Saturday, 23 May 2015
Caen Hill locks
We pulled pins from Devizes Wharf at 09.30 and after filling with water we then got to the first of the 29 locks we were going down today. The locks that drop you down the hill from Devizes are made up of 3 different flights. The locks will drop us down 237 feet in just 2 miles. The first 6 locks are the Devizes locks which are then followed by the famous Caen hill flight of 16 locks and then finally the 7 locks of Foxhangers. It should take us between 5 to 6 hours to complete all 29 locks.
The gates on this top flight of locks are very heavy and with Ann struggling to open a gate just look at those two volunteer lockies stood watching her. Never mind ,Carolyn and Ann worked well as a team and soon got us on our way down the flight.
Here we go .This is the brilliant view from the top lock of The Caen hill flight and across the Wiltshire countryside.
Some of the locks are in need of urgent repair as this picture shows. The top paddles are leaking so badly that the water is coming in nearly as fast as it is going out. Needless to say it took a fair old time to get down through this lock.
If there were no boats coming up it was often easier to take both boats out of and then into the next lock together. Obviously you need highly skilled and experienced boaters to carry out this manoeuvre. (No comments please)
Finally at the bottom and the impressive view looking back up the flight.
Dropping down through Foxhangers and this is the much extended Foxhangers cottage. What a lovely place to live.
At last we are at the bottom and all 29 locks were completed in just under 5 hours. At the bottom lock there is a solar farm with this display showing how much power it is producing . I didn't realise at the time until Bron on nb Celtic Maid said that the solar panels power the water pumps that feed the flight of locks. What a good idea.
Yet again we were lucky to pick up this mooring in Seend for the night as good moorings on this canal are few and far between.
After Carolyn moored the bow rope a boat passed us and this happened ,the mooring ring complete with base came out of the ground. What sort of bad workmanship is this ?. The concrete is only 3 or 4 inches thick. Inca weighs 16 tons and some boats can be well over 25 tons so what idiot thought this would be any good. After putting in some pins and securing the bow we felt a lot safer and had a peaceful nights sleep.