Thursday, 15 July 2010

Devizes to Semington

Devizes (Caen Hill) lock flight due to re-open on Saturday 10th July. We joined Contance at Coate Bridge on Friday eveing and took her to Devizes Wharf and joined the queue. Saturday morning we started off downhill.
After a couple of hours we had made it to the bottom of the main Caen Hill flight and paused for a moment to look back.
By evening we had arrived at Sells Green and stayed for the night.
Sunday morning we set off for Seend Cleeve, by the Barge Inn for water and Loo stop.

By mid afternoon it was almost unbearably hot so we pulled in to have 'Tea & Cake' and a rest. There was a boat ahead of us, similarly moored for refreshments. We recognised them as friends from our local village. The Bishop family had joined Jane on 'About Time' (normally moored near us at Great Bedwyn) for a day trip. It is a small world!
Rosie and Gordon, with windlasses, ready to set the next lock for 'About Time'
As the day cooled, we moved on and stopped at Semington, near where the Wilts & Berks canal used to be.

Great Bedwyn to Devizes

On the weekend of 3rd July we started our journey to Bath. The aim of the trip is to arrive in Bath on about the 3rd weekend in August. The Devizes (Caen Hill) lock flight was closed for a while due to urgent repairs being necessary because of a 'boat strike' at one of the lower locks. This is the first time we have played car and boat leapfrog.
Starting off about lunchtime on Saturday Judy and Alison moved towards the start of the Crofton Flight as I moved the car nearer. I helped with locks/steered etc., until the top of Crofton where we stopped for a well earned 'tea & cake'. I was about to walk back to the car to 'leapfrog' to Wootton Rivers, when the engine would not start. The starter motor would not kick in. After about an hour of tracing wiring, checking switches and relays I discovered the starter solenoid wire dangling below the starter. The vibrations had caused it to drop off. Repaired, boat started, we were each on our way in opposite directions.
I walked back to the car and drove to Wootton Rivers whilst Judy and Alison made their way along the canal to meet me. We eventually met at Wootton Rivers top lock, worked our way to the bottom, so that we were at the start of the Long Pound and stayed the night.
Sunday morning, bright and early, the womenfolk started towards Pewsey, we met again briefly, then leapfrog to Honey Street for lunch. Afternoon leapfrogs were to the two operational swing bridges. Eventually arriving at Coate Bridge in the evening.