Monday, May 16, 2011

Trouble before getting on the River Avon

We were up early as we wanted to get through Bath city centre before it got busy. We went through the two small tunnels and then went through the first of six locks down to the River Avon. These are a tough set of locks with difficult gates and slow filling. All the locks were against us. We were doing alright till the last two locks. The first is one of the deepest locks in the country at just under twenty feet and Al had trouble opening the very heavy gates, and then we got to the bottom lock with a few local wino's on the benches there. We opened the paddles to fill the lock, and when Derwent6 was in we couldn't close one of the paddles. We ended up draining the lock with a paddle still up. It drained ever so slow and Derwent6 was pinned to the wall. Al with her charm, encouraged the wino's (with drink in hand) to help her open the lock gate. It took three of them to get it open and Derwent6 squeezed out.

We gave BW a call and informed them of the problem, they did thanks us!!

We were then back on the big river and you get to see the worse side of Bath from this angle, and we could see the sleeping bags under the bridges, but it soon improved as we got out into the countryside. The locks were very pretty as the Avon cut it's way through the hillside and we spotted our first cygnets. . The wind had picked up as we were looking for a mooring, and we were lucky enough to get a space at Bitton. This is an old railway bridge which is now tarmacked for cyclists and a major link between Bath and Bristol. The Avon Valley Steam Railway also still runs on it some weekends and you can see Bitton station here.
We are sitting on a floating pontoon and it's very peaceful here. We also managed to get a TV signal and have a good 3G signal. So we will be watching Canal Walks on BBC Four as it is on the Kennet and Avon tonight.

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