Tuesday 8th July
Last night Graham set a crayfish net. Catch of the day – one Roach, about 6 inches long, and as good a catch as the Soddit crew spend hours trying to achieve. one small signal Crayfish about 2-3 inches long. Not enough for a snack. The Roach was returned to the river and the Crayfish duly despatched as per the law.
He started this morning with a bit of electrical techery. It would appear that new cabin batteries are needed as they are not maintaining their charge overnight. He then donned his chefs hat and cooked breakfast.
Only three Kingfishers today and all before lunch. As we were about to set off, nb On Reflection passed heading upstream so we shared all the river Avon locks with them. At Saltford lock their lady crew member was overjoyed at finding a pound coin lockside. She said she’s use it to buy us all ice creams, not much chance with just a single pound ;^(
As we approached Bath, after Weston lock, we were well ahead of our partners when we spotted a Sainsurys store by the old railway bridge near Kingsmead. We turned around sharpish and met them coming the other way under the bridge – that surprised them especially as they called out that they had saved us some cake because we had mentioned that we had run out. How kind, and how rude of us to refuse. We moored on the 24 hour moorings next to the big building site and I went shopping whilst G stayed on the boat. The supermarket is built alongside an old railway station and the original structure has been retained. Worth a look if you are into trains . . . . . or need cake.
Then onto the last three locks before ‘our’ Bath mooring. I dropped G off on the pontoon for the bottom lock where two boats were moored and not locking. He radioed back that two boats were descending through the lock. Chaos reigned as they wanted to get to the pontoon to pick up crew but I couldn’t get out of their way as they were where I needed to be. I asked what the crew of the two moored boats were up to. The narrowboat had lost a side door, ripped from it’s hinges by a mooring bollard when they came onto the pontoon. They were trying to find it using their magnet on a rope.
Having passed through bottom lock, there were two more boats coming down through Deep lock so I moved Jannock into the layby just below the lock and waited. Once they were passed I then found it almost impossible to manoeuvre Jannock back out of the layby and in through the left hand gate that was open for me. The water ingress was very fierce so there was plenty of crashing about, despite our best efforts, during the ascent. It would seem that the only way to go smoothly up this flight is to make sure both ground paddles are opened the same amount at the same time.
Washhouse lock went well and we moored up near our spot from Sunday night. One of the chaps from the boat that had lost it’s side door passed by returning from a fruitless visit to Bath narrowboats in search of another magnet as they thought they had located the door but were unable to lift it with just one magnet. Jannock’s sea searcher, tried and tested, was lent out.
Into Bath this evening for a comedy walking tour called Bizarre Bath. It starts at 8pm outside the Huntsman pub, almost opposite Pulteney bridge. It was a good laugh and the walking wasn’t arduous considering it took ninety minutes. It costs £8 (£5 concessions) and was worth every penny. We also visited the Salamander, a Bath Ales pub in John street, near Queens square. Worth a visit as it does food as well.