Monday, 15 April 2013

Bad Start to the Day - Monday 15th April 2013

As I was about to cast off this morning a lady from the houses adjacent to the mooring started to chat to me and it turned out the she was a member of the K & A Association. I was so distracted that I left behind my mooring hammer and only discovered this when we moored up at Higgs Lock.
We only moored up under the A34 bridge because the Canaltime boat ahead of us had found the pound had been deliberately drained of water. Doug went off to let some water down from the long pound above which is fed by the river and Phoenix decided to follow. Unfortunately she wanted to explore the canal bed not realising that it was all mud and came out like a Black Labrador. So I had to walk up and fetch her back to the boat to wash her off.
1 waiting for water level to rise
Within an hour and a half the pound had risen enough for the Canaltime boat to risk moving slowly forward out of the lock and over the cill. Initially there was not enough draught and he had to wait a little longer but once clear made good speed to the next lock.
Nb Chance and Nb Autumn Myst then entered the lock and we were soon able to follow on although the pound was a good 18 inches lower than normal.
2 chance follows 18 down
NB Chance rounding the corner keeping to the centre channel to avoid the shallow sides.
3 Blue line
The “Thin Blue Line”, all along the K & A are these Pill Boxes, as the K & A would have formed a defensive line to to hold back the advancing army once the bridges had all been blown up. Fortunately for us they did not have to take such drastic action.
4 doig goes to prepare lock
Doug and June are dropped off at Hamstead Bridge to set the lock just beyond it; you may be able to see another Pill Box at the side of the bridge.
5 escape attempt
Once in the lock we meet two more boats on their way down. The couple chatting to June and Doug had been trapped on the K& A since early last year unable to get off onto the Thames due to the floods. They had spent their time moving between Newbury and Bath. They are hopeful they can make it this time.
6 nice hat
Just loved this young mans Hat.
7 coracle on K and A
Just below Kintbury Lock I spotted this Coracle leaning against a tree, the owner had just recovered and tarred it. he said that he was planning to make another one us this one as a pattern. He obviously liked the older forms of transport as he had an old Morris Minor Van circa 1969.
8  Kintbury Mooring
After lunch we walked into the village where there is a village store next door to a butchers and then we wandered back via the Church and spotted Nb Chance through the gardens of the houses opposite.
9 Lone Duckling
June could not resist taking this picture of a lone duckling who kept swimming passed the boat hoping for some food. We have not seen many ducklings this year, must be the bad weather over the last year which has destroyed the habitat. However, as she walked along the towpath today she did see a snake and a slowworm and later a water vole so there is still wild life about, just not as prevalent as it should be.

This lovely house had a very grand Duck House, I wonder who paid for it.

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