Kintbury to Pewsey
Part 2 of the trip from Newbury to Devizes took us from Kintbury to Pewsey with an overnight stop at Great Bedwyn.
The stats for this bit:
27 locks, with a total rise of 196 ft 10 ins
1 swing bridge.
We also negotiated the Bruce Tunnel – dead straight for 502 yds.
We have generally been lucky with the weather, but today was rainy with some heavy showers. Fortunately both Wyn and I had brought large umbrellas! I used mine to keep not only me dry, but the boat instrument panel as well!
A colleague of mine always says the 2 most useless things on a canal boat are a Rear Admiral and an umbrella! Fortunately it was not windy as well, otherwise the umbrella would have indeed been useless! we didn’t have a Rear Admiral but I hope this ex Captain did okay!
Since then I have found all sorts of things on the boat, one of them being a special fitted canvas cover for the bridge instrument panel, with a clear plastic see-thru section so you can see the rudder indicator and other useful stuff.
Locks and more locks
After a while one lock is much like another. Brunsdon is one of the ones that has it’s name somewhere!
Many of the locks on the K and A are “nameless” – Not that it is important as you can follow the guide, but it smacks of the general lack of upkeep on the K and A.
We only passed through Hungerford, so cannot comment any more.
Having said that, it was certainly picturesque, and according to the K and A Guide there are several pubs and restaurants, so would definitely like to moor up there some time.
We moored up that evening at Great Bedwyn Wharf. We were struggling to find space but 2 other boaters kindly moved their boats a few feet and we were able to squeeze in.
And we managed to get the wheelhouse up just before the rain came bucketing down again.
Which is why we never got to the nearest pub that evening. Had we ventured out it would have been to “The Three Tuns” in Great Bedwyn.
Next morning we got going early – by 0815. We had at least 14 locks to do. Also Crofton would mark the end of our ascent!
And, there was a water point at the Crofton bottom lock and pump station. Not having a water gauge, we thought it prudent to top up.
I am definitely becoming a grumpy boater!!
So the water point is just outside the lock, but there is no place to moor up to use it. So we tied up half in/half out the lock and rigged up the hose and filled the tank. There was a sign saying the water point was not working!!??
Fortunately there was no other boat around needing to use the lock.
At the Crofton Top Lock, we encountered another boat waiting to descend. There was so much reeds and growth in the canal that the lock gates could not open. Wyn and the young guy on the other boat spent a good while dragging stuff out the canal.
Tunnels are always a bit exciting. This one is dead straight. You can see to the other end if another boat is coming.
Shortly after the tunnel we passed Burbage Wharf, which has been restored, along with one of the original cranes.
Not sure what I expected from Pewsey. We expected to moor up there but there was simply no space available.
So we ended up mooring up about a mile or so later, near Wilcot.
And alas we never got to go to the pub there.
In my last post I indicated I would discuss boat handling – this post is now long enough, so will defer that till later.