After spending the day at Beale Park, an uneventful and short run downstream, mooring overnight opposite Fry’s Island by Reading Bridge, before winding our way into Thames & Kennet Marina for the day. Piper Boats had some chaps down for a couple of days commissioning a new boat or two and fixing some problems with Song & Dance and some others (it’s not as bad as it sounds; there are loads of Piper Dutch Barges in that marina).
Not unexpectedly, we ended up staying overnight, and the First Mate declined at the last minute to get up at dawn and dance in the First of May. Can’t think why.
Anyway, with most of the problems fixed, a departure for the long haul to Tesco seemed appropriate. T&K Marina is miles from anywhere by road: just across the river (10 minutes by boat, probably 10 hours by Shank’s pony and public transport) there’s a 24 hour Tesco with reasonably attractive mooring under the trees, no more than 30 yards from the entrance. Can’t even see the store or the car park from there, it’s really quite odd, and deservedly a popular mooring spot. Biggles approves, there’s plenty of secluded ground for him to explore (or perhaps exploit).
A major shop ensued, and later our Reading friends Simon & Hilary walked down to partake of some home cooking: the first time we’d actually tried having guests to dinner. The mooring is only 12 minutes walk from the new entrance to Reading Station, so a quick trip home on Saturday to pick up postal voting slips and some parcels seemed in order too.
Here’s a picture of Vinny, (Piper’s paintwork supremo) having a break from commissioning the newly launched Happy Chance while the new owner tries parking it in the marina on his own…