Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Locking Today - The Hill Awaits

Epiphany is moored below the Caen Hill Flight
2.89 miles, 3 hours 15 minutes, 10 Locks, 2 swing bridges, 3.97 l/mph

We set off from Seend Wharf at 2 .45 pm. We had the best of the weather as the sun was shining and it was warm too.

Lock 19 was nearly ready for us – leaky gates! At lock 20 a Foxhangers hire boat joined us with a crew from Devon. We were not sure whether they were returning to Foxhangers or on a one-way trip as they did not really understand the workings of the locks – it was almost as if these were the first locks they had ever done! Anyway we managed through this and the next lock with out mishap and with a little instruction.

They moored to walk into Seend and we continued through the 2 swing bridges to Sells Green. At Sells Green swing bridge (150) we chatted to Robert from Posh Rats and Actis. Further on were John (and Ann) and Nb Skylarking and behind him Nb Salix Alba (James and Fiona) – They had both moved down from above Caen Hill in the last few days. I wonder when the rest of the “Bath Narrowboats Fleet” will join them! Tempted though we were to moor the weather was so good we resisted!

Passing Foxhangers hire base – with only a couple of boats in, we started on the Devizes Locks.

Actually this picture was taken between locks 26 and 26! The weather was glorious. There were some lovely reflections as we moved up the locks – all set against us.
This was the view from lock 25! Fortunately John was locking and was able to set the one above each time!

We passed one of the Bruce Trusts boats, Hannah, moored in a lovely spot for the evening.

I chatted to the Lock Keeper as he travelled down to empty all the locks, as is practice for the night. He said there were no boats ahead of us so we would be first up Caen Hill tomorrow if we set off early. All the flight would be set for us then!

We will have company as a boat from Lady's Bridge has now joined us. We have seen them before – can’t remember the name of their boat! We will have plenty of time to find out tomorrow!

So, an early night and early morning for us. The plus side is that we will get to Devizes Wharf mid morning and can shop in the market before moving on. We would like to get up to Pewsey before we return to the Marina on Sunday.

We have just heard, with great sadness of the death of Mike Stevens. He will be remembered for an avid love and concern for the canals and waterways - and love of cats of course. In particular we knew of his work with the London Canal Museum and John got to meet him through their common work with Save Our Waterways. As well as being on the committee Mike maintained the SOW website.

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