Thursday, December 27, 2007

Towards Crofton

10 locks, 4 hours 52 mins, 7.16 miles, 3.53 lm/hour

A mid morning start from Pewsey Wharf after buying some milk at the Waterfront Bistro (they sell eggs and bread too).

We also watered up, emptied rubbish and the cassette too. With all these facilities Pewsey Wharf is a useful stopping place.

The weather was dry, with a light wind and cloudy. We had a good run up Wootton Rivers 4 locks, all set for us.

We wondered if our new satellite dish pole would go through Bruce Tunnel.

Fortunately there was plenty of room, so no mad dash to take it down. It is brilliant as we can now get a signal above the trees that line the canal at some mooring spots.

BW are in process of cutting back some of the trees that encroach the navigation after Bruce Tunnel.

Today of course they were still on their Christmas break and so no activity, but plenty of evidence of their activities from these boats to piles of sawdust and a few logs. Shame we do not have a chain saw – maybe something to consider buying sometime. We did pick up some wood for kindling though as we passed through a couple of locks.

As we reached the top lock of the Crofton flight we met our first boat of the day exiting the lock. They were the only boat we saw moving today. All the locks were set against us as they are left empty and we were going down! The crew of the other boat apologised for this, but they were only obeying the “rules”. I think it is something to do with the water being pumped up to the top of the flight to keep the canal in water.

Some of the gates are very heavy and take a lot of effort to open and shut. The ground paddles are fairly easy but the gate lock gear takes lots of turns! This was an interesting sight in lock 57.

Holes in the top of the gate and leaky top paddles made this probably the slowest lock. There is obviously a lot of water in the canal to produce the waterfall through the holes!

We are now moored in one of our favourite spots at the bottom of lock 60, opposite Crofton Pumping Station.

- The moorings are just to the right in this photo

The water is rushing over the weir from Wilton Water and the wind is beginning to blow. We are in solitary isolation as there are no other boats on the moorings – the first time we have had this.

We will hear the trains on the very near Paddington to Penzance main line this evening, which runs alongside the Kennet and Avon canal from Pewsey to Reading. They never bother us at night and the early morning trains wake us up in good time!

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