Launch CountdownThe Big DayMay 1st, 2014The big day is here.
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This week has been hectic and progress has been encouraging. The bathroom work has begun and we now have a fabulous jacuzzi bath and shower. Tony, from Ministry of Pine has built a cabinet for the sink to go on and the other Tony has put in the new posh towel rail. Tomorrow there will have been more done. The ceilings have come down and the kitchen has been stripped out Jason is updating all of the electrics and there are wires everywhere at the moment.
The new cupboards for the kitchen are on board as is the cabinet for the salon. We’re looking forward to seeing them in place.
Mark and I have been stripping and rust treating the roof and today, we stripped back the old name in preparation for the boat to be renamed. So we’ve started repainting the panels and masked off the bow for painting tomorrow.
Tired and achey but all the hard work will be worthwhile
Something quite special happened today. We went to check on the progress of the boat refit and discovered that the fitters had fitted the vintage tiller from The Dolly, Mark’s dad’s old narrow boat. It looks amazing.
Today we went to take delivery of the last bits for the bathroom and on the way back decided to stop for lunch at the Somerset Arms. @somersetarms. The pub is in the village of Semington, right by the side of the canal, right by the side of Semington lock.
The pub looks lovely and authentic from the outside with a number of outside tables. it was bright and sunny today so we opted to sit outside. Inside it’s a big pub, stylish yet retaining an essence of old English inn. The Somerset Arms menu was extensive with lots of baguettes, paninis, soups and light lunch time meals with a selection of pub food meals on offer too. So, on the face of it fairly traditional fare.
What made this different was the service, the presentation and the homemade food. We opted for the butcher’s platter, reasonable at £12 for two. It included smoked chicken, smoked duck, chicken liver paté, a hot vine of vine tomatoes, warm rustic bread, pickled onion and gerkin and a delicious home made spiced apple chutney. Served on a wooden platter it looked so tempting and tasted great. A great choice for a light lunch.
On leaving Caen Hill marina, if you turn right you’ll come immediately to the Caen Hill locks. It’s a flight of 29 locks between Rowde and Devizes. To navigate the locks will take you about 5 – 6 hours. It’s a big ask at the beginning of a holiday and for the uninitiated it’s probably best to start by turning left as you exit the marina and head towards Bath.
If you’re a seasoned narrow boater and want to start your journey with the challenge of the locks, then once you are through them all the route is lockless for about 12 miles, that’s 3 days or so cruising.
Heading left there are a series of 7 locks and 7 swing bridges in quick succession, but there are spots to moor up between them and you can take the trip at a more leisurely pace.