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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

In search of the Berry's canal

Friday 9th
It rained last night but no storm, mores the pity. I do so love a good thunder storm. It turned cooler too, much better for a decent nights sleep. With only 130km to go we didn't get away to early. Most of the route was down the Hume highway/M31and then onto the A48 Illawarra highway. Took around 1hour 40 minutes and we pulled into the same caravan park in Kiama which had been home for a few days at the start of our adventure back at the beginning of November.

Into view the Kiama Lighthouse.

Kiama main shopping area.

We had heard about another canal, Berry's, so after lunch we went in search. The journey to Shoalhaven took us past 7 mile beach. A stop here to feel the sand beneath our feet again after the week we had inland and then back on track to find the canal.

7 mile beach

The task proved difficult as on reaching Crookhaven Heads all that could be seen was a wide expanse of water. Took this exert from WiKi

Berry's canal was Australia's first transport canal. In June 1822, Alexander Berry sailed his 15-tonne cutter Blanche from Sydney 150 km down the south coast to the Shoalhaven loaded with tools and provisions. Hamilton Hume, who later became a well-known explorer, was also on board. On 21 June 1822, the entrance to Shoalhaven Heads appeared dangerous and four men volunteered to test it in the cutter's boat. The boat capsized drowning two of the men. Berry then sailed up the Crookhaven River but was stopped by a sand spit. Undaunted, the crew hauled the Blanche across the spit. Four days later Hamilton Hume was left with three men at the isthmus to cut a passage using only hand tools. The canal, which was 191 m long, was completed in 12 days. This was the first transport canal to be cut in Australia. The river has since cut the passage wider and deeper to its present dimensions, making it now the real entrance to the Shoalhaven River.

The Shoalhaven River flows south via Berrys Canal to Greenwell Point, where it is joined by the Crookhaven River and then flows east past Orient Point.

At Crookhaven

 Slightly disappointed that no information board to read, especially as the round trip was near enough 110km. Back at Kiama and Ian washed the front of the caravan. My job tomorrow is to thoroughly clean the van on the inside. Then, if the weather is good we will, for the first time since leaving Sydney, spend the day on the beach!

 And a visitor or two welcomed themselves into the van.

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