Home + About me + E-mail me + Trips index + Canal game

Mon and Brec, spring 2023

Llanfoist wharf looking pretty
Llanfoist wharf, once a busy commercial dock, then a hire boat base, now a very pretty and tranquil collection of holiday cottages and homes.

A week to see if the core crew can still do it!

Diary extract:

Sat 2023-05-20 {25240}
To Gilwern for Castle Narrowboats. Very professional handover. Hot and sunny. They came with us for a couple of bridges and were happy that we knew what we were doing. Start about 15h30 and run until 17h30, stopping after br 115. Eve to the Horseshoe Inn just down into Llangattock which was busy but found a table for us; catering run by outside firm and interesting, I had goat curry. Boat was Kidwelly Castle, flat-bottomed tho' the boatyard said they were swapping (back?) to V-hulls as better for this canal. Engine hot-water but diesel Webasto that can also heat water and do cabin heating. 1 kW inverter. Engine has an annoying rattle at just above idle speed.
Sun 2023-05-21 {25241}
Set off 09h15 getting to br 131 at 12h. Water there and lunch on boat. Off again 13h15 thro' the 5 locks and tunnel, stopping at Talybont after br 143 at 16h30. Again a warm sunny day. Volunteers helping at the locks, helpful and full of advice, often conflicting between them. Eve walked down to the Star, but no food eve as no staff, as they told at least 6 people while we were there. Their ales were good tho' and the landlady very knowledgable and efficient. Eat on boat. Tunnel was awkward and we hit something protruding against the cabin roof; many bridges with twists.
Mon 2023-05-22 {25242}
Start 09h15, thro' the electric lift bridge at Talybont, stopping for water at Brynich aqueduct at 12h15, then lunch on board. Shallow and narrow, passed a boat in one of the narrowest bits. Away again 13h15, thro' the last lock and moor in Brecon theatre basin at 14h45. A walk into Brecon to have a look around, and a coffee. Back into town later to eat at Chang Thai and Chinese, which was very good, especially the Gaeng Panang curry that I had, thicker that the usu Thai curry.
Tue 2023-05-23 {25243}
3-cyl Barrus/Shire (related to Yanmar) engine, vibrates horribly at just over idle speed, makes an alarming knocking noise between idle and cruise; boatyard weren't that worried on Sat. Macerating bog. Advice to switch off inverter when not running engine (1kW rated, high idle current) and no 12V points so have to remember to charge things while running. Comfortable beds. CH not overnight. Brecon thought not worth another visit, so lie-in and later start preferred. Swish power and rope turn in the basin and away 09h20, overcast, watery sun. Passed five boats, a record so far, and all at bridges. Water 5m stop after the aqueduct. Stop Pencelli 12h15. Left my old windlass behind at the aqueduct. To the Royal Oak nearby for a good lunch. Off again 14h15 now warm and to br 114 just in time for the closed time 15h15..16h15, 50m wait there. Lots of canoes with children in school groups and more boats met at bridge holes. Stopped at Talybont 16h30. By far the busiest day for boats tho' we haven't seen another from our boatyard yet; lots from the very posh-looking Beacon Boats. Eve eat on boat and to Star.
Wed 2023-05-24 {25244}
Another hot and sunny day. Water before start. Start at 09h30, thro' the tunnel and the locks. Made contact with a steel plate in the tunnel, tho' generally kept to centre. Had to wait to get in and 2 waiting when we came out; the morning part was quite busy. Locks again had volunteers helping, useful as locks must be left empty with bottom gates open (to preserve the masonry). Lunch in the Coach and Horses canalside just before the last lock. After lunch thro' the last lock. Lunch stop was 12h15 to 14h15. Our intention was to moor out in wilds for tonight but nowhere could we get within a metre of the side until a formal mooring after br 118 almost into Llangattock, with another boat and houses overlooking, at 16h35. Eve eat lightly on boat.
Thu 2023-05-25 {25245}
Not so hot, but a pleasant warm day. Off at 09h45. Water Gilwern by br 104 15m then moor by br 103 at 12h15. Canalside pub open eve only so lunch at the Beaufort just a little further away. On again at 14h15 down thro' Govilon and into the winding and boring bit, apart from some very low and awkward bridges. Power turn before Tod's bridge 95A at Llanfoist wharf. Very pretty, look to be mostly holiday cottages but maybe a former Beacon Boats base (they now have a very flash new base a few km north). Moor after turning just beyond the nice private moorings. There do seem to be a lot more hire boat bases than there were 28y ago but still not much competition for the visitor moorings; prob might be in summer, all bases had boats in dock. This is the 1st time we have managed to moor in a quiet place, and the 1st time we have had to have a spike at both ends. Again today we passed few boats but nearly all at awkward places, and again with children in canoes.
Fri 2023-05-26 {25246}
Another warm sunny day. Start 10h00, just a potter to br 97 to chuck rubbish and moor in the sunshine for Govilon at br 98 11h05. Town had a shop and the Bridge End pub, opening only at 16h30. Lunch on boat. On again 13h30, again pottering. Came to a stand at brs 99 and 100 needing poles to get thro'. Stopped 14h30 at br 102 short of boatyard. No water today. Watched a towpath hire base putting out 3 boats, with cars single-file blocking the towpath, presumably driven off to park elsewhere. There are a few like that, with sections of towpath reserved for them, usually where it would be convenient for others to moor. Eve eat at Beaufort again, busier than yest but we found a small unreserved table and they were happy to serve us if we ordered quickly to get in before the rush; food was good again but generous in size. Tidying up, packing, the sun still shining.
Sat 2023-05-27 {25247}
08h15 to 08h25 back to boatyard.
                         h    mi  lck  br   water  str  mi/h
     Sat 2023-05-20  02:00   3      0   0          N     1.5
     Sun 2023-05-21  06:00   8.5    5   0  br 131  K/C   1.4
     Mon 2023-05-22  04:30   7      1   2  br 162  N/K   1.6
     Tue 2023-05-23  05:05   7      1   1  br 162  C/N   1.4
     Wed 2023-05-24  05:05   7.5    5   0  br 144  K/N   1.5
     Thu 2023-05-25  03:40   7.25   0   0  br 102  C/N   2.0
     Fri 2023-05-26  02:05   3      0   0          K/C   1.4
     Sat 2023-05-27  00:10   0.25   0   0          N     1.5
     overall         28.58  43.50  12   3                1.5
          lunch                               eve
     Sat  br 115 Llangattock, Horseshoe
     Sun  br 131 Llangynidr, on boat          br 144 Talybont, Star
     Mon  br 162 Brynich, on boat             Brecon, Chang
     Tue  br 153 Pencelli, Royal Oak          br 144 Talybont, Star
     Wed  br 133 Cwmcrawnon, Coach & Horses   br 118 Ffawyddog, on boat
     Thu  br 103 Gilwern, Beaufort            br 95A Llanfoist, on boat
     Fri  br 98  Govilon, on boat             br 103 Gilwern, Beaufort

©nib 2023-05-31..2023-05-31

Home + About me + E-mail me + Trips index + Canal game