13 miles, 22 locks
Another early start. The sky looked promising as we got up, but it gradually deteriorated throughout the day, getting more grey and overcast which turned to rain at about 2:30.
The locks on the Kennet side of the summit are hard work. We found this a fortnight or so ago as we came up, but thought that they would be easier going down. However that’s not always the case. Quite a few of the locks have to be left empty, so that means on the way down they have to be filled even if the last boat came up. The bottom gates are big and heavy. Often the bottom gates leak so badly that it’s difficult to open the top gates when the lock is full as the water leaks out as fast as it comes in.
Despite this we are about half a day ahead of our schedule. This is good as the weather forecast for the next few days is of rain, so we should be able to do some shorter days.
We didn’t think that we would make it to Hungerford tonight. If we didn’t then supper would have been from our ’emergency rations’! But we did, so a quick dash to Tesco in the rain to top up supplies was called for.

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