Friday, March 28, 2008

Against The Wind To Devizes

9.81 miles, 3 hrs 36 mins, 2 swing bridges, 2.55 lm/hr

We had quite a bit of rain this morning, which was fortunate as John had some work to do for the SOW AGM. 4 or 5 boats passed us their crew all dressed in wet weather gear. However at lunch time the sun broke through and although a little blustery it was good cruising weather.

We set off at about 1.15, passing the swan’s nest in the same place as last year.

As we travelled the wind got stronger and much of the journey was into a strong head wind! Bridge 122 has some interesting “tank traps”, remnants from the war defences as are the pill boxes scattered along this stretch.

There were a fair few boats moored including this one...

and its butty:

If I remember rightly from the summer there is a full size bath in the bows under the Perspex.

The two swing bridges on this stretch were fun. The wind was so strong that we took a rope ashore both before and after the bridges. Allington swing bridge (129) opened by wind power once I had undone the padlock and I had to look sharp to get on the bridge otherwise I would have been left behind and unable to help once Epiphany was through!

Bishops Cannings swing bridge (133) is a wide bridge and much heavier – John had to open and close it whilst I looked after the boat on the ropes.

We were on very familiar territory and debated whether to stop and moor at The Bridge Inn, Horton but carried on past the moorings and a short towpath closure under the bridge (134).

Passing the marina we came to Devizes and there were lots of boats moored at the wharf and on the 72-hour moorings. This meant we had to moor past the winding hole, and there was space on what is known locally as Town Wharf, just before Town bridge (141) . This is just before the first of the Devizes locks, Kennet lock (50), which include the Caen Hill flight.

So we are settled for the night, two more boats managed to get in front of us – just so there are now no moorings left for late comers! The boat is being moved around a fair bit by the wind, not that that bothers us. I just hope it drops as tomorrow we will have to reverse to the winding hole to turn around and that will definitely be fun if the wind is up!

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