Thursday 15 May 2014

A bun fight and a total git.

9-ish and we left our mooring near the lock at Bradford and we moved along to the only water point right before the lock.  This morning there were not any boats moored on there so we filled up being down to our last 2 pints.  
It was a bit of a bun fight here today, when full we vacated the water point and hovered, a hire boat arrived and waited on the water point, it was their first ever holiday and their first ever lock.  I am surprised that a Hire company send out a total novice crew with no idea and not having even done one lock before!  Believe me they had no idea…
I walked to the lock and David floated around as is his want.  One of the crew of the novice boat was at the lock already and was having a purple spotted fit that our boat had “Pushed in”, not surprisingly I kept quiet.  She walked off to remonstrate with the captain and I was left sniggering,..... quietly.  The lock keeper seemed to completely disagree with this lady and went off to explain his view, to her and the crew.  
All was happy on his return, he told me that they thought the lock process would take three hours and they would be there all morning rather than the actually ten minutes to refill it, oh dear.  
All happy now we went in and away, but not before the lock keeper had told me that there had been three people doing the mooring enforcing in this area, one had died, one had retired and the other had left! They are currently having a recruitment drive for volunteers. Good luck to them, I hope people come forward.
The tow path for the entire way to Avoncliff form Bradford-on-Avon some mile and a half is lined with moored boats.  Most of the mooring posts have been amended, by that I mean having the visitors mooring time removed, so that’s alright then.

This at first sight was a cute cottage....

Then behind it was this expanse of three cottages.

The beginning of Avoncliffe Aqueduct.

The Avon river below.

I jumped off and he said he'd wait for me......

Going over the Avoncliffe Aqueduct was slow due to three boats in a row, so I hopped off telling David to wait for me as I knew there was no one behind us.
 I went down the path to photograph it.  
It was a bit further down than I had thought, taking some photos the best as I can on my phone as my FAB camera is bust. Then with an eye on the time I ran back up the slope, up the steps and was thrilled to see he wasn’t there….. I ran along around the bend spotting him way away in the distance.  Finally I caught up and had to leap on over a large gap, he feared mud would ground him he said…
Anyway the trip was rather lovely to Bath from Avoncliffe, the canal skirted one side of a valley, attractively wooded in places with rolling hills beyond.  The warm sunshine added to the enjoyment too, I had to fetch out the captains sunhat!
Going over Dundas Aqueduct we spotted Harnser   HERE  coming towards us.  We were pleased to see them as we knew they have been someway ahead of us on this canal.   Actually we had been moored up on the same stretch on the South Oxford but hadn’t had the chance of saying hello until today.  A quick chat about moorings in Bath, (Thank you for that) maybe we’ll see them again on the trip back on a different canal.

Diana and Brian of Harnser at Dundas Aqueduct. 

All was going well until a spiteful little swing bridge appeared.  I went off to do it.  Nothing, not an inch not a centimetre.  David got the message loud and clear and was going to moor up to come help, then I had the thought of going to the wrong side, I heaved and jumped and lo and behold it moved enough for me to run fast back to the correct end to heave it  again.  There has to be a moral in there somewhere, if at first you don’t succeed try doing it backwards. 
Then a nice sunny run into Bath.  It was busy, several hire boats arriving but hardly any moorings free.  We were determined not to go down the six or so locks here, if necessary we would retrace our steps back to Bathampton had we not been able to moor,  David asked a long hire boat if we could breast up, but they declined, they were fishing and even though we offered our comfy cratch and semi trad back with seats, non was the answer….  (Reader I have never said “No” and have offered others to breast up on us on several occasions).
We squeezed onto an end, we knew why it was vacant soon enough, a sticky out bit of bank means your front and back are way off the shore, so getting on and off is fun…
Landed, fed and watered, long jumped off and away we went into town.  Straight away the heavens opened and we were caught good and proper, damp now and sheltering in a shop doorway the excitement wore off a bit…
It was getting late so the shops were shutting but it was a chance to see what we wanted to do the following day.

This is the view of Bath from the cockpit of the boat.

We walked back from the river and up the locks and very attractive it was.  There were a couple of small signs at about lock four to say that the moorings on the river had been temporally removed and they were permitting space between a couple of locks for mooring.  This of course was taken up but we hadn’t seen any signs of this prior to the first lock.  I wouldn’t have been very pleased had it have been us and then we would have had to have gone down all the locks turned and come back up again.

A leap of faith to get back onboard, a G&T, Lamb Goan Xacuti curry and a comfy relaxing evening in the cratch, until at 9:30pm the boat in front started his generator, I kid you not.  He quickly scuttled inside avoiding my eye and he turned it off at about 11pm.  This is in a line of boats and we had seen him arrive back at his boat at the same time as us at 6:15pm, three hours earlier.  
What a git.


  1. I think overstay monitoring should be a CaRT employee job, not something for a volunteer to take on. It is enforcement and has legal implications especially if some one could be charged money for overstaying.

  2. Hi Lisa interesting reading about the k&a seems like it has changed since we have been there
    Nb oakapple just started our own blog

  3. Brian,
    I do agree with you on that point, however I didn't make it clear but it seems from the notice at Bradford that CART are asking for volunteer "Note takers" at the visitor moorings, not along the cut, I don't think they would be enforcement officers, but reporting to an enforcement officer.

    Bradford on Avon did seem the busiest place and when we went through on our return, the same boats were in the same places. I have read tonight in Canal Mag
    that on the letters page this exact subject is raised and responded to by a CART officer. They seem aware of the problem, maybe if someone was to hop in a car and see the situation at the coal face. Simply saying its a minority causing the problems doesn't really help the visitors arriving.
    Hello, we met at Crick last autumn I think? We haven't been to the K&A before so I don't really know.
    Have fun with your blog!