Gecko in Bath
On July 27 we left the River Thames in the company of Norman and Margaret on L'Attitude Adjustment. And now Gecko is in Bath for the first time.
Last year the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust surveyed new visitors to the canal and one common response was "lovely canal, but never again" This is our first time on the K&A and I am not surprised by this response. Until this year the canal did not have Cruiseway status and so British Waterways' were only required to keep it safe but not necessarily navigable. Perhaps this is why it can be so difficult to travel on. On the eastern section, which is predominantly river, access to the locks is at best difficult and at times hazardous. Mooring anywhere other than the infrequent prepared sites is impossible for us as the banks are soft, the canal shallow and the vegetation impentrable. Near Semmington we were stuck on the mud in the middle of the channel for 30 minutes because the waterpumps were out of actiion. When the western end was restored 30 years ago a concrete channel was built and for some reason it has a lip which is often three feet wide which grinds away at the hull if you are rash enough to venture that close to the bank. And when we arrived in Bath there is no facility for us to empty our toilet which limits the time (and money) we can spend here.