Thursday, 27 February 2014


Allington swing bridge forms one of the short stops on the long pound. This is a footbridge/swing-bridge with only footpaths leading to and from and towpath and canal as a crossing. It is some way from the nearest road. I would safely say that any rubbish found on the non-towpath side of the bridge must have come from boaters. There was plenty of it.
Allington Swing Bridge
 The towpath side was relatively clear of rubbish, but the non-towpath side yielded...
Lots of rubbish! The bin-liner was stuffed full, the overflow consisted of plastic panels, wheels and a loo cassette. This was all heaped aboard and dumped at All Cannings Bridge refuse disposal site 20 minutes along the canal. Am I getting to sound like Maffi?
Must buy some more bin-liners!

Wilcot Wide

In between all the heavy showers, rain and gales there are sometimes a few days where the weather is much better. So it was at the beginning of this week.
I took the bus to Devizes (using my bus-pass) and brought Constance up to Devizes wharf. For part of the way I was accompanied by a class of children and their teachers. They were all able to see how the lock system raises a boat and learned about the canal system.
Once at Devizes there was shopping to be done before moving on along the 'Long Pound'.
The first night was spent safely moored below the Bridge Inn at Horton before moving along towards Wilcot.
There are two swing bridges (more about one of them in my next post), a stop at All Cannings bridge for a shower and a quick drive-by of Honey Street which seems to be a magnet for an awful lot of scruffy looking boats.
The long pound is quiet this time of year and I only saw one boat on the move the whole time.
Somewhere on the long pound

Under the watchful eye of the white horse

Stopping at Wilcot Wide Water in the sunshine
I even had my own seat on the towpath!
Wilcot wide water is such a lovely quiet spot for an overnight stop.

Thursday, 20 February 2014


Judy and I went to Constance for the day. When we arrived we found the bow rope to have been cut!
Bow lines cut!
Luckily the mid & stern lines were still in-tact otherwise she would have drifted away!
Judy went shopping whilst I fixed the rope & did a few other little jobs.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Another beautiful Sunday!

Sunday was a most beautiful day. Another one of those 'bonus days' - sunny, warm and dry. It was a bit late by the time I arrived at Constance, then I could not find anywhere to park. Eventually I paid to park in the C&RT car park at Caen Hill and walked down to the bottom. By then it was 11:30. Was it too late to go up? The bottom few locks were set against me but there were several boats coming down, so the picture would improve. I decided that as it was such a lovely day it would be foolish not to go and with the pending closure for work it would mean I would be over-staying.
By 12:00 I was at the bottom lock on my way up. The café seemed to be such a long way away.
It was hard work but with the repetition you drop into a rhythm and the lock count gradually went up. By 14:50 I was looking at the café with the lock filled. I had made it solo in 2 hours 50 minutes!
The café at the top of the Caen Hill flight

Looking back down the hill
 The Caen Hill flight is due to close imminently for maintenance for a week or so. I am now above the flight and moving on.
Opposite the Black Horse
The mooring is good opposite the Black Horse. The solar panel can collect well as there are virtually no obstructions. I was tired but chuffed that I had been able to do the Caen Hill flight on my own. 20 locks and about one mile in four hours

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Bonus days!

Sunday was one of those winter Bonus Days. One of those beautiful, sunny, warm, almost spring-like days. I call winter days like this Bonus Days because in winter every day like this is a bonus! Even my coat came off, and for those who know me, that is a rare event at this time of year! An early start took me up through the Seend flight and a brief stop at Sells Green to walk back for the car. As the day was so good I decided to move on up through the Foxhanger flight of locks.
9 locks and two swing bridges today.
Rusty Lane swing bridge in the sunshine

A windy Saturday

It was time to move on. Saturday was going to be very windy with occasional showers. The walk from Seend Cleeve & the Barge Inn to (near) Semington where Constance was moored was a head wind struggle. When I came to move her the wind was abeam and held her firmly to the bank. It took quite a bit of engine muscle power to get her going. The wind made steering exciting. There were some stops for the very heavy showers. Eventually stopping opposite the Barge Inn at Seend Cleeve.
Flooded fields - Semington Brook is in there somewhere!
 The fields around are all flooded
A rainbow over Seend Cleeve
And the rain still falls!