Friday, 15 June 2007

The summit.

14 Locks 8½ Miles 1 Tunnel. Now moored at Pewsey
401 locks, 532 miles, 17 Tunnels, 11 swing bridges and 9 lift bridges since Nov 2006

We stand corrected by Fiona on N/b Epiphany about our subject title yesterday concerning Devonshire Tea and Cornish Tea and the difference between them.
I must apologize that we had Cornish teas as the jam was placed on the scones before the Cornish clotted cream. Sorry about that Fiona and thanks for correcting us. We look forward to meeting you in the next couple of days.
We decided on an early start today so that we could get watered up on the other side of the bridge from where we were moored.

Once underway we settled into a pattern which saw us making good time. The best part of this canal we have found so far is from lock 60 by the Crofton pumping station up to the Bruce tunnel. Brilliant moorings and well kept towpath and waterway. Unfortunately at lock 60 we had to ring BW and report a broken paddle gear. Dot was trying to raise the paddle to empty the lock after we had exited it and couldn’t move it. I went back to give her a hand and when I exerted a bit of extra pressure a die cast joint in the mechanism snapped. The positive side of it all was the lock was still operational.

Crofton Pumping Station

Also along this stretch of canal was the remnant of the old Midland and South Western railway which had a line to Southampton and alongside that was all that was left of an old Great Western railway branch line. On the other side of the tunnel however the scene returned to normal with trees down in the water and the towpath being generally over grown. A contractor had been along and cut the grass along the towpath but that was all. The grass between the bank edge and the towpath was tall and dense.

Railway abutments behind N/b Kalimera and N/b Gypsy Rover

The only bit of excitement today was being buzzed by 2 RAF helicopter gunships and a scout helicopter. One of the gunship’s circled us several times and came down very low. I just hope the weapons he was carrying were only practice rockets or whatever.
We are now on what is the 2 mile stretch of the summit of this canal which is supplied with water from Wilton Water reservoir via the Crofton pumping station. The reservoir is fed by natural springs. We had planned on mooring up at Burbage wharf or between bridges 111 and 112 but the only moorings available were taken or too shallow to get the boat into. We got caught by a few showers of rain while trying to moor up but by the time we reached bridge 112 we decided that Pewsey wharf wasn’t that far so we pushed on.
There was only 1 mooring available at Pewsey which was again too shallow for us but Kalimera got in quite easily so we are now breasted up to them again.
Three boats behind us is another NZ couple on Kiwi Cruiser 2 from Taupo NZ.
This is the second time they have been over here on a narrow boat. The first time they came over here they bought a boat and stayed for 6 months before selling the boat to return to NZ. On this visit they bought another boat and will be returning to NZ in October.

1 comment:

wasted said...

You're in crop circle country and will soon be passing the Barge Inn.
If you climb up to Knap Hill and Adams grave you might see some formations.