Finding Signal. 9th October

Devizes Wharf to All Cannings Visitor Moorings

Our suicidal cat managed to survive the night, A model Edwardian chair can’t be as poisonous as a bentwood or Chippendale. I still need to make a new one though as what was left by Tilly is only slightly useful for lighting the stove!

Nice pie shop
Plastic free dry ingredients

Before our order arrived from Sainsburys we took advantage of a later start and had a cooked breakfast. Then I popped out to have a ‘girl look’ around Devizes for some card. Sadly Mick’s boy look yesterday had been correct and he hadn’t over looked any. I found the bakers that sold him some pies yesterday, both gluten filled and free which were tasty. Several nice looking independent bakeries and The Healthy Life Co another shop where you can shop plastic free to add to the list, think I might start a separate page of these for easy reference.

The drivers brother runs one of the pubs in Stoke Bruern

Back at the wharf the Rustys were filling with water and heading to Pewsey today, this was also our goal, hopefully by 3pm when I was to have a phone call with Vienna. At 10:15 a Sainsbury’s van backed up to the boat, a very handy mooring for such things. Once off loaded and the perishables stowed we wanted to fill with water, but the Rustys were still there.

Mick went to check if all was okay. The red light had come on on their toilet, they needed a pump out. The hire base had said there was a pump out card they could use on board, but there was none to be found, someone was coming out to them, so they were staying put for the time being.

Bye bye White Swan maybe see you again next year

Talking of toilets. Since Mick unblocked our yellow water pipe on our toilet I can only just count to 6 when giving it a rinse. Just before it was looked at I could get up to 36! I think this is now better than when we first got the boat.

Then all got quite confusing. The boat in front of us started to reverse to the winding hole where he winded. So Mick set off thinking we’d get water further on. But as he pushed out the winded boat started to reverse past us. This took a bit of doing, as reversing does, we were most probably in their way and them in our way. He reversed to the bridge and then pulled into the now vacant service mooring, where had the Rustys gone? This should have been the end of boat manoeuvres but the chap on the reversing boat had hopped off with a centre line but left his boat in gear making it impossible to pull it into the bank. Mick had to get on board and put it in neutral. All was well and we could continue on our way.

Drawings for Houdini

I decided to stay below taking advantage of few obstacles on the Long Pound and continued with my technical drawings.

The Rustys. Would this be our final farewell, no they passed us later in torrential rain

There seemed to be lots of boats moving today, bottle necks at bridges, wide beams to pass both moored and moving. At the winding hole by Devizes Marina the Rustys had turned and waited for us to pass before heading back into town. They’d been told once the red light showed they would have ten flushes left before the tank was full. Two each with a couple spare, at least nobody was having to cross their legs!

We pulled in at Horton Bridge to make use of the water point, the washing machine had been in use, so a top up was required. No sooner had I started back at work and there was a swing bridge, after which I only had a bit more work to do managing to avoid a sudden downpour outside.

Working hard to get through the reeds

I’d timed my work quite well as we were now starting to cruise through the moundy landscape of Wiltshire. Plenty of reeds lined the way, a hire boat looked like they were ploughing their way through as they approached.

The bridge that nearly got away!

Showers came and went, the occasional strong gust of wind causing slight problems at the second swing bridge. Here I swung it back into position and as I crossed to secure the big bolt the wind caught it pushing it round, I managed to run back to dry land before I had nowhere to go. I pushed it back and then dashed across to get it secured before the next gust caught it. Mick said he’d have rescued me if needs had been.

Time was ticking on, we wouldn’t reach Pewsey by 3pm. Would there be space at All Cannings or Honey Street but more importantly would there be phone signal? We decided to stop as soon as there was space.

Now where are my friends?

At All Cannings there was a gap just made for us and phone signal too, even inside the boat. Tilly set off to find more nutritious food and I set myself up in the cratch for my phone meeting. Juggling a laptop, sketch book, plans and a scale ruler took some doing all whilst Tilly appeared from the friendly cover with friends to munch in front of me.


90 minutes of discussion later and my work drawing plans up hadn’t been wasted. Some clarification was needed from the writer and director about a few things in the show as there was some confusion over a few scenes. More emails to be sent, dinner to cook, chicken pancakes, one day I’ll get chance to finish knitting my cardigan!

0 locks, 6.2 miles, 2 swing bridges, 0 card, 4 boxes wine, 59 ft space, 2 crunchy critters, 2.5 hours behind schedule, 90 minutes phone call, 1 red light, 9 pancakes.