Monday, 13 August 2018

Back to civilisation

Apologies for the lack of blogging, I'm too tired as I'm working lots of locks each day.

We rushed to Devizes as CHS had arranged to meet friends there, we were supposed to be travelling back slowly, but CHS's is impatient, so we are travelling back at speed too. 

We were the first boat into the bottom lock of the Caen Hill Flight on our journey home. We were in the lock by 8:10, we buddied up with a hire boat and we did the flight in 2 hours 10 minutes. We moored at the top for a couple of hours and went to the local shop for supplies, mainly beer and tinned food, they don't sell meat.

We then buddied up with a different hire boat to do the top six locks. We then had a long, lock free trip which gave me chance to recover. Buddying up is good as it means more people to work the locks with me, but sometimes I find it hard to keep up with the other crews when they are in their 40's and I'm considerably older.

We had hoped to moor at Wilcot, but the cut was too shallow there, so we moved on to Wooton Rivers.
The next day we moved on to Crofton, nine locks and a tunnel, we visited the Crofton Beam Engineers Café and bought a slice of coffee and walnut cake each. We moored overnight and were able to get rid of our rubbish there.

We'd hoped to moor at Great Bedwyn but there was no room so we carried on, we found a mooring just after bridge 91 where there was a long stretch of unpopulated Armco.
CHS wanted to carry on but I'd done nine locks and was knackered.
It seemed to be a bit of a black hole, we had no phone signal, no TV signal and no Wifi.
This wouldn't normally be a problem but my kindle chose Saturday to throw a hissy fit, CHS insisted I hadn't charged it, like that's a possibility!

The following day we pressed on to Hungerford, a nearby boater came and helped me open the swing bridge by Hungerford church and asked if he could share the lock with us. He asked me to show his wife how to work the lock, she's been on the boat for eight years and couldn't do it. I showed her how, talked her through what to do. He pointed us in the direction of some moorings that were just at the back of Tesco's. We moored up and went shopping as by now we were running low on supplies and some of our meals were a little random.

We stayed overnight and moved on this morning three miles and three locks to Kintbury, again CHS wanted to travel further towards Newbury, but I only slept for two hours last night  and needed to rest.
Tomorrow we will fill up with water and move on to Newbury.


justjill said...

Wow. I am tired just reading all that. One always thinks of living on a canal as being a leisurely way of life!

Gillian said...

All power to your elbow opening and closing the locks. I know it is hard work. However, can you let me know why you are dealing with the locks whilst CHS is steering. I know which job I would rather be doing. Thank you for letting your readers into your life on the cut. It always appears a nice and easy life, mooring up at pubs, gliding through the countryside or part of towns that normally one doesn't see.

Hard up Hester said...

I won't steer the boat, it's not easy to do in the locks and my ears would bleed if I scratched or bumped the boat. I find this is the reason most women prefer to work the locks.

kate steeper said...

Mr always says he will buy a canal boat if he wins the lottery , not quite sure how he thinks he would manage , we would have to have a hoist to get him on and off , but then the chances of a lottery win are bleedin thin

Siobhan said...

Long time reader Hester who had to comment on reading this post
Good grief
Are you Wonder Woman in disguise?

Anonymous said...

Heavens above Sue I'm exhausted just reading this!

Bet you'll be glad to get back to base for a pit-stop - I won't say rest as you're always rushing about!

I'll keep a eye peeled for you passing through Newbury but I suspect it may be whilst I'm at work so I shall probably miss you.

Caroline :)

Col said...

I'll be staying as a landlubber, I'm not terribly keen on hard work, or lack of sleep!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for letting me know why you don't steer in the locks. i didn't realise it was difficult to do.


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