Tuesday, 16 August 2011


The intention was for an early start, about 8 we thought, but one of the boats in front was even keener than us so when we saw him setting off just after 7.30, we followed and agreed to share locks.  Only 3 locks to climb to the summit and then a short run to Savernake tunnel on the summit and soon we were at the top of the Crofton Flight to begin our descent which will eventually take us all the way back to Reading.  Good team work going with the two boats which make the journey a little quicker.  There was also a lot more water than on our way down so life was also a lot pleasanter.   The weather was somewhat dull however and a bit nippy......maybe summer has gone as my Daily Telegraph informed me yesterday!!
When we reached the 3rd lock in the flight (Lock 57) this was the sight as we descended.
The pound above was overfull and the lock overflowing and needless to say it took an age to empty.  At first we thought that someone had come through and not emptied the lock after use as requested so water was being held back, but after a while we realised that the bottom paddles would not stay up so it was more likely a fault. (Duly reported to BW)

Eventually the water was down and you can see what must be 4 deliberate drain holes for excess water from above, hence the reason for the bottom paddles to be left open.......I think that is the reasoning.......
No problems with the last two locks and wonder of wonders the moorings are almost empty so we had our pick of places and we were tied up in time for late morning coffee.....
Sadly Crofton Pumping Station Visitor Centre is closed as they have had contamination of the fresh water supply so we were not able to up there for coffee with their delicious home made cakes.....
4.12 miles, 9 locks, 2hrs 34 min

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