Running Aground After All The Rain

We’ve changed our ‘grand’ cruising plan, instead of joining the Kennet & Avon Canal from the Thames, we’ve now decided to continue going up the Thames, and joining the Oxford Canal. We still hope to do the Kennet & Avon at a later date. Amongst our reasons; we’d like a break from doing double locks, and we’ve heard the Kennet & Avon is very busy during the summer months.

After a wet Easter Weekend at Hunton Bridge, we were pleased to continue with our trip this morning. We had hoped to drop down 10 locks today (John and I sharing 5 locks each), and mooring across the way from Tesco’s shopping mooring. But that wasn’t to be…

Over the ‘wet’ weekend, and being moored on the part of the canal where the River Gade runs through the Grand Union, we watched the river gathering a pace as the rain came down. So imagine our surprise when Cyan nearly grounded in our first lock of the day #72, and actually got stuck on the silt in the pound between locks #72 and #73. The water was cascading through the weir at the top of lock #72 at quite a rate, hence our surprise there was no water below the lock.

John walked back to the top of the lock, and opened the paddles on lock #72 to let water down. We also phoned C&RT who agreed we should open the paddles, and that an engineer will be with us in an hour. We did say; if we were able we’d continue our journey, leaving the paddles open for the engineer.

Nothing else to be done except make a cup of coffee, and by the time we’d drank it, Cyan was floating again. John slowly filled lock #73, and as soon as we could, we continued our journey.

Lovely row of daffodils at lock #74

Could these leaky bottom gates on lock #74 be the problem?

How typical is this…. we hadn’t seen a boat ‘on the move’ until we came to a 45 degree bend, and with a turnover bridge to boot! We let the boater know the situation about the pound and the paddles, and said they may come across a C&RT engineer.

Beautiful turnover bridge

We’re now moored by Grove Ornamental Bridge.

We had a few hours today of lovely sunshine, and we even managed to have the side hatch open; the first time this year!

We’re also just across the way from The Grove Hotel, Golf Course, and Spa – very posh! Trip Adviser describes The Grove Hotel as the Footballers Wive’s paradise!

Today it took us three hours to traverse one mile, and 3 locks. We had wanted to drop down 10 locks, but not to worry; we’re in no rush. The remaining 7 locks can be tackled tomorrow; providing of course we don’t need to fill any lock pounds.

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