Kennet and Avon part 2

05 August, 2015

After Newbury the character of the Kennet & Avon Canal remains rural with plenty of nature around us.  Since we covered this route last year there have been improvements to the dense reeds growing along the canal. In places the reeds narrow the canal to about 12 ft, but this is a considerate improvement.  We recall the last couple of years where we were pushing our way through a 6 ft gap.  Not easy with a 12 ft boat!

Swing bridge on the K&A

Rusty Lane Swing Bridge on the K & A

Some locks and swing bridges have had maintenance, making them a little easier to operate.  Still some way to go!  As in the past, the loppers have been used on the approaches to two or three locks.  On occasions we could have done with a chain saw.

The Vale of the White Horse was peaceful and on our first 2 calls in Devizes were busy.

This year we have made two return journeys between Devizes and Bath and the weather has been mainly dry but not always warm.  This actually helped us on the Caen Hill Flight. Last year it was extremely hot making the flight hard work.  Our guests have thoroughly enjoyed lock wheeling and pushing the swing bridges, mixed with sitting and relaxing on the more tranquil stretches, of course.

Kennet and Avon Crofton

Pumping Station at Crofton

A couple of days ago a rare kingfisher zoomed around us and for a few seconds hovered a few feet ahead of us, staring down at our guests relaxing on the front deck.  Its size suggested that it was an adult bird. It then dived into the undergrowth. The angle of the sunlight on the bird showed its brilliant colours. What a treat!

Our Australian guests enjoyed visiting the church at Bathampton to see the resting place of Admiral Arthur Phillip, first Governor of New South Wales.

The Aqueducts at Avoncliffe and Dundas have again been well photographed and guests have been very interested in their history.

When thinking of content for our blogs, we consider what we have seen, of course. On this occasion we can report on what we haven’t seen – the red kite – nowadays plentiful on the Thames and Grand Union, we have seen none on the K&A. Maybe next year!

The swans are getting really brave – and tame – in places. This morning after breakfast we were doing the washing up (well, Gordon was!) with the side hatch open. An inquisitive young swan popped his head in to see what was available. We just had to give it a bit of bread. Cheeky!

Still no red kite seen!

Hotel Boat Kailani
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