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Alton

The day started well when, arriving at the swing bridge I met a guy quite keen to operate it himself, with his boat moored he’d taken up position as bridge operator while he waited for friends to catch up. We’ve come across a few lunatics who swing bridge for fun and are always happy to see one pop up with their gleaming BW key.

Alton was open for business so we pulled over for diesel and gas, blocking the path of anything else on the move. There was one boat, but the couple sandwiched between us and the piling didn’t seem to mind stopping for a while, explaining as liveaboards they carried everything including the kitchen sink so their boat sat deep in the water – if Uncle Bulgaria is out on the canals, we found him.

BoslUncle Bulgariaey locks were busy but other than one shifty boater sneakily turning a lock against us everyone seemed to be enjoying climbing up or down a flight with the water working in the way it was orginally planned.

Plenty of space when we arrived at the bottom, a pretty spot that just shot up in our mooring ranking as we managed to get 3G. Wandering Murk towards the river for a cool off we saw our favourite coloured boat – by the time Murk had been dunked the owner sat outside readinavacado and creamg. ‘For gods sake don’t go into one about how much we like your boat…’ Nick muttered from a few paces back. Five minutes later we were inside helping ourselves to a tour while the lovely guy held a wet Murk outside. Beautiful boat complete with Rayburn and a bed with a curtain! We both went on about how much we liked it before settling in for some heavy weight chat – UM, you’d have been proud!

Boats slotted into gaps as the afternoon went on, one long line of boats wiggle round the corner and away now. Today was a great reminder of how different everyone’s 60ish ft is, an enchanting and intriguing part of this floating life.

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