Sunday, March 23, 2008

Strange Noises In The Night, Then Crofton To Wootton Rivers

4.25 miles, 2 hrs 57 mins, 9 locks, 4.5 lm/hr

There was some strange goings on last night at Crofton!

Nothing to do with the full moon I think!

Actually truth to tell we know what was going on – as it got darker and for the rest of the evening and well into the night we were passed by canoes on the water, canoes being carried along the towpath and various calls and shouts.

There were calls of “where are we?” “Is that another lock?” “Can we portage?” According to John this went on until 3 am. He was awake but I was definitely not! Lets hope they all got safely to Westminster today.

We woke early to watch the Grand Prix – a bit disappointing for Lewis Hamilton but it is very early in the season yet. When we looked out of the porthole after the race it was snowing.

Not much but enough to lay on the towpath a bit. This is our second experience of snow at Easter on a boat. The last time was about 35 years ago – on an Anglo Welsh hire boat on the Stratford and Avon canal. This canal was in better shape then by the sound of Derek and Dot’s experiences recently on Gypsy Rover.

However the snow was gone by the time we loosed the ropes and continued up the Crofton flight. Then the sun shone for the rest of the day! At lock 59 Nb Red & Gold waited for us and we doubled up the rest of the flight. They were fairly new to the experience having only bought the boat in September but us ladies did a really good job on the boats whilst the men did the locks!

As we exited the penultimate lock we met Nb Apollo.

They moored on the other side of the pontoon from us in Devizes Marina. It was good to have a quick chat, as we haven’t seen them since before we left the marina.

We left Nb Red and Gold at the top lock and continued towards Wootton Rivers.

The canal is busier and we must have seen about 6 boats on the move today, 2 Ownerships boats and the rest private. We waited for quite a while at Cadley lock (54) for one of the Ownerships to lock up through!

This is looking back towards Burbage Wharf as they went on their merry way!

We met another boat coming up at Brimslade lock (53), the girl at the lock said they were novices and had only just bought their boat so she opened the other bottom gate too.

We moored just above Wootton Rivers bottom lock (51) with our bows just on the moorings as there was not a big enough space left by the tree boats already there – a winter mooring is rather badly placed and should really be nearer the end and then we could have done it!

I am still trying to get the hang of baking cakes by calor gas and have just taken out another “disaster” that looks bad but tastes good. It seems the oven needs to be set at nearly 2 degrees above the recipe if it is less than mark 9! I have sussed bread and muffins but don’t think I will try a Victoria sponge just yet!

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