On the last day of February we drove up to Caen Hill marina in miserable wet weather, and unloaded in the rain into a freezing cold boat. We decided to stay put for the rest of the day! Chuffed was damp with condensation and there were a couple of patches where the rain had forced itself through the mushroom vents – we had to dry the top of the cooker before we could light the gas for a cup of tea! We soon warmed up with the Mikuni (for hot water too) and then the fire.
What did Meg think of it all? To start with she hated the pontoons – she spread her legs wide and scuttled along like a little crab. After a couple of times she was much more confident and thoroughly enjoyed a run along the towpath in the afternoon. Once she knew where her bed and food bowl were she was fine and loved the fire of course.
On Saturday morning we were woken by sunshine and a little wet nose. She skipped her way up the frosty pontoon for her morning walk then hopped up onto one of the lockers to take charge as we set off westwards.
There were quite a few boats out today in the glorious weather. We met the first, naturally, at the first bridge. Meg found the first swing bridge puzzling, then was fine until she thought Dave was leaving without her! We shut her in for the locks today until we are more sure of how she gets on with the water and the boat.
I had forgotten what hard work the Seend locks can be. We moored at Seend Park swing bridge for a quick visit to the Tesco Express, had lunch and went on straight afterwards to enjoy the sunshine while it lasted. We had hoped to moor on the 24-hour spot below the Semington locks, but it was pretty full so we went on and found a wild mooring near Wheddon Bridge. After giving directions to Trowbridge to a young man who had walked from Melksham, courtesy of Nicholson's, Dave took Meg off for a walk and I got the fire lit. An excellent day.
7 locks, 6 swing bridges, 5 miles