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Thursday, 3 October 2013

Slowly back to our home mooring

The forecasters still seemed undecided about when we would get this torrential rain but it seemed that Thursday morning would be OK so we decided to stay over here for a day.  We had decided to treat ourselves to a meal at the Greyhound Pub on Wednesday and didn't want to miss out on that.    In the event there was no rain at all on Wednesday although I don't think other parts of the country fared as well.  Still plenty of boat traffic and the moorings reasonably full.  All the mooring here is 7 days, although the signs do now say £25 per day if you overstay.

Early start on Thursday as we planned to empty rubbish and loo in the basin and thought there would be no one else on the go at 8am........wrong for a change.   As we pulled into the basin a hire boat came through so he went ahead of us and as we went through the lock there was one waiting to come the other way....obviously they have all heard the weather forecast which gives heavy rain later...

It was a bit of a misty start
However the rain stayed away and we had a dry  if overcast, run all the way to Rugby.  We stopped to pick up a few things in Tesco and have lunch and the rain started............however it was nothing like forecast and we did the final run to Clifton with very little rain.

After all the good weather we have had recently it was sad to have a dreary run for our last trip.  We mustn't complain because overall we have been very lucky this summer.  However it is sad that this years cruising has come to an end........we have a few days on Petroc now to sort her out for the winter and a quiz supper in the cafe here on Saturday.    Geoff is doing the quiz part of the evening....all Italian questions as the theme and food is Italian this time.

So this is my last blog of the year....hope to be back next April.....................................

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

To Hawkesbury Junction

Short hop today.......weather still holding for us..........aren't we lucky.

We passed this sorry sight
and the past Charity Dock with their large array of garden figures



We arrived at Hawkesbury in time for coffee, how civilised....and since there was plenty of room before the junction we decided to stay there for a change........

Through the rest of the day it was quite busy with boats going in both directions.....

Total distance:3.48 miles 
Elapsed time:1h29m39s 
Locks:0
Bridges:7 Average speed:2.33 mph (2.33 lock/mph) 

Monday, 30 September 2013

Last Locks of the year

Having come up the first four of the Atherstone locks on Friday there were only 7 to do today.   Off the chocks soon after 8 they were all set our way and no one around.  We decided to stop after the 3rd lock as it is the closest to the Co-op and there is a water tap.  So I nipped off for a quick morning shop while Geoff watered....or rather didn't water......of the two tap connections one did not work and the other was a non standard fitting,  However it was not the end of the world as there is a sani station after the top lock.

A duller morning than of late but still  mild for the time of year.........we did meet one boat on the way down which was handy and just before reaching the top, lo and behold 2 lock volunteers.......we did tell them about the unfriendly tap lower down but I can't say they seemed that interested so not sure if the info will be passed on!!

After watering etc at the top we were away just ahead of another boat who was in the top lock......Geoff had in mind a mooring in the open before Nuneaton.     We had a good run for a while but then picked up a S L O W boat in front of us.......we don't cruise fast but there are degrees of slow!!!

Unfortunately Geoff's memory for once was not as good as usual and having passed an open mooring but continued for what he thought was an even better one, we were disappointed to find that there were far more trees than he remembered.    So we ended up having to go all through Nuneaton before we found another nice open space.......a longer trip than planned.....Actually 'disappointed ' is probably too mild a word for his feelings on the matter......

SLOW  boat had stopped a little while before us but he moved on later and  a walk with Barney later discovered him moored just after the next bridge......just waiting to come out in front of us tomorrow......

A little removal job required...wonder how long it has been there
We don't see many of these nowadays.....
The forecast tells us that this balmy Indian summer cannot last and the prospect for Thursday which was scheduled to be our run to home base in Clifton, may have to be brought forward a day......or even delayed a day....we shall see what the guru's say this evening.....

