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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

NB Centurion Trips 2007

Another retrospective post on our shared ownership narrowboat Centurion. After a year at Nantwich in 2006, the boat base was changed to Sally Boats Marina in 2007 at Bradford on Avon, on the Kennet and Avon Canal. Quite a jump from the Shropshire Union.
First trip out from Bradford on Avon was up the K & A, we headed through Hilperton and the 2 Semington Locks in decent weather.
Approaching swing bridge near Semington.
Modern aquaduct near Hilperton.
Semington dry dock.
Following Semington locks where the 5 locks at Seend Cleeve. We overnighted here after the locks, having a good meal at the Three Magpies in readiness for the following days trip up Caen Hill locks.
The following day was bright and sunny, after a good breakfast we firstly had the 7 Foxhangers locks,
then we hit the first of the Caen Hill flight of 16 locks.
Foxhangers Flight.
Leaving the last of the Foxhangers 7.

The 16 Caen Hill locks rise ahead, we have no one to share the locks with
and you can see our crew emptying the bottom lock, so the whole flight
is against us.
Despite having no other boat to share the wide locks with we made steady progress, eventually catching a older couple in a boat who where glad to share the remainder of the locks. We also had 2 boats behind slowly catching us.
Mid way up the flight, note the large side ponds for retaining water in
the flight.
Our new locking partners, glad of help.
Nearing the top of the 16 Caen Hill Locks.
Following the 16 Caen Hill Locks we had the 6 Devizes town locks. Total time for the 29 locks was around 5 hours with no breaks other than the ice creams from the cafe at the top of the 16. We moored for the afternoon at Devizes, before sampling the locally brewed Wadsworth Ale and a meal in the town centre.

The following day we headed along the Kennet and Avon into the WIltshire downs, again we had lovely weather and hurrah, no locks.

Marlborough Downs - The Knoll.
More Wiltshire downs.
Tranquil canal near Bishops Canning.
Wide boat Unity at Honey Street. Used to carry timber from
Avonmouth to the woodmill at Honey Street Wharf.
We cruised on to moor at Pewsey, the canal gently winding through the reedy channel in the Pewsey vale, we had fine views of the Alton Barnes white horse carved in the downs.
Alton Barnes white horse on the left.
Reedy channel.
Hoping we don't meet another boat.
We re-traced our steps the following day to head back to Bradford on Avon. We picked Dad up at Devizes, he had turned up on his bike for a few days, extra help with the locks. We where billy no mates again locking down.
View from the back as we enter the Caen Hill 16.
An idea of the scale of the Caen Hill flight.
Passing manouvre ahead for the 2 boats below ours.
Billy no mates. 
We made it back to Bradford on Avon over the next day. We had a quick look around Bradford, some nice architecture there.

Another good weeks cruising with one of the waterways wonders ticked of our list.

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