Leaving Caversham on the way to France, the first challenge is the Sonning Bridge. The bridge is just downriver from our former base mooring at Thames & Kennet Marina. Sonning’s narrow red brick bridge crosses the Thames allowing a single lane of car traffic through at a time. Passing under the bridge is also restricted; there’s enough space to allow one large boat to squeeze through at a time.
The first time we went through Sonning’s narrow arched bridge we were left questioning whether Wanderlust was just too big for the Thames. The space between the arches is tight and the river flow can be pushy. Negotiating the cross current of the weir stream while heading upriver is particularly challenging when Thames is flowing strongly. With time it became easier to get through. Nevertheless, navigating under the Sonning Bridge always brought a quickened pulse.
It once took us five attempts to get through the span in the upstream direction. At the time, the Environment Agency had posted a “yellow board decreasing” flow warning. This time through, our last for the foreseeable future, the conditions were favorable. Our passage was easy and we were on our way to France.