Māhina Avon Ring – Day 5

Another little lay in today (saving energy for Sundays approaching mega marathon). The waterways have been quiet since we set off and i wasn’t sure how today was going to go. The weekend would naturally attract more boaters but with this being a day where more things open would it get super busy?

So far we have passed about 2 boats a day, today we passed 8 boats, normally for this time of year you’d expect to see nearer 30! After a short time of driving we were about to go through my first tunnel, going slow and steady and aiming for the little light at the end was the advice i received (check out my youTube video for how it really looked)! I was very happy to have made it without touching the sides 🙂

So many massive houses with either gardens backing onto the canals or large rural settings.

As we had 10 locks to do today i worked the first batch then after lunch i drove the second batch. The first batch were in very pretty landscapes and i loved having a bovine audience!

Typical that my driving locks were a challenge with lots of obstacles to figure out. As we past the hire boat company it was so eerie to see their whole livery all moored up and the site closed. I have no idea when they will be operating next but as Richard informed me normally during peak season every one of the 20 odd we saw would be out on the stretch of canal. I’m silently grateful i have a quieter waterway currently to learn on. I have no doubt that by the time we get to the Avon it will be just as busy again.

Today i was practising my hovering skills at keeping the boat lined up and ready for a lock before the gates open for you to go in. Not easy in the wind or when there are moored boats near. I learnt not to wrap the rope around the bollard too tight with the centre line as i nearly pulled her over on her side! Being gentle with myself while i learn as driving a bath tub with no brakes that flys off with a gust of wind is just gonna take some time. That being said i did shout with joy when i had a lovely hover & line up to a lock during wind and then glided in with no rebound off the edge! Think i shocked the passerby with that one. I was too slow off the mark when he then went onto mention how it was just as well i didn’t touch the sides as not to upset ‘him’……..errrr it’s my boat mate and ‘him’ up there only cares that i feel confident in controlling her.

We met a lovely family on the way who had such a chilled friendly energy about them. Its normal for people to want to watch your boat go through a lock and ask questions if you live on it etc but something about them stood out. They waited patiently to let us go first before getting back in the water even though we said we’ll be stopping shortly to moor up for lunch. As they paddled past us a little later the mum & daughter were singing songs together to time their strokes and the dad & daughter in the second kayak were doing a counting song. Nice to see them having a lovely time.

A brief stop at a waterside chandlery saw us able to get a new air filter which was great so that got fitted straight away!

I’m enjoying the friendly hellos from the people using the towpath for their daily walks/runs/cycles. Finding a nice chilled spot for tonight to relax in amongst the fields. Tomorrow will be a tiring day but we have friends coming to help which i cannot wait to see!

Todays video can be found here: https://youtu.be/5C_m9bDjpLE

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