|We moved on Saturday 15th, to the top of Caen Hill flight. The weather wasn’t brilliant so we stopped after 5 locks on the 24hr moorings at the top of the flight instead of carrying on and doing the main 16 locks of the flight – you aren’t able to stop once you’ve entered the first lock.
We set off at 10.00 a.m on Sunday 16th and completed the flight in good time. We buddied up with Paul on NB Summerbreeze and was moored at the bottom of the 16 locks by 12.15. We were hugely and delightedly surprised when Jim, Livv and Dave all turned up for Father’s Day, bearing gifts and lunch. They were a big help with the locks, too!
I have to give credit to the volunteer lock keepers – they work all day helping with the locks – cheerfully and enthusiastically, too. Made it a very pleasant experience! It was like the M25 that day, too, very busy, and they must have been exhausted!
On Monday 17th, we did the last 7 locks of the overall flight and moored at Sells Green for two nights, having called into Caen Hill Marina en route to top up with water and diesel.
We moved on Wednesday 19th to Seend but I wanted to have a play with our drone before we set off, as I’d charged the batteries in case we could get any shots of Caen Hill, but the weather hadn’t been good enough. It was a lovely still morning so we set off for a nearby field. Paul from NB Summerbreeze (he had moored near us and kindly given Tony a bit of a lesson in engine maintenance) accompanied us. First I had a go and it ended up crashing in the field next door, then Tony had a go – with a bit more success, but still crashing in the field! So, all three of us were wading through long grass nearly up to our thighs trying to retrieve the drone! We did find it both times, but we were all wet up to our knees! Sally didn’t like the drone at all – barking frenziedly and trying to catch it!! We then decided to give it up as a bad job and headed back to the boat to move off.
When we stopped, Paul got out his drone and showed us how it should be done – mind you, his was a “proper” drone costing nearly £1000 and ours is merely a toy at 40 odd quid, so no comparison, really! Paul was kind enough to give us copies of the photos and video – brilliant footage and, of course, I now want a £1000 drone!!!!
We moved from Seend to Semington on Thursday 20th and took advantage of the local hostelry for our dinner – very good, and wonderful elderflower cider!! Will have to keep an eye out for more of that! On Friday 21st we moved to just past Hilperton and found a wonderful spot! Wide grassy area beside the boat where Sal can roam and sniff (tethered by a long lead after her escape attempts!), quiet and picturesque. Happy days! Fortunately, we filled with water enroute so plan to stay here for a good few days.
Sal continues to make her mark in our lives – after the episode with the Camembert cheese, she found, a couple of days later, a whole kebab meal still in the polystyrene box – this time Tony managed to wrestle it from her with her only managing to get a bit of pitta! This dog can scope food out from 200 yds!!!! It was 6 months on the 15th June since we got her – we love her to bits and are so glad she’s sharing this experience with us, scavenging and all!
She has also had another couple of unsettled nights. It’s a mystery as she is so relaxed and chilled during the day, but come bedtime suddenly becomes anxious, and we can’t work out why. The first night we were up until 2.00 a.m. fending her off the bed, the next night I sat with her on the sofa. She was so unsettled, though, and clearly frightened of something. So, although we had been adamant that we weren’t going to let her on the bed, it seemed the best way for us to have a decent night’s sleep so we gave in and she now sleeps curled up on my side at the foot of the bed. Still anxious but more easily comforted, at least. She certainly generates a lot of heat so I won’t be needing a hot water bottle in the winter – not sure how we’re going to get on if/when the hot summer nights arrive!
Having said that, though, she is increasing in confidence all the time – one of the photos shows her crossing the lock gates with Tony standing this side of the lock with a 10 – 12 foot drop beside her – just took herself over for a nosey whilst we were walking the towpath! We have to constantly remind ourselves of how many new things she’s had to cope with over the last few weeks – she really is doing so well, so the odd wobble and sneaking into our bed is the least of our worries! On the whole, she is adapting so well. She’s a dear girl!
I’ve been feeling a little odd for the last few days – waves of giddiness and moving sensations keep hitting me; apparently it’s quite common and does pass. I’m sure people must have thought I was drunk in the supermarket, though, a wave hit me and I was swaying all over the place – it’s a funny feeling! I have experienced it before after we’d been on a cruise but didn’t think I’d get a worse sensation from being on a narrowboat!!
We had our action camera running whilst we were doing the Caen Hill Flight, I edited the footage and uploaded it to YouTube – https://youtu.be/PdXpi7TF6yg