Friday, June 29, 2007

From Wharf To Pub In The Dry

We had a very quiet night at the Wharf, there were quite a few boats moored when we looked out in the morning. The early morning was a little showery so we stayed put. John continued some jobs on the boat and I did some necessary housework! As we were right by the winding hole we had a grandstand view of boats winding – about three or four. Devizes Is a bit of a canal decision time as once you are committed to the Caen flight after The Cave lock – number 45, 6 locks later – and the winding hole below, there is no turning back for a while!

By noon it was time to move – before or after lunch! We grabbed a snack and set off, as we decided we could moor up for lunch when we got to the Black Horse pub. We were the only boat going down then. Through Kennet Lock (50), under the bridge immediately below known as the Town Bridge, it became more windy and blowy. As many of you know the paddle gear on these locks take a lot of effort, both bottom and top gates on some locks. Letting the ratchet down is awkward as you wind the windlass with one hand whilst reaching over the beam to hold the safety catch up. Yes I know some people cheat and just let it run down. This is only possible if they run freely, but not a good idea as it adds to the wear and tear.

Back to our mini cruise. The sun was shining and the clouds were white and fluffy, not dark and threatening. The next lock is Maton lock, no problems here except there was a boat in front so all the locks were set against us. The wind blew us to Trust lock, which was named to mark the 21st anniversary of the K & A Trust in 1983. Here we waited for the boat behind to catch up. One of them had walked down to ask us as they thought they would have a partner for the flight. I think they may have been disappointed when we said we were mooring below!

We moored opposite the pub on the towpath side, lots of nettles on the bank but we avoided being stung! We spent a very pleasant afternoon, cratch cover up; side doors open, watching tennis. The phone signal is not too good so Johns mobile was in the porthole (best place for a signal!) so he could get onto the web. When it rang it fell off and cut off the call from our son – so out into the cratch to sit on the gunnels for a lovely chat. He went up to the Lakes yesterday and was extolling the beautiful scenery. Fortunately the floods, unlike Sheffield, did not affect Lancaster.

So now, once I have finished this we will wander over to the Black Horse for a drink and to check it out. Last time we were there was about 5 years ago. We were with our friends on a hire boat and met some other friends there for a meal. We have just realised that we have never been down the flight just up it twice, but no we are not doing it this weekend – definitely! By the way we have only travelled 2 miles – what a long blog about a journey that takes 10 – 15 minutes max in the car from the marina!

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