Monday, workday? Hungerford to Newbury

Ah, we heard all the people going off to work today and remembered that we are on HOLIDAY! Away from the mooring by 0850 and on to Newbury.

The K&A becoming more river like but fairly smooth and quiet.

Teamed up with a nice couple, John & Lesley (both ex-coppers, so Chris had a good chat or three). Went down the locks together.  All good fun.

Got to Newbury well ahead of schedule by 1415 – so had lunch then a wander around the town.  Glorious sunshine – Steve went off to seek out some suntan lotion as the forecast is for more Scorchio!

Viv spent some time polishing those mushrooms:



A friendly narrowboat called Toby moored in Hungerford wharf.


More river like now and very smooth . .


Toby still has his sad paw but seems quite happy – be happier going for a swim!


Trying for the artful shot


 …  very tranquil K&A – very few boats . .


arriving at Newbury – operating the electric swing bridge


very peaceful mooring at West Mills


Colourful Newbury centre plus the ubiquitous Wetherspoons:


Devizes to Crofton to Hungerford

Well, with a crew of three – thanks to my Brother coming along for the first week, we are off and a sad farewell to Devizes Marina. We left at 0845 on Saturday morning and after a mammoth 9 hour trek, well, the sun was out and it was wonderful sailing . . we kept going until 1800 when we tied up at the Crofton locks, a tired but happy crew!  The daily log reads 17 miles & 9 locks. We saw a kingfisher (twice) and lots of heron too. Lunch on-the-go but a delightful gammon, savoy cabbage & Viv’s special cous-cous for tea.  Accompanied with copious amounts of Tanqueray gin!!

Crofton locks

Chris enjoying the helm.

The Kennet & Avon canal looking serene in the sunshine – hard to believe this is mid-September and it’s sun-bathing weather again.

Hmm, too much gin . .  ?

Nice trip through the Bruce Tunnel

Queen of the cous-cous!

Very glad to see this boat – the Langton, a hire boat full of scout leaders who get together each year for a canal holiday. They were great at sharing (and doing all the work) at the locks but since they were on a 12 hr marathon each day, we left them at Hungerford.

Only just enough room for 2 boats

Nice mooring in Hungerford, with the sound of church bells.

A quick trip to the shops and the Plume of Feathers!

On to Newbury tomorrow!

The Trek North

The trek begins on Saturday, 13th September.

We say a fond farewell to Devizes marina – thanks to Debbie & colleagues for making us so welcome and for being so helpful.  We shall miss the marina and the town of Devizes.

We’re aiming for Yelvertoft marina, near Rugby as our new home base.  As you can see from the map, it’s pretty central to the canal system and will make it easier to do future holidays.  We’re currently planning Christmas there.  Here’s a piccie of our new slot and a map of the route . .

This is only a rough guide but we’ve allowed 16 days. East to Hungerford, Newbury and Reading. The North along the Thames to Oxford then up the Oxford Canal and onto the Grand Union (Leicester section) to Yelvertoft.

Painting whilst the suns shines

Escaped to the boat for 4 days.  Met office forecast was for good, dry weather. So let’s rip with the sandpaper, wire brush and paints! I bought a 2.5 litre of special narrowboat enamel paint (£48) and so wanted to attack the odd rust spots before the winter. The whole stern area needed doing plus odd roof spots and a lot of the handrail.  Also inside the cratch, the port side wall was marked by lots of little pits … not sure what caused this (eh, Barry?) but they’re history now!  It is good paint.  Should last.  Here’s some before & after pix:

and some after ones:

you can just see poor Toby – in the wars again – sliced his paw – all sorted now plus a big red bandage!

Penultimate Visit to Devizes

Yes, this will probably be our last visit to the boat & marina before the Big Trip North in 3 weeks time.  So a set of chores to do – food to buy & store, things to paint and things to fix . .

If you thought polishing me mushrooms was a bad enough euphemism, I spent the morning shining me Squirrel.  The Morsø stove was looking a bit rusty in places and needed some cheering up. Some of the lagging had come away inside too, so more remedial work. 



We bought a new barge pole and Viv had a go at painting it . .


One of the chores is to check the electrolyte level in the starter & bowthruster batteries.  The leisure ones don’t need this as they’re sealed (big Victron AGM ones – 3 of em at £400 each!!). Well, the bowthruster battery was fine and took most of the litre bottle of water,  Getting at the starter battery was no easy matter – it is under the washing machine:


So this had to come out, pipes disconnected … floor removed, battery box cover removed and lo, there was the battery … a good top up and then reverse procedure!!  I had to tie up the waste pipe as it tends to fill & empty at the same time if it hasn’t got a high enough head. That’s Saturday taken care of – Sunday & Monday are official rest days and it’s also the Devizes Street Festival

Anne-Marie & Pierre visit

It looked like rain but then the sun came out and everything cheered up as our old friends from Petersfield came over to see us and to take the boat out to town …

Old hands at handling a boat from our last trip on the Oxford canal … a few years ago

Plenty of wildlife – we saw a Kingfisher yesterday and again today – real close too! Here’s the ever present Heron

We took the boat to town, moored up and walked over to the best pub in Devizes – The Vaults, where the amazing Miranda (sorry, Michelle) was ready to serve us beer & pies . .

 and who had the pie??

Well, Pierre had some too

It was a great day guys – thanks for coming over – come and see us up in Yelvertoft.


Penny & Jenny Visit from Cardiff

It looked a bit on the Autumnal side early this morning but the sun came out and it was time to polish those mushrooms and iron the red carpet because the Cardiff Girls were on their way! Spot on 1 o’ clock they arrived – brilliant!  The dog was waiting … .

The flag was out and the tea was brewing, it only seems like yesterday when we were all together in Trefin.  Such good friends (they brought beer!)

We had a nice lunch in the Hourglass pub next door, then a good walk in a loop along the canal.

Somebody went in for a swim … . no, not Jenny …

Thanks for a great afternoon – we enjoyed your company and look forward to seeing you up in Yelvertoft (only 2.5 hours away!) – anytime.


Looking to find some motto . .

Es un viaje, no un destino   ?

Destinatum iter est non

Think I prefer the Spanish!

The Family visit

Well, we picked probably the hottest weekend of the year for a family gathering on Adagio.  It was Dad’s 80th birthday and we celebrated with a cruise up to Honeystreet and back. We visited the Hourglass pub next-door for a meal as well as the Golden Swan in Wilcot plus, of course, the Vaults in town for a pie n a pint!


Flags out for the State Visit!


The Birthday Boy opens his dozens of cards and presents!


The brothers get to meet and talk “boats”


Chris gets to steer . .


Sharon enjoying the cruise


Adagio approaching the Barge Inn, Honeystreet  . .


Mum & Dad enjoying the midday pint.


More beer? Yes a rendezvous in the Vaults on Saturday.

Great weekend afloat with Rachel, Bob & Rhys


Viv’s workmate, Rachel came along on Saturday for a short sail down to Devizes Wharf and back – stopping for an ice-cream. Daddy, Bob and young son, Rhys came too.  It was very hot but it cooled down as we sailed down the K&A canal. They got on well with our dog, Toby.  Who didn’t seem so keen to leap off the boat. All a bit strange for young Rhys but I think he enjoyed it (well apart from the horn sounding!).  The ice-creams were most welcome – thanks Rachel!


Well, it was a hot day – 28 inside the boat!




Playing “I-Spy on the water”