Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Basingstoke Canal review

We have really enjoyed the Basingstoke canal, a shame that more boats don't make the trip, we have only seen three other visiting boats this week. I expect that is because there are 28 locks which have to be done in two days, you cant just turn up and get on it, a little planning has to be done ahead.
Paddle padlock

The Pyrford marina fleet on the river Wey have the choice of the BC or the Thames - a lot easier going on the Thames, any visiting boaters are probably one offs like us from further afield.

We were told water levels would be a problem this time of year and we might not get under a low bridge, today we cleared the bridge by 4", maybe because of the water shortage!

Water levels have not been a problem to FL at all or to the deeper draughted EHC on this trip.

Gordon waiting for the lock to be ready.

There is a fair bit of weed in the canal because of lack of boat movements, an occasional blast of reverse clears the prop enough for it to not be a problem. Having said that I have been down the weed hatch more times on this trip than the previous 5 years of cruising.

My favourite canal residence


There isn't as much litter floating in the canal even in the urban area's of Woking & Fleet - well done people of Surrey & Hampshire or perhaps it is  the canal society members or BC rangers that are clearing up after them.


Thats a realistic horse sculpture

The canals appearance is more akin to a river than a ditch, not much armco here, moorings are at dedicated areas with bollards but apart from the canal centre at Mytchett two 57' boats would fill most of them up.


A good place to watch Farnborough air show

Not an awful lot to see while cruising - both banks are heavily wooded for a a lot of its length, staccato gunfire was heard on a couple of occasions from the army areas around Pirbright.

The landlord of the Fox & Hounds at Fleet is very obliging and ran a hose pipe out to the boats so we could take on water. He came on board FL for a look around - maybe a boater for the future.




Towpath walkers were very friendly and engaging, the aloof southerner is just a myth.


BCS volunteers were clearing weed as we left.


Of course having a couple of great cruising buddies makes the difference on any trip and we were blessed to have Gordon & Dot's company all week.

Dot

Gordon


Basingstoke added to  chronological brasses.


Did our good deed for today when an elderly gentleman asked if we had seen his canoe that some toe rags had stolen from the bottom of his garden. I didn't get his number, so when we found it abandoned at a lock I had to phone the local cops

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