Bonnie goes to London – Day’s Lock to Henley on Thames

Bonnie goes to London – Day’s Lock to Henley on Thames

Here I am, in Henley on Thames, currently moored here on the edge of ‘Marsh Meadows’.

There are many joggers and walkers by the promenade to the river.


I’ve done as much boating as I possibly could. According to viewranger, I covered 32.21 miles today.

That was starting at 08:40 having 40 minutes for lunch, filling up with fuel at Better Boating, and carrying on until 18:25.

I suspect I could do a little more without the Tesco stop, (toilet paper and beer), and the fuel stop (20mins). But there isn’t a lot in it…. 40 minutes is not a long time.

30 miles is pretty much the limit of what I can expect to cover.

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Bonnie goes to London – Kings Lock (Oxford) to Days Lock (Dorchester)

Bonnie goes to London – Kings Lock (Oxford) to Days Lock (Dorchester)

1st day on the Thames.

Snuck on last night and overnighted at the moorings at Kings Lock.

The rain started just after I left Decathlon last night. By the time I cycled back to the boat, I was soaked, so another night drying my clothes out on the fire.

So what…. The boat felt really snug in the rain.

Had a shower with all the hot water, and went to bed.

Woke up around 5.

EA River Cruising Licence

Got things rolling about 9. By about half past, I was looking at setting off.

Just as I popped out to set the locks, the lock keeper arrived,

When you move from the canals onto the rivers in the UK, you move within a different jurisdiction. All powered vessels have to register with the EA (environment agency).

This isn’t a long process. I did it with my lock-keeper this morning. Took about 10 mins.

You just need to give some details of the

  • Length of vessel
  • Home address
  • Phone number
  • Number of nights staying on the Thames

For this and the fee, they issue you with a little sticker which you can put in your window. It’s got the expiry date and the number of nights you’re valid on the Thames for.

If you don’t get this, it’s likely you’ll make it to the next manned lock before you’ll have to get one.

Like the buoyancy aid, it’s one of the requirements of navigating on the Thames.

They also issue you with a paper licence, like the one below.

EA Navigation licence

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Bonnie in London – Tackley to Kings Lock on the Thames

Bonnie in London – Tackley to Kings Lock on the Thames

Starting at 10.10, it was quite a full day, didn’t manage to stop for a lunch break until 2pm.

The rain had abated pretty much, for most of the journey. Wind was up though and the draft, (canal depth beneath the boat), was shallow making it laborious travel in parts.

I managed to stop to get water. 17 miles seems like a lot in a day.

Last time I came down this way, I made it all the way from Aynho to here in one day!

Shocking. I’ve no idea how I did that.

That’s a lot of boating in one day.

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Bonnie in London – Journey down, Tackley

Bonnie in London – Journey down, Tackley

Not far from London. Closer than Aynho at any rate…

So here I am after my first days cruising close to the village above named.

My clothes are damp, my dinner is cooking, the fire is lit, the whiskey it out.

I managed to make it just over 10 miles before the sun went down.


It rained pretty much all day.

Never that heavy, but just persistent low cloud rain. It added it’s slippery touch to the lock paving stones and brickage, making it a fertile ground for breaking one’s neck…

I wondered as I made my way down the locks, how solo female boaters do it in the rain. These big heavy lock gates were barely moveable by me. At I’m a big strong man.

If it is even possible, why do they bother? In the rain, it just seems dangerous.

Probably explains why I met not more than 4 boats on that 10-11 mile journey.

It’s better not to bother.

Still…. I did bother and here I am…..

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Bonnie in London

Bonnie in London

Soon to be….

A move down to ‘the smoke’. Such a casual thing….

Just 4 days sailing and £40 worth diesel. Approximately, in both cases. If the weather changes, (drastically), that may change the temperament of the old Thames.


On the canal and river system, they have these things called, warning boards.

Red boards - River water flow warning system
River flow warning system

When the boards are on red, you’re not meant to travel.

People do, but the ‘powers that be’ don’t sanction movement on red boards, it’s kind of frowned upon as unnecessarily dangerous.

After periods of particularly heavy rain, you might see the boards turn to red. The majority of the time, they remain on amber or green.

This trip down the Thames will depend the boards remaining off RED.

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The End….

The End….

For this owl.

I’ve never seen a Tawny Owl up this close….

I doubt that in another 46 years, I will see one this close again…

Dead Brown or Tawny Owl
Hello silence my old friend……

It was on the convergence of two lines of communication.

The railway, and the road.

The Pig Place

Last tiem I stayed here, there was a dead Badger in exactly the same spot.

I guess they like throwing themselves to their death right about now.

Pig Place - Oxfordshire
Pig Place – Oxfordshire

Everyone has seen a Badger. Roadkill. They are a bit stupid maybe.

Owls…. Supposed to be CLEVER. Aren’t they…..?

This one found itself a little… dead.

Moving on……

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My first victim

My first victim

For those familiar with the matter…..

I’m a bit of a hunter gatherer type. I like the appeal of free fayre springing up round and about in the countryside, the fresh fruit and vegatables that any tom, dick or harry can pick up for free. Left to grow, cultivate themselves and continue the Saṃsāra of life.

It’s natures way….
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Wood Pigeon

Imagine my delight when I saw this sight above Bonnie Lady at 7am this morning.

Wood pigeon on wire

Now I know woodpigeon is very tasty with new potatos, fresh vegatables, maybe a little gravy and beans.

Like all the other things in nature this one was free, fresh and organic.

Unlike meats we buy in the supermarket, this one had had a free and gainful life around the countryside; flying, mating, eating the farmers crops, just doing the general things that pigeons do.

A gainful existance.


Bird on a wire

I am the owner of an S410, which for those who don’t know, is an air rifle.

It’s quite a good air rifle. Probably the best air rifle, certainly at one point in time.

It’s a PCP, which means compressed air fueled. Like a bullet rifle, there is no cocking of barrels and compressing of springs as with a traditional air rifle.

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