We pulled pins from Reading loop at 07.40 on Thursday and our first lock of the day was Blake's lock and this is the one that takes you off the K&A and down onto The Thames. With no lock keeper and the sign saying self service we both got on the paddle wheels and lowered Inca down through the lock.
Once out on the Thames we soon arrived at Caversham lock which also had the self service sign displayed. Now this was a different kettle of fish to any lock we have ever operated before. The lock is electric and everything has to be done in the correct sequence or else nothing happens ,as we soon found out. The lock was full and we had to empty it and then open the gates to enter, but no matter what we did nothing happened. After a
long short time it was pointed out to us that the last person to use the lock had left the top paddles open and because of that nothing else would work on the lock until they were closed. Eventually after holding up all the lovely people on their way to work by having the lock gates open we got through and were on our way again. Surely when we do our next one on self service we will have a bit more of an idea .
Approaching this lock and these 2
Plastics Tuperware GRP boats were in such a hurry to get in the lock before us that they sped past us on the approach. A little later we saw them on the last 2 available moorings at Wallingford. So maybe they had some inside information as to the availability of the moorings.