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!