Monday, 15 April 2013

From too much to too little.

Yesterday evening friends Janet and Gerald (nb Toulouse) visited and, with Bob and June, we all enjoyed a pre dinner drink on board ‘Chance’ before going to Prezzo in Newbury for a very nice meal.  During our pre dinner drinks we were paid a brief visit by Ian and Karen on nb ‘Tacet’ who had moored up further down the canal.  Sadly we couldn’t spend more time with them but we’re looking forward to meeting up with them further down the K and A.


Bob, James, June, Gerald and Janet.

We left Newbury this morning in high spirits (as always) but when we reached the second lock of the day (Higg’s Lock) we found the next pound drained of water. It was evident that someone had left opened the top and bottom paddles on the lock with the obvious consequence!


Our onward prospect from Higg’s Lock.


Looking back at the lock.

The solution was simple – Doug walked up to the next lock and opened up the top and bottom paddles which started to fill the pound.  Before doing so we checked the water situation in the next pound and found that it was fed by the river so there would be no chance of draining that one!


After about an hour and a half we had enough water to float a boat, so we sent a “sacrificial” hire boat through first!  After that Bob went next with ‘Autumn Myst’ and then James followed lastly with ‘Chance’. The water level was still down about 18 inches but we safely made it through.


The canals are normally very sociable places and further along, at another lock,  we met a couple of boats coming the other way.  As the lock was slow to fill there was ample time for a chat with some total strangers.


June and Doug often walk with Phoenix between locks.  This is taken just after Copse Lock where the canal is now entering  some beautiful  Berkshire countryside.

It wasn’t long before we arrived in Kintbury and our intended mooring for tonight just above the lock.  After we got ship shape we had a very informative chat to an off duty C&RT employee who was in charge of water management and we came away much wiser about the complexities of controlling water.


After a late lunch we went for a walk around the very pretty village of Kintbury.  Part of our route was on a public footpath where we came across this old turnstile, something  we’ve never seen before.


There are some very nice house in this village – this one is certainly “des res”.

We’ve had another exciting and challenging day today, and again, it’s been great fun.

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