Saturday, 23 July 2011

Scraping over the Summit

Another catch up as my 3 mobile broadband signal is not at all good along this stretch. 

Literally scraping the bottom.    Everything looked fine when we departed for Crofton Lock on Friday morning but the trouble started as soon as we left the lock.  The water levels were considerably down and we crawled to the next lock, debated calling BW but Geoff let some water down from the following lock and it made a slight difference but by the third lock we were just looking for the phone number to call BW when miraculously a man in blue top appeared.
We waited half an hour for him to try and rectify the problem and when he came back the water levels had risen slightly.  So we carried on with the warning that the summit pound was still quite shallow....
We actually then shared two locks with another boat....hooray!
A diddy little boat called TITANIC 2

This shows how much the water was down.
.he was not was a tedious slow passage and we nearly called it quits at the entrance to the Bruce tunnel as we had great difficulty getting in.  However we persevered at snails pace and of course sods law operated......we saw a boat approaching from the other end.  Whilst in normal circumstances we could have passed quite happily we did not want to risk both of us being wedged aground in the tunnel with no phone signal!   So we hooted madly and eventually he got the message and stayed put until we were through.

Once on the other side of the tunnel, although the water was down, it was not as bad as the other side.
We went through our first 2 descending locks at Wooton and then saw a congenial mooring place just above the next lock so decided to call a halt for the day.  We even had someone to share the locks with...............can't remember the name but a live aboard who goes up and down this licence displayed!
We do pass some odd boats on the way.
4.1 miles, 4 hrs 5 min, 9 locks
Saturday we set off to find a congenial mooring as we were expecting visitors on Sunday.
Only 2 locks today and then a long pound without until we reach Devizes...and the Caen Flight.
One very leaky lock
We stopped at Pewsey for the Sani-station, but the moorings are dreadful.  There are 48 hour visitor moorings and there was one space we might have been just able to get into, but we would have been miles off the bank   There is no concession made for visitors, just a rough unfriendly bank, whilst through the bridge the permanent moorings have rings and a proper edge............there are parts of this canal that does not seem to actively encourage visiting boats........perhaps they prefer the liveaboards who cruise up and down a short stretch.......(My moan for the day)
We passed the famous White Horse.

Daleks obviously still reign in some places
When we reached Honey Street there was space on the moorings (rings and proper edge) so we decided to stop as there is a pub close by (just a little too close!).   We checked it out for a lunch time pint (1/2 for me) and booked for Sunday lunch as it looked OK.  It is obviously a very popular pub as it was heaving at lunch time and again in the evening although after the noise of the trains at Crofton it didn't bother us too much, however it is not a nice enough mooring to stop on the way back...........just hope it is OK for our Sunday lunch with visitors tomorrow......
7.41 miles, 2 locks, 3hrs 36min

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