One can’t help indulge in casual boat-spotting in between stints preparing the Captain’s meals and working through locks, although he’s such a hard task-master that there isn’t always time to write them down.
We’ve spotted a few Piper Boats boats around (IYSWIM), including an un-named (as far as we could see) wide beam barge just in grey primer, just before the first narrow lock going up the South Oxford Canal. Must have been a challenge getting it as far as that through the narrow bridges! Saw Iona moored near Newbury, and given the proximity to the Thames & Kennet marina (where a lot of them are launched and initially based) saw a couple of Piper Dutch Barges on the stretch of the Thames just above Reading, including Kabouter (it’s Dutch/Afrikaans for gnome or leprechaun), and Josephine. We’d looked around both of them at Piper’s Henley bun-fight last year.
We were sad to hear that Stan – Josephine’s feline master – had passed away a month or so beforehand. Don’t know if the vacancy has been advertised yet.
One boat that seems to attract considerable interest on t’interweb thingy is (variously) Walhalla (the old German spelling), Valhalla or even Balhalla, depending on how you read the initial letter painted on the side. Certainly a striking wide beam boat (it appears that there might have been a narrow beam forerunner). Spotted just as we were leaving Wallingford, the driver’s clothing makes you wonder if perhaps all those pill-boxes on the Upper Thames might come in useful after all.
We’re still not quite sure what to make of Caring Yo-Yo, or what Dashiel Hammett would make of Maltose Falcon, either.
The Maltose Falcons are apparently a long-standing American home-brew club, and students of folk music history may notice a subtle foodie reference to Ms June Tabor in the background.
Other names to have raised a groan were the wide-beam Muchroom Bargee , the rather scruffy L’eau Life, and the electrical engineer’s Me Ohm, while presumably the owners of Beerstalker and Tempranillo – The Grape Escape will be needing these new pills the government are going to give us to cure excess consumption.
Finally, the enigmatic Gnum Pus remains, errr, enigmatic…