Sunday September 7th 2014
9.32 miles, 10 locks well 5 twice.
The aim was The Barge Inn Seend Cleeve for Sunday lunch.
Then to get Jacko and Rachel back to B-on-A for early evening so they could get back home in time for work Monday.
we had an interesting nights sleep and actually slept well and the bed was comfy.
So I had a 10am departure in mind, 10.15 it was.
Then straight into the first lock of the day Semington bottom lock, all went well considering the 28 years since we last operated one.
Rachel had done some canal cruising in the not to distant past with her family.
Then on past Semington Dry Dock. Looks a decent place going on the set up on view.
Then onto Semmington top lock all running very well and no hold ups then to cross the A350 road on the relatively new aqueduct complete with central reservation and keep right arrows! oh I missed that whoops! no other boats so got away with it.
Soon the flight up to Seend was upon us we shared the 3 locks with a private boat who moored at Caen Hill Marina. The boat and owners name I forget, he had thought a weekend previous would be the last one out before the weather turned to autumn. But as this weekend was so hot and sunny they couldn’t resist another weekend out on the boat.
My Pearsons guide advised the winding hole was the west side of the pub but my lock companion said in fact it was above the lock east of the pub. So following his advice I made the turn there a number of point turn it was too! I had an audience which always makes it harder to do without embarrassment.
We turned then back into the same lock, (left the gates open so no one could turn it against us) and proceeded down.
We were in good time and so decided to carry on down the next two locks after the pub and walk back so we made the most of our available time for our B-o-A return. We had a later booking 13.45 for a table and the service was slow! I had to ask for someone to come and take our order though staff passed the other side of the area we were in they ignored us, when questioned at the bar to take our order the member responsible said she was unaware we had arrived!. Failings on an upper level though as we reserved and checked in to be told where to go to our table, no procedure in place then to follow up a customers arrival with a personal table visit. Anyway the lamb was only available for 3 covers that turned out to be two, so two of us had beef instead and chicken I think it was, all good meals and hot enough just! Puddings were ordered and those were good too. By 3 ‘o’ clock we were back at the boat and on our way to complete the other 3 locks left to do.
We shared with a Sally Boats narrowboat the last two locks at Semington.
Then back past our previous nights mooring and full steam to Bradford. The sun was out and it was hot and we really enjoyed the open countryside and floating along.
We made good time and moored up east of Widbrook Road bridge soon Jack and Rachel gathered their bags and we helped them back to Jacks car and waved them off. It was great to have their company for the weekend.
Karen was not happy with the mooring as the signs were missing, there was one saying no mooring but not between here and there! She asked a neighbouring home owner he advised we would be ok for one night but actually there was no mooring between the gate and the bridge, feeling uncomfortable we moved into the cutting the otherside of the bridge it was ok and we had an evening walk into Bradford to check out the moorings for a supermarket visit in the morning.