Sunday, December 30, 2007

Still Sunny Sunday

2.72 miles, 2 hours 43 mins, 10 locks, 4.68 lm/h

It was another sunny day, but 1 degree C outside when we woke. We had our porridge (staple breakfast fare in the winter) and pootled to the water point at Great Bedwyn Wharf, just after Great Bedwyn Bridge. Here we took on water, emptied the cassette in the Elsan (there is a self pump out and rubbish here too).

Another boat came up behind us and we joined them to go up the locks.

Vox Stellarum is a 70-foot trad, built on a Colecraft shell with an owner fit out. A very nice traditional replica. The current owners bought her second hand, as she was just what they were looking for.

They had crew on board so the locks were not too onerous, although John helped with almost all of the 10 locks: 4 locks up to the Crofton flight and then 6 in the Crofton flight. On some of the latter, the bottom paddles should be left open.

Some of the gates are very difficult, particularly lock 64: Bedwyn Church lock. As you see, there are some repair jobs to do too. This is lock 55, the gate is also difficult and needs to be “jacked” and the wall looks a bit “iffy”.

It was a very pleasant cruise with company and we enjoyed finding out a little about each other’s boats. They admired our 18-inch potholes and I said we had aimed at a modern boat with a touch of tradition. The consensus was that we had achieved it well!

We decided to moor above Crofton top lock, leaving 4 locks tomorrow on our way back to Pewsey. We said our goodbyes and settled down for a cuppa and a quiet afternoon in a lovely spot.
The sun was shining and giving some wonderful reflections on the canal of the winter trees. Unfortunately reducing the pixels for web and mobile internet does not reproduce the photos in all their glory!

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