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Author: Andrew

Like A National Guitar

Like A National Guitar

Today we took a boat trip into the marshes and bayous that make Louisiana such a great place for athlete’s foot. Oh, and seafood, and snakes and Spanish moss, and let’s not forget these guys. This was our first gator sighting from the boat, but we saw several more. Most of them are still hibernating in the mud, but a few of them took advantage of the warm weather we have been having to catch some rays. Let’s take a…

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Closed Forever

Closed Forever

Today we took a tour of one of the famous New Orleans above ground cemeteries. The only way they allow you in is if you are on a tour, dead, or Nicolas Cage. They used to leave the gate open for everyone, but there were too many people making movies or offerings to the dead Voodoo priestesses for the Catholic church to be comfortable. One night the tomb of Marie Laveau turned bright pink. Followers of Voodoo would no doubt…

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The Advantages of Irish Labor

The Advantages of Irish Labor

New Orleans, ah, New Orleans. Yоu mау enter aristocratic restaurants, where the immaculate floors are only passed in cleanliness by the spotless linen of the tables; where solemn dignity, as befits the refined pleasure of dinner, prevails, and where the waiter gives you the names of the dishes in both languages and bestows on you a napkin large enough to serve yоu as a shroud, if this strange melange of French and Southern cookery should give you a fatal indigestion….

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End Of The Trip

End Of The Trip

We are back in swan-infested Newbury. Lots of ducks, too, but the geese seem to have buggered off, it being that time of year, and it is time for us to do the same. This is our final mooring of the trip. Tomorrow we spend doing laundry and packing, and Friday we give the boat back to Alex. Pegotty looks a little different from when we picked her up. There’s a little more blacking scraped off the hull, and some…

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Evil Nylon

Evil Nylon

Just a few days left on our trip, so we are getting ready to turn the boat back over to Alex. We are supposed to leave it with a full tank. This stretch of the canal is a bit lacking in marinas selling diesel, so I was wondering how to do that. Luckily we went past a fuel boat today – one of those roving entrepreneurs selling diesel, propane, coal, firewood, windlasses etc. to the live-aboards who never move their…

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Free Range Bacon

Free Range Bacon

A few more locks this morning took us up to the summit of the K&A. Originally the plan was to have the summit lower, and have a tunnel several miles long through the hills, but that turned out to be too expensive, so the solution was to make the canal higher, and pump water to the top. There is one stretch of tunnel about five hundred years long where the land owner refused to look at a canal. It was…

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Crop Circle Country

Crop Circle Country

Today we meandered through the heart of crop circle country. Though crop circles have long been exposed as a hoax, that doesn’t stop the true believers from being convinced that they are UFO landing spots, portals to the faery kingdom, or messages from the Tooth Fairy. I’m thinking of marketing a do-it-yourself crop circle kit, consisting of one of those living lettuce packs from the supermarket and a pair of nail clippers. Maybe you could persuade a really tiny UFO…

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Shiny

Shiny

It was raining this morning, so we hung around in the boat, then headed for the tourist hotspots of Devizes. The covered market has a drone shop, Wadworth brewery still uses a horse and cart for beer deliveries, and then there’s something called the Wiltshire Heritage Museum. That doesn’t sound like much, until you remember that Wiltshire is the location of Stonehenge, and so there is quite a bit of heritage in this part of the world. Celts, Romans, Saxons,…

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Caen Hill II: The Ascent

Caen Hill II: The Ascent

Today we returned to the magnificent and daunting Caen Hill flight of locks. Here we see our intrepid crew demonstrating the two main techniques for moving lock gates. Greg uses the frontal approach. Karen uses the bacon technique. It’s called the bacon technique because you lean back. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha. It’s really funny if you’re English, honestly. With almost no other traffic and some help from Canal and River Trust volunteers, we made it up the flight in a bit over four…

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Warming Up

Warming Up

The title is not comment on the weather, which was not sure what it wanted to do today, but at least managed to avoid raining on us. I’m talking about the training program for the new crew: seven locks and six swing bridges today. This is just to get them in shape for the twenty nine locks of the Caen Hill flight we are planning to do tomorrow. Greg and Karen did great, working the locks and keeping the boat…

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