One of the goals of this trip is to not rush. No schedule, no deadlines. I broke that rule yesterday, I wanted to get some laundry done but the service laundry (where they do it for you) had to get the stuff by about lunchtime for me to get it back that day. So I essentially rushed all the way from Wootton Rivers to Devizes but was too late anyway. Fortunately, the local laundrette also does your laundry for you! No sitting around guarding your machine and plugging in coins… I came back an hour and a half later, it was done.
We had a nice evening in Devizes, it’s a nice town but fairly busy. The Indian curry we had was great though, who knew I’d like ostrich? Got lots of sleep in preparation for the next day…
A real mixture of old and new…
So, the Caen Hill Flight. I’m sure everyone is sick of hearing about this, but it was a bit of a thing to me. Before I had ever done a lock I knew about this challenge. Since I was planning on cruising single-handed, I was quite concerned that it would be too much for me. There’s no overnight mooring allowed during the main 16 locks so I knew that I had to get through at least those in one day.
After starting out and actually experiencing locks, I realized that 16 was possible, although probably with some level of exhaustion. Then, the more people I talked to the less daunting it appeared. Once I met and teamed up with “Into the Blue” there was no longer any problem whatsoever.
Upon reaching the actual flight of 16 locks, the view was spectacular. And the engineering feat was obvious.
Guy tied the boats together and then went ahead and set each lock. Rose and Cate (and a volunteer) would get us through and set the locks after for the next boat. Bob and I pretty much stayed on the boats and drove between locks. With the boats tied together it was simple to navigate into and out of each lock.
There was considerable wind but that never really caused any serious problems. We got all 29 locks done in under 6 hours which includes quite a bit of waiting time for other boats to clear the locks ahead.
And Maisie of course! (keeping me company under the table).