy-pops (no. it’s knot Roxy this thyme) (knot be of the aromatically smelly kind) & beyond. Loch ! Ahoy !!   Heave !!!  Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!


Godstow Weir is knot beholding nb:Black Bart & Cru fore muchly two longly. ‘as to be sed. It’s becoming Bloomin blowingly blustery. Possibly mayhaps just a tittle squally ??  Stifficult !!  Knot really shore wot words to use sumthymes. (No doubt sum of you oat there is falling to that salt of conclusion all of your own minds) (if you have such tings) (Knot shore wot sum of you bloggets actually possesses in you’re headies) (Hello !! ) (Any Body oat Their ?? )    Godstow Abbey hath long been just a few ruinous stones.


Lost a long thyme ago. Wot !!  We got to swim through that starboard arch. You gotta be kidding. Shorely !!  Just git on with it Ski!!!  Safely, incident freely passed we Aaaarrrggh !!!  whipping road this whey & that, spinning through sum write tightly squigglies. Becalmed when those sharpnesses finally blend to smoothness on the approach to the Weir of Kings. A most calmingly pleasant ascension to a new higher level indeed !!   The path ahead opens oat to spaciously broadness, aiding the ‘wind assisted’ nature of our voyaging today. The River Evenlode ripples in to our current Isis water world. Soon followed bye Cassington Cut. Knot easy to spy, but it certainly be their. Hiding amongst the trees. 1st mate spies our previous berthing pool of a few weeks aft. A fine watery bank on the edge of a field. Bart Leaps in. Mooring pins Lines secured. Peaceful (apart from the increasingly blustery conditions) & private with knot a single neighbour within sight oar hearing. We is in the Country. Lovely !!

Monday 2nd October      My, that wind were Fun yesterday. Fortunately it be slightly moor sensible towards us this day. Aft a slow relaxed start we make a comfortably late flow upstream to Eynsham aquelevator where Bart climbs to possibly the highest Thames level for this peregrination. We is knot long travelled beyond Swinford Toll Bridge when an’udder field is beckoning our craft to manoeuvre over & secure safely to the side of luscious green topped land. knot too high a bank, allowing fore slightly easier cru egress & ingress.


Tis lait aft’noon when


the local cows come over to Moo their Hellos.


Even later


The evening sky is simply lustrous in it’s glowing orangery wonder !!

Sleep Tight.

Tuesday 3rd October      This day is a boaty workles day. Scrubbings & water trappings followed bye Brassly rubbings. The pigeon boxes is being winterised too. Bell trees removed ready for cleaning & hibernation.

Titchy port holes polished. External winter jackets fitted. Internal insulation blocks secured. Muchly hatty wonders is being magically creationed ‘ear too. And fingerless mittens Aaaarrrggh !!!  being honed from solid balls of wool. Skill !  Craftswomenship !!  Mastery !!!    Incredible to watch !!!!   Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!

& Eynsham’s moo-cows pop bye for t’evening too.

Wednesday 4th October      Was we late to bed last night. Yes !  We was. Tweren’t last night. Were this morning. Disgraceful !!  Payed the penalty. Woke up very late. But !  Who Cares !!  Does it really mater ? No !!  It duth knot. With doubled up mooring stakes at both bow & stern ‘painfully’ extracted from the very sticky ground. Sticksion of the highest level. Lines is finally freed & we Aaaarrrggh !!!   Go !   GO  !!   GO !!!  Bart reverses gently to aft, into the bend downstream of our tonight berthing. Lister, old prop & olde’ gearbox assist tiller girl & Roger the rudder with snazzy manoeuvrings, swinging nb:Black Bart roand rather smoothly & gliding downstream through the central limestone arch supporting vehicular airborne cross river traffic. Fighting the overhanging tree craft & cru manage to arrive at l’aqua berth mostly injury free. No’ting like a good old fashioned water berth. Love-it.  Re-aqua-ed, we is Leaping down through


white water’s weir & steaming along, slowly, savouring our last strokes


swimming spacious open river’s ripples.


Sad !!  Dribberly eyes.  The wind pushes our Bart onwards & downwards


to waters meeting.

And it be just a while aft the yard arm hath begun it’s rotational descent.

River Thames/Isis & Kings Lock off to starboard. Dukes Cut to port.


The path begins to narrow. Becoming a wee twisty.


Final bend onto straight run-in (very slow walking pace to be moor exact) to


aft’most loch of clear water. just mind that wood Mr. T. Surgeon. Turns oat one tree came down in high winds sum weeks ago, damaging a boat quite badly. Probably that ‘interesting’ 50 + onslaught we experienced one night moored at Walton Reach. Now six moor environment agency defined ‘weak’ trees is being removed carefully, bit bye bit.


Goodbye Old Father Thames, Isis, whoever you Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!   Definitely one of our Favourites. Must be why nb:Black Bart & her cru keep coming back.

You have been Absolutely Fantabulous !!!

Hopefully sea you in 2018. Knot long then.

Ciao !!

Arrivederci !!!



One thought on “#53 River Thames – Teddington to Oxford (& Eynsham). September/October 2017

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