Great Bedwyn

Well today we have reached the queue for the summit level. First we had to navigate four miles and nine Locks. The first Lock of the day was an interesting one, it has a swing bridge that sits across the middle of the Lock. It is necessary to swing it before filling the Lock, or as the water rises, so the boat will be crushed against the underside of the bridge.

Hungerford Marsh Lock with swing bridge

Initially we could not work out why a bridge was needed, when you can simply walk across the Lock beams. Then the residents turned up to see what we were doing with their bridge, and presumably to make sure we put it back when we finished.

Curious cows

It took four hours, but eventually we arrived at Great Bedwyn. Several of the pounds between Hungerford and Great Bedwyn were very low on water, and even maintaining the centre of the channel was sticky in places. On approach to the designated moorings, we saw they were rammed full, with several boats already breasted up. We had a go at mooring in the rough to the rear of the line of boats, but it was very shallow. Fortunately, one of the boat owners asked if we wanted to tie up to them, so we did.

We are the second boat from the far end

After securing the boat we took four legs for his walk, and also to see what the situation was ahead at the stoppage. There are several boats waiting, staggered along the bank, so there may be upwards of fifteen or more, looking to cross the summit tomorrow. On our way back we popped into the village to visit the local watering hole. The Three Tuns P.H. is at the top of a hill, and it was closed. Thirsty, we returned to the boat. Later in the afternoon we were buzzed several times by apache helicopters.

Apache flyby

The Locks are due to be opened from 10am, with last entry by 12. Hopefully we will be lucky, but if not we can afford to wait a while.

Totals 4 Miles 9 Locks

Running total 320 Miles 345 Locks 9 Tunnels

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