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Day 48 – Caen Hill Locks

Day 48 – Caen Hill Locks

Caen Hill Locks
Caen Hill Locks

Diesel hasn’t sorted the engine out, it now needs ‘bleeding’.

Whilst the engineer I spoke to yesterday agreed to make it for 10, his cat was taken ill in the night, and their were some complications and confusions.

These weren’t helped by the fact that my phone was flat and I couldn’t get a signal.

Whatever, I decided to pull the boat down to the next marina.

7 Locks away.

Caen Hill Marina

The boat is now moored in Caen Hill Marina.

I’ve had a chance to tidy her up a bit, and her batteries are charging.

Haven’t had chance to look at the engine – due to the weather.

I’ve got until 2 pm tomorrow to sort it out myself.

It ain’t a great or difficult job.

Bleeding a BMC marine engine

Bleeding is a case of getting all the air from the injection system, by means of manual pumping and turning the engine over.

When you run out fuel, it’s a kind of standard job you’ll find yourself, or someone else, doing.

I’ve got some additional kit and tips off other boaters, and TBH, I’d managed to bleed it through most of the bleed points on the BMC 18,000 engine. I need the power in the batteries to continue the job and finish off.

I’ll have another look at it tomorrow, when it’s not raining.

No pictures or map today.

Day 47 – Devizes – Caen Hill Locks

Day 47 – Devizes – Caen Hill Locks

The biggest set of ‘staircase’ locks I’ve encountered.

29 Locks in 2 miles.

I believe, we got to lock 23, with anther 6 to go…

Ran out of fuel

I dipped the tank at the top, the day before I set out and there seemed to be a good 2 inches in the tank, which I thought would easily power me down to Trowbridge.

Turned out not to be the case.

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Day 46 – Honey Street to Devizes

Day 46 – Honey Street to Devizes

Penultimate day on the boat…. I suspect.

Honey Street is only down the road from Devizes, saw this on the way. Milk Hill I believe they call it.

Wiltshire white horse
Wiltshire white horse

Weather is only just holding off rain, and cold.

Pass this contraption.

img_1933Filled with hi-vis CRT workers.

On the end it has a fork lift contraption and a massive rotating disk. It looks like something out of ‘Robot Wars’.

Honey Street Visitor moorings

I pass by the visitors moorings in Honey Street, which are outside the ‘Barge Inn’.

Impossible to find either on the OS map, or the internet. Probably about 300 yards from where I moored in someone’s back garden.

Kennet and Avon
Kennet and Avon – Devizes
Small Bream
Small Bream

Devizes

I intend to stay in Devizes for the next couple of days.

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Day 45 – Great Bedwyn to Honey Street

Day 45 – Great Bedwyn to Honey Street

Woke up in the morning to find the boat on it’s side.

During the night, the pound, (the expanse of water between locks), had emptied out. I can see from my bed that one side of the boat is much lower than the other.

This makes me kind of uneasy, as I don’t know how much water has gone from under the boat.

As I look out of the window, it doesn’t look to be a lot. Still, if I leave it, it will get worse, especially if people come and start using the locks.

Quickly put some clothes on, do an engine check and start the engine.

I can push the stern out from the bank, but not the bow, which seems lodged.

I shove it in reverse, kicking up the mud and gravel and shit, and waggle the tiller a little, which has the right effect.

As I drift backwards, the front end follows, and I drift backward to the safety of the bollards of Potters Lock.

It looks like the pound had emptied by around a foot or so whilst I was asleep.

Moored at the locks, which you’re not supposed to do. Had a bit to eat and got going before anything else could go wrong.

Later on down the pound, a wide beam has run aground on the shallow water.

Earlier on the following day, some large canoeists had been leaving all the bottom paddles up and gates open, now all the pounds are empty.

16 Miles 16 locks

There’re more sets of locks on this Kennet than any other canal.

They’re all double.

Apart from that, they only have one sluice or ‘paddle’, this means that unlike the other double locks on the CRT system, they fill very slowly.

Most double locks have a ‘ground paddle’, which opens and lets water in from the bottom of the lock, and a ‘gate paddle’ that lets water in at the top of the gate, water level.

This has the net effect of creating an even filling of the lock.

These locks are much slower. Painfully slow.

So, I hang around.

Crofton pumping station
Crofton pumping station

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Day 43 – Theale to Newbury

Day 43 – Theale to Newbury

Getting really bored of writing this blog now.

Can’t wait till it’s over and I can have a rest.

Leaving Theale

Today leaving Theale after my flooding incident at Garston locks.

The boat is more or less dried out.

Here’s a picture of a locks similar to Garston.

Garston Locks
Garston Locks

As you can see, the spouts of water project from under the gate, and in my case straight into the bow area.

On my case, it came up to the windows on the door, and started flowing in the frame.

Pulling the boat to the front of the locks is not a good idea with locks of this design.

Had it got worse, it would have come in through the wall vents.

Still, it’s fixed now.

I need to pick up a relay switch, because the horn no longer works.

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