We are off on an adventure from Devices, motoring through the peaceful & beautiful ‘Vale of Pewsey’, onboard the Good Ship ‘Rowan’.
We used to own a canal boat, which was moored a little further west, on the Somerset Coal Canal. So it’s great to be back on the cut after so long. Rowan is 60ft long, well-appointed and very comfortable.
When we were trying to get Rowan out of Devizes Marina it was quite tricky. As there was a strong breeze blowing across the pontoons. Every time I had her lined up to go where​ I wanted, the wind caught her bow and blew her back onto the pontoon ends. However, we eventually managed to get out and now we are happily chugging along without as much drama.

We have just motored a mile or so out into the countryside. As we have our very young son onboard, we don’t want to push his attention​ span by motoring on for hours at a time. This also gives me more time for sketching.
I have with me two sketching pads. One A4 and one A6, both Daler Rowney 90lb cartridge paper. I also have my travelling watercolour set, one large brush and one or two small brushes and of course a 6B pencil.

The Bridge Inn

This sketch is of Rowan moored by The Bridge Inn, ready to head further tomorrow.
Watercolour A5(ish) ~ Sold

Two small A6 watercolour sketches of Sloes and Rosehips growing alongside the towpath.

‘Wide Water’

We are chugging along in an easterly direction along the Vale of Pewsey. Heading this way means we can avoid the large flight of locks west of Devizes, the Caen Hill Locks. Which is, this trip, a bit beyond us.
So we are moored close to the peaceful ‘Wide Water’. It is a lake like, wide stretch of the ​canal made for Lady Susannah Wroughton. She wanted the canal to be more attractive​ crossing her land. The bridge here is also known as ‘Lady’s Bridge’ and is much more decorative​ than the others. It is a great spot to moor though, as the wider water attracts lots of wildlife. We saw Kingfishers & Herons fishing, Geese & Swans swimming along and in the evening bats flying after insects.

Sitting by the stove looking out of the ‘Swan Door’ of ‘Rowan’. We didn’t have too many Swans using that door!
Pen & Wash ~ A4
A Moorhen on the other side of the canal dabbling about.
Watercolour ~ A6

A drop of Rosy Lee

Heading back westwards to Devizes. We have stopped for a drink of tea & some cake and are moored looking down the peaceful Vale of Pewsey. Time for another watercolour sketch (Sold) – just ahead of us is the narrowboat ‘Rosy Lee’ moored on the ‘off’ bank.
This is our last night on ‘Rowan’, it has been a relaxing and delightful trip. We have all very much enjoyed ourselves and hopefully given our little lad a taste of boating on the canals.

I am already missing our time on the cut. Hopefully, we’ll be back soon…

Check out my oil painting of Roxy our next borrowed narrowboat.

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