CSCC Reports 2009: Basingstoke Canal - October 2009
After an initial navigational error in choosing the wrong motorway on which to leave London (it should have been the M3, not the M4) Chris and Nick got on the water at Mychett canal centre at about noon. First we headed West, passing over the busy A313 on the aquaduct. We stopped for lunch at Ash Lock, taking shelter from a fine drizzle under the road bridge with a canal worker who had given up trying to paint the lock gates in the rain. The damp conditions prevailed for most of the day but hardly detracted from the perennial charm of this quiet and beautiful tree-lined waterway.
After lunch we turned round and retraced our steps to the East, passing the get-in and going on as far as another aquaduct, this time over the railway, before returning to Mychett. Our pace was fairly slow at first but it picked up considerably as the day went on and Nick got the hang of the j-stroke which he was performing in exemplary fashion by the end of the day. Wildlife seen included a kingfisher, two grey herons, swans, Canada geese and the usual ducks. Distance 8.5 miles.