Setting sail!

Trowbridge Travel Blog

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Scene from the deck as we crossed a viaduct. Luckily the boat can only do 4 mph, hence little blur!
I arrived in Trowbridge hot on the heels of my Icelandic adventure, tired but excited about a week chilling out cruising up and down a canal with no tides, waterfalls, glaciers or any other hazards.  It was a lads holiday, and six of us were going to cram into the boat, and none of us had been on, near or in a canal before.  We did have polo shirts inscribed with the legend 'Kennet and Avon Gentlemen's Drinking Tour' and caps with ranks ranging from the mighty captain, to chef.  I was the Cabin Boy... 

Firstly we were treated to a video about all the hazards and ways to sink a boat (there seemed to be many), calmly and soothingly narrated by Peter Davison the fifth Dr.
Another view from the deck.
Who.  This unsettled me, and everyone else a fair bit, inspiring awe and terror for strange things like locks, wiers and mooring; so it was a shaken and decidedly nervous crew who took to the good craft 'Merlin' and cast off.  Our instructor helped us turn the boat, go in a straight line, and then, with the resounding advice of "Don't worry, it's a contact sport!" dived off the boat and legged it.  We stared at each other blankly, before one lucky crew member grasped the tiller firmly, faced the horizon (and rain), and set us off at a punishing 3 mph...

Luckily, it's bloody difficult to sink a canal boat, and it's impossible to get bored of the scenery as you sedately chug along.  It's a very relaxing experience, and as soon as we'd moored (using the anchor, rope, pole, ladder and hook we'd been told was ornamental), and not sunk the think in a lock (avoiding the sill, gates and leaving the keys in the bottom), we all relaxed and broke open the beers.  Thus the odyssey of booze and boating began for this Cabin Boy...
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Scene from the deck as we crossed …
Scene from the deck as we crossed…
Another view from the deck.
Another view from the deck.
The crew - alert and ready for act…
The crew - alert and ready for ac…
More wilds of Wiltshire.
More wilds of Wiltshire.
Towpath - we jumped onto that from…
Towpath - we jumped onto that fro…
Not our boat!
Not our boat!
Trowbridge
photo by: andytite