Sunday, 26 January 2014

A Soggy weekend in Bradford on Avon

Map reference  ST 82587  59979
Distance 2.1 miles
Total 257 Locks 7 Tunnels
Running total mileage 340.9miles

And so the rain continues in a soggy day in Bradford on Avon. It was forecast so I can’t be surprised, but it would be nice if the rain would start to abate a bit. Looking at the stoppages further up the canal it seems that the continuing wet weather is wreaking havoc on the canal between Reading and Newbury, in fact the Canal and River Trust website doesn’t really recommend going further than Wooton Rivers due to the high flow levels. At least here the canal level remains fairly constant (up and down by probably 12 inches).

There isn’t really much to report since we have pretty much covered most of what is available along this section of canal and we are starting to look forward to seeing different bit of canal again, hopefully from next month if the flooding abates. Due to return back to Torquay on 5th February to get to a dental appointment as one of my teeth has chipped, in order to do this will be hiring a car from Bath so need to be moored somewhere convenient to get to Bath on that date.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Ladydown Aqueduct, Trowbridge

Map reference  ST 85557  59452
Distance 9.0 miles
Total 257 Locks 7 Tunnels
Running total mileage 338.8miles

Well, we made the trip to Seend Wharf and enjoyed the meal at the Barge Inn and have now travelled back to Ladydown Aqueduct just outside of Trowbridge where we intend to remain for a short while. The trip up as far as Sells Green swing bridge, where we winded the boat, was made a lot easier by the fact that we teamed up with the couple crewing a Sally hire boat called ‘Leah’ to go through all the locks. They were a brave couple of ‘newbys’ having never hired a boat before and decided to do so to celebrate a 40th birthday. Even we had never hired in the depths of winter (although we should have done really, but never got around to it!) prior to buying our boat. The couple did well however and having seen them returning to their boatyard today, they did make it as far as Bath which for a couple of first timers is no small achievement. Hope to see them again in the future on the system.

Monday, 13 January 2014


Map reference  ST 89878  61063
Distance 9.6miles
Total 243 Locks 7 Tunnels
Running total mileage 329.8miles

Now back at Semington having stopped for the weekend at Bradford on Avon. By way of a change we are pressing on towards Seend Wharf tomorrow with the possibility of a pub meal at The Barge. The trip today was in ideal weather despite a short shower halfway between here and Bradford, it started raining in earnest after we got here. The forecast for tomorrow is for a sunny day day so if the forecast is fulfilled we should have a very pleasant day’s cruise. 

As to be expected when cruising in winter there is little to report of any significance, although today was the first for a while when we DIDN’T see a Kingfisher (quite a disappointment), oh well, better luck tomorrow.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Dundas Aqueduct again.

Map reference  ST 78452  62733
Distance 12.4miles
Total 242 Locks 7 Tunnels
Running total mileage 320.2miles

Since the last post we have continued to travel back to Bath and now returning to Dundas Aqueduct once again, we are getting to know this piece of canal VERY well! I have to say that I’m impressed with the number of Kingfishers that we keep on seeing, you can generally say that virtually every time that we travel we will see at least one kingfisher, and they are very attractively coloured birds.

The continuing rain has raised the local river levels but fortunately hasn’t affect the canal too badly, the only worry will be when we start returning back up the canal towards Reading and the Thames. At the moment the canal is shut beyond Newbury due to high water levels, and the Thames looks like it will be impassable for some time yet. Even our humble Avon through Bath have reached quite dramatic levels completely smothering Pulteney Weir (see photos).

We will probably remain here at Dundas until Saturday then make towards either Bradford on Avon or Avoncliff.
How it should look
How it looks in flood!!