Friday, 31 August 2012

Bradford-on-Avon to Bath

During our stay at Bradford-on-Avon we found one of the gold post boxes and just had to take the 'obligatory' photograph:
Judy and Alison by the Gold Post Box in Bradford-on-Avon
To celebrate the Olympic success of local lad Ed McKeever who was signing autographs among the throng!
We went on a walk around Bradford-on-Avon (highly recommended) following a free guide map. We went through some of the back lanes and saw many of the historical sites/sights including St. Mary Tory on the side of the hill overlooking BoA.
St.Mary Tory above the Hermitage, overlooking BoA.

Then came the time to move towards Bath - crossing the Avoncliff Aqueduct
and then on to Dundas...

for lunch.
From Dundas is is a short journey to Bath where we stayed for a couple of days. The womenfolk wanted to do some shopping. I was able to escape this ordeal and stay on the boat and potter about!
As the river was high, we drove along the Avon as best we could, looking at all of the locks as part of our planning to go to Bristol next summer.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Hidden amongst the shrubbery!

Here we are, hidden amongst the shrubbery...
Up behind the old Tithe Barn at Bradford-on-Avon
Again I played 'car and boat leapfrog' to get from Semington to Bradford-on-Avon. The weather was good and I enjoy the walking. Before lunch we moved from Semington to Staverton, then I walked back to collect the car. Then we moved gently on to BoA and stopped on the 24 hour mooring so that the girls could go down the town to find cake whilst I surveyed the longer term mooring possibilites behind the Tithe Barn. After moving to 'the shrubbery' we ate and I collected the car. It is amazing how peaceful a late eveing walk along a towpath can be. The high-speed cyclists seem to have retired for the day and everything is quiet. A great time to lookout for wildlife.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Devizes to Semington

Mum & Heather stayed on Constance for the best part of a week in Devizes. They were able to go out around the town and surrounding countryside and enjoy their leisure time.
On Friday, Judy Alison and I went to Devizes because the weather forecast looked good with the purpose of continuing our westward journey down the Caen Hill Lock Flight. We had our team - me driving, Judy, Alison and Heather operating the locks and Mum supervising either from the cratch or from the stern with me.
People often ask 'Why is it always the womenfolk who operate the locks whilst the menfolk do the easy bit of driving?' It seems to be preference. On very rare occasions I can persuade Alison to 'drive' but the rest of the time... I would love to operate locks sometimes!

We set off just before 12 from Devizes Wharf to start the descent. Once you get to Lock 43 you are starting the flight proper and it is then a continuous run until Lock 29 when you reach the bottom. You cannot stop, there is nowhere to stop, you keep going. Good job the weather was good!

At the bottom there is one chance for photos, looking back up at where you have come from.
This is the view from Lock 28 looking back up the Caen Hill Lock Flight.
This has got to rate as one of this Country's greatest man-made achievments!

We stayed the night below Lock 28
Saturday we moved on towards Foxhangers.
Water Lilies - I hope this boat will not get too tangled on the roots!

They have built a new marina there since I last came by this way.

Then on to Sells green and Seend, stopping for the night opposite The Barge Inn at Seend.

Seend to Semington.
On Sunday morning Mum and Heather went shopping. They went to a big Tesco at Trowbridge, a bit of a busman's holiday for Heather!

We had to wait for the rain! The Sunday Lunch crowd at The Barge Inn scattered! The heavens opened, thankfully it was short lived.
There are four locks and three swing bridges between Seend and Semington. Once the threat of rain abated we were on our way. We stopped by Semington road bridge for evening meal and let our passengers off then moved to a longer term mooring so that we could leave Constance for a few days.
Mum & Heather thoroughly enjoyed their week on board.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

What a rotten Blogger I am!

A diarist I am not! I have never kept a diary in my life and I keep forgetting to Blog, which is pretty much the same thing.
I see that my last blog for Narrow-Boat Constance was September 2010.
Let's see if we can catch up a little.
September 2010 - we returned to our mooring at Great Bedwyn for the winter.
Summer 2011 we went to Hungerford and stayed there for a week or so, Mum & my Sister, Heather, stayed for a week.
Autumn 2011 I bought a solar panel and pwm controller. Best thing I ever bought. It keeps the leisure battery fully charged all the time. When I get to the boat I can then switch the Battery Isolator to 'both' batteries and the solar panel then charges both batteries. Various bits of maintenance - oil & filter fuel change. I could not get the old style CAV fuel filter to seal without a small drip so I purchased a 'replacement' filter type with the screw-on filter like most cars have. Next time the oil needs changing I will do the same for the oil. Much easier.
Removed and re-painted the cratch cover timbers before they get any more weather damage. Started painting the roof.
The newly painted for'd roof section.
Seen from above and later with cratch assembled.
Went to Crofton whilst it was in steam.
Went back to Crofton again as GB0CBE - amateur Radio Special Events Station to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the 1812 Boulton & Watt Engine.
HRH The Duke of Gloucester visited
I made bread, this was just before it went into the oven - delicious! Back again a couple of weeks later for the Crofton Music Festival. From Crofton we have moved to the west, here is the pretty Lady's Bridge at Stowell Park, near Pewsey.
Gradually moving westward and now at Devizes.