Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How Far Can We Go?

Well the best laid plans and all that! My camera arrived at 11.30 am - funny 10 am as promised! "The van keeps breaking down Guv, it's a hired one". I have heard some excuses before, however the retailer is refunding our £5 confirmed delivery charge!

Time for an early lunch before we go. So then we were off in the pouring rain, all togged up in wet gear, turning left out of the marina onto the Kennet and Avon. Next stop....? There were only a few boats on the go. We saw some Foxhanger's hire boats and one or two private boats. Amazingly the sun came out at about Allington Swing Bridge and we took off some of the wet weather gear, - hats and jackets, but not trousers in case it rained again. Oh ye of little faith!

We passed all the usual places - Lady's Bridge (1880 built to keep the Landowner, Lady Susannah Wroughton and attributed to John Rennie) Wide Water (the swan family was still there with all 5 signets), Honey Street, Pewsey Boat Club moorings and the Wharf heading towards Wootton Rivers.

I was playing with the camera so took some experimental shots of various things; the white horse at Honey Street (1812 and a copy of the one at Cherhill), some typical canal landscape views, boats etc. It is great playing with the zoom and options as it has more of these than my last one. If there are any good photos when I down load them I will give you a taster!

Then - "Oh what a bummer" - an Anglo Welsh hire boat called out that lock 51 was closed just as we approached bridge 111. Out came the Nicholsons and yes, lock 51 was Wootton Rivers bottom lock. There were one or two boats moored after 109, one in my favourite spot.

We managed to moor just after this, avoiding the stinging nettles but using the plank. John wandered up to the lock to investigate. It was locked! About half an hour before we arrived so another boater said. He had just made it up. The boat moored above the lock suggested that a hire boat had bashed the bottom gates in an attempt to open them. They are extremely leaky and will not open unless the paddles are fully up.

BW are coming tomorrow to assess the damage so here we are wondering if we were meant to turn right out of the marina! If it is temporarily repaired do we go up and risk not being able to return? Can I commute from here to work if we get stranded? Maybe. I shall let you know!

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