Saturday 14th June
When we arrived at Jannock last night, she was well aground again with the stern obviously wedged on the bottom of the canal. This is starting to become a theme for this years cruise. The weather was threatening as we managed to ease her back into deeper water and then move back onto the 24hr moorings above Hungerford lock. There were rumbles of thunder as we went to bed and within an hour the cabin was lighting up like a disco and thunder could be heard from three directions simultaneously. A lively night with some rain. A cyclist we met today commented that today’s weather was an improvement on last night and went on to say that homes had caught fire at the other end of Berkshire and people had left their houses as they didn’t feel safe. It had certainly improved in the morning with a nice warm and sunny run on the Di Blasi to get the car in place for this evening.
Today we were joined by Garry, an ex-Vodafone colleague, who lives near Newbury. He did an excellent job crewing for us through 16 locks that we managed to pass through. As we cast off a wide beam boat had just left Hungerford lock and so I walked ahead and opened the swing bridge for both boats to pass. We then followed them through both Marsh and Cobblers locks before we became separated by having to wait for a boat coming the other way. We pulled over for a lunch break under a shady tree just above Froxfield middle lock. Just as we were finishing lunch, there was another boat descending Oakhill so we rapidly cast off to take advantage of the lock being in our favour. On the K&A the lock gates appear to leak so much water that a lock does not remain empty or full for long after it has been left.
We passed nb Ceilidh, another Cutweb member, moored just above Church lock at Great Bedwyn, Ken was no-where to be seen but we spoke to his wife as we passed. He had returned to fleet on Scout business and she was enjoying the peace and quiet offered by the lovely location. This is another ex-Black Prince boat like Jannock and is the boat from which Jannock’s current gearbox came. I purchased it, and his old Kubota engine, from Ken through an Ebay auction after he’d bought a new engine and gearbox to fit into Ceilidh.
On past Crofton pumping station and up the flight until we reached the pound where I had parked our car this morning, about 3 locks down from the top. We hadn’t been moored for long when nb Ceilidh passed us as they were determined to reach the top of the flight before stopping for the night. then sat down to a terrific chicken curry before I return Garry to Hungerford where his car was.