Friday, June 27, 2008

The Weekend Starts Here - Narrowboats and Locks

3.77mls, 1hrs 48mins, 2locks, 3.19lmph

This morning dawned with a little drizzle, but nothing too bad. John had an appointment to give blood in the early afternoon so I spent the morning doing a bit of cleaning and then sat down with my laptop to catch up on emails and blogs. John was busy on his laptop too!

By the time he returned from the “vampire” having donated his pint of blood the rain had cleared. So after a sit down we prepared to “pull the pins”. We finally set off about 5pm as the GPS laptop was not connecting to the Internet, so John had to fiddle a bit and I had to be patient!

We went down to the winding hole as we are cruising towards the Crofton flight. Past the Pewsey Boat Club moorings, the private Wharf moorings, the 48-hour moorings and the boats moored after these! We enjoy looking at all the boats so never mind slowing down to tick over past lines of moored boats! They are part of the canal scene, they can be appreciated and enjoyed and the variety of colours, styles and state of repair makes for interesting comparison and comments!

The last time we saw this boat it was down at Bathampton – last September.

The outside belies the beauty within? I am not sure if it is still for sale.

Leviathan was a former Birmingham Canal "joey" or day boat and belonged to the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, who used her as a passenger steamboat. When the Trust sold her in 1976 the steam boiler was taken out and put in Nb President. I am sure those who worked her would be more than surprised to see inside her now!

We had an email alert that there was a tree down at Wootton Rivers and spotted it just before the lock. It was passable with care as I got off to do the lock.

Above Wootton Rivers Lock (51) there are some 24-hour moorings but unsurprisingly they were full. I suppose we could have asked one of the boats to move to share a ring with the boat behind, and then we could have got in. But we decided to go on as we had had a snack of jam and (Cornish) cream scone each to keep us going until a meal. I made the scones this morning!

We went up Heathy Close lock and I spotted a 125 stopped at lights.

There must have been a problem on the line as it was there for at least quarter of an hour. (There was - near Pewsey) We saw a convenient mooring just after the lock landing. It had piling so we could use our hooks rather than getting out the mallet and pins.

So here we are for the evening, a couple of boats ahead of us, the railway line to our starboard (but not too noisy) and the wind gently moving us around – lovely.

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