On Tuesday 6th June we moved to Bathampton on another 48hr mooring. We have been marking them all in our book for the way back. Gales were forecast and as it had been very windy already we decided to stay put. We also lit the fire again! We had a walk to the outskirts of Bath and were lucky that it rained very heavily when we got back to the boat and we had escaped it.
We were keeping an watch on the weather forecast, and as Wednesday was looking better we thought we would make the move to Bristol ( a slight change of plan) and leave visiting Bath for the way back.
We set off from Bathampton at 07.10am as we knew we were going to have a long day unless we could get moored on the river. We were half way down the first lock when another boat arrived behind us, so we agreed we would wait for them at the second lock.
Now travelling with another boat through the locks, and they were hoping to get to Bristol; so we decided we would too as it would make travelling easier, and the weather was reasonably calm. 6 locks in the Bath flight, with one being 19′ 6″ deep (the culmination of 2 locks being combined when the canal was restored in 1976); the gates on this lock were very heavy and luckily a volunteer arrived to help us open them.
Once through the locks we were on the River Avon.
We arrived at Hanham lock (the last under CRT durisdiction), and we had to phone ahead to Netham lock and ask if it was safe to proceed. The little section between these locks is tidal, but as there had been little rain over the past few months we knew it shouldn’t be a problem; however the lock keeper advised us to wait half an hour as they had emptied Cumberland basin (entrance to the harbour from the sea), and were in the process of refilling it so the current would be strong. So we heeded his warning and waited in the lock. Off again after the wait and we arrived at Netham lock and the gates were open. We pulled over and went to pay the lock keeper for our stay. We had already decided to stay the full length of time (15 days), and have a holiday! The lock keeper was very helpful and actually extended our stay to 17 days; this would give us plenty of time for rest and relaxation, as so much to see, and we have never visited Bristol before. We eventually arrived at our mooring at approx., 17.30, which meant we had travelled 20 miles in 9 and a half hours and done 13 locks.
I will leave reporting on our travels through Bristol for the next blog.