Thursday 20 July 2023

Benham Marsh

Today's Canal : Kennet and Avon

A really pleasant day with a lot of sunshine and fluffy clouds, with an occasional light breeze to keep everything fresh.

We had moored just below a lock and here we are before leaving.

A short distance and we passed under the main railway line - again. Although the rail track follows the canal closely for a long distance it does also cross it several times and substantial bridges. They look larger as they are at a slight angle to ours and so we see more of the abutments.

Another boat passed us just as we were getting ready to leave this morning but we tailed them closely (they did not seem to have much speed) and we happily shared the first lock. However, we were planning to stop for services just above Kintbury Lock so this was just the one share.

On the way up we saw a couple of volunteers repairing the pointing on the upper face of the bridge, and this time there was a larger group of 5 or 6 and at the moment they have been repairing the top of the walls. Interesting to see that CaRT are now training volunteers to do skilled work on jobs that perhaps would not otherwise have been possible within budgetary constraints. How far will this go?

At Kintbury, waiting for the lock and the water tank to fill (Not quote simultaneously or with the same source!) Just before we left, going down, another boat arrived and we wondered whether they would be able to share with us at the next one.

Below the lock, the Kintbury Horse Drawn Boat Trip was shortly to leave having just competed the introductory talk. It seemed to be about full. The horse was still, however, munching away  in the field.

At Dreweats Lock, a chap arrived with a hi tech surveying pole. ¬He was looking for something. We will give you a clue - it is in the above picture, can you spot it?

No, nor would we as it is a small stud in the corner to denote the survey point. It was last measured 15 years ago and someone (not sure which organisations) is updating the coordinates with the latest satellite data.

Give in? Here it is in detail. By the time we were in the ,ock the other boat was nowhere to be seen so we carried on. Of course they arrived when we were well over halfway down. Perhaps next time.

The same lock, from below - just to show the good weather!

When we arrived at the next lock, a boat coming up was having to take some time to empty - made worse by the fact that one top paddle had not been fully closed. The lock has also had quite a repair since we came by earlier in the season. A new, temporary, balance been has been fitted to the nearside bottom gate.

This design seems to be gaining favour for avoiding a lengthy closure - we first saw it a couple of years ago in the Oxford. The discarded section is in the hedge bottom, learning how to become a bug hotel. By the time the up boat had made it through, the boat following us had arrived and we could share.

This meant that we could also go through the next lock, Hamstead, together.

However, it was now lunch time and so we bade farewell to our companion in case we found somewhere to stop in the next pound. It was not looking well - we could see how shallow the edges were - until we spotted a place where we were able to get the bow close in and then the stern almost. The plank was in much less danger of falling into the water than most places we have had to deploy it!

After lunch we took a break - and after an hour and a half we agreed to take an other one and so we stayed here for the night.

4.1 Miles - 5 Locks

No comments:

Post a Comment