I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Ham Manor Marina (Kennet & Avon Canal) – Tuesday 30th September

So the last day of our summer cruise.  I was asked this morning by Dot on Ewn ha Cul if I am sad to stop cruising or is home calling me now?  Well Dot I have very mixed feelings this year.  The Thames has been wonderful and, of course, we have had such an amazing September but the weather does seem to deteriorating and next week they are threatening rain in the south.  Yesterday was grey and damp but today is glorious again.  I don’t like this part of the Kennet and Avon very much so I am looking forward to getting to Newbury later which does help.  However if we were still on the Thames I might feel different.  Is home calling?  Yes our new home is calling.  We moved in in January along with the builders who didn’t move out until mid-March.  We then had a week in Cyprus and started our summer cruise at the end of April.  So all in all we haven’t spent much time in the house and certainly not since the builders moved out.  A few statistics!

244 days since we moved in
50 days with the builders
23 days holiday
122 days on the boat

Which leaves us with 49 days (7 weeks) in our house on our own!!  We have lots of plans of things to do over the winter in the house mainly outside with a bit of decorating inside if there is time.  So I guess to sum up part of me is sad (probably as the sun is shining) but part of me is really looking forward to going home and starting to build a life on Hayling Island.  I have friends there who I haven’t seen since we moved in so maybe a big dinner party is on the cards!  Last year I couldn’t wait to go home – funny how the weather affects me.

Looking down towards Ham Mill (which is on the market for £975,000)
Our journey to Newbury was uneventful and only took us just over 3 hours.  Most of the locks were with us and with two boats to close lock gates and open swing bridges we were through in no time.
    Our last lock      
   Ham Manor Marina
Ham Lock was a very sad affair as, not only was it our last lock of the summer but also we had to say goodbye to Steve and Diane – they moor in the next marina just below Greenham lock.  We turned into Ham Manor Marina, which isn’t the easiest coming down stream and were met by Derek who told us how we should have entered his marina!!  Thanks Derek we will know next time!  Emma also came to say hello and make sure we were OK on our mooring.  I reckon we are very lucky as we and another winter moorer are alongside the painting pontoon which means we have full length - the other berths only have short pontoons.  Caterpillar isn’t in yet and Richard is rather hoping he can paint one side to get rid of the scuffs and scrapes before she does.  It didn’t get done last year so looks pretty rough.  He can then turn Mary H round ready to do the other side but she is going to be blacked on November 14th so we will have to move then anyway.
Bye bye Daisy Chain
It was then packing up and cleaning, loading the car and the drive home.  It only took just over 1½ hours – I’m glad we chose Newbury this year!  We had a good trip home bearing in mind it was over the rush hour and arrived about 5.45pm.

5.50 miles
7 locks

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