Total distance:8.38 miles 
Elapsed time:5h8m17s 
Locks:7
Bridges:35 
Average speed:1.63 mph (2.99 lock/mph) 

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Weekend in Atherstone

A weekend on a pleasant open mooring enjoying this Indian summer.......we cannot believe how warm it has become.   Sandals are out again and some gentle sitting on the bank has been enjoyed.......well at least by me...Geoff is not a sitter in the sun........we are quite near the railway line which is very busy but after a while one ceases to notice the trains

The price we pay for this nice mooring is that we are a bit further from the town than we would like.......just over a mile.    we've walked in to shop and for Sunday lunch but a second walk to go to church today defeated me.........

Lunch was in the Red Lion pub which is nice surroundings with a good carvery (very friendly chef serving it) BUT the service is appalling..........the whole place seems as though it needs a good manager to grab it by the ankles so to speak.........

Approaching the end of our cruising season which is very sad..............................

Friday, 27 September 2013

Atherstone

A gentle start just after 8.30 on a bright and promising day, summer does seem to have made a reappearance at the moment....We stopped briefly in Bradley Green at the sani station where another boat was just conveniently pulling out.
We contented ourselves with the first four locks as we knew the designated moorings above the next two locks were much more surrounded by trees.   We decided we would rather have the slightly longer walk to town and an open mooring.
After settling ourselves in Geoff set off for the town with a view to looking for a barber and some shopping, not for hair cutting, more for beard trimming!!!  About 10 minutes later he rang to say he was on his way back with a boat and maybe I would recognise it.........
It turned out to be Hector and Sally Hillman aboard 'Hectors House'.  They are ex RAF friends and we knew they had a boat but had never met up before......can't remember the last time I saw them.  So they pulled in and a convivial lunch was had by all...weather still great so we sat out on the bank.
Hector's House
They carried on after lunch but we were settled for the weekend and that was the end of shopping and barber hunting for the day!

Total distance:5.55 miles 
Elapsed time:3h48m33s 
Locks:4
Bridges:16 
Average speed:1.46 mph (2.51 lock/mph)





Thursday, 26 September 2013

Alvecote

Later start this morning almost 9 o clock...we are slipping......
However it was just early enough...we had a lockless run to Fazely junction and shortly after that Tamworth begins to make its presence felt
Lots of interesting back gardens to look at en route, this one blessed with lots of gnomes.....
I love looking in peoples back gardens!!!


I am sure I have been told before what these cubby holes in some bridges were for but I have forgotten (it's my age!!)
Perhaps someone could enlighten me...........
Only the 2 locks at Glascote today and we were head of the queue...by the time we reached there we had 5 boats behind us which is why I said we were just off in time.......

We stopped briefly by bridge 67 and Geoff walked to a nearby Tescos and then just a little further to moor opposite Alvecote marina.  The moorings shown in our book were after the next bridge but that looked to dark with trees for our liking.....

After tea I took Barney for his walk and thought I would explore  what was shown as a nature reserve in our book but it was full of trees and far too lonely for my liking so I tried the other side of the canal and went to explore Alvecote Priory....this was a bit of a let down...I think I expected something a bit grander!!!! There a few ruins and a bit of scrubby grass so it wan't the most successful of walks.....later Geoff did the nature reserve walk with Barney so he didn't miss out......looking back on it maybe we should try walking together sometime!!!!
Total distance:8.06 miles 
Elapsed time:4h7m46s 
Locks:2
Bridges:34 
Average speed:1.95 mph (2.44 lock/mph) 



Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Alrewas to the middle of nowhere

Well not quite the middle of nowhere but not close to habitation.....between Hopwas and Whittington on a nice open mooring.
Off just before 8.30....getting later for us now as the mornings are darker..........
Barney walked all the way to Fradley junction, first with me and then with Geoff.......should wear him out for the day!!!!
We had a good run as there was no one in front of us and no one on the water point......we didn't need the water, just the elsan and rubbish.  Sadly the little shop was not open ...sharp left turn onto the Coventry Canal after the last lock and then no more locks for a while which meant I could resume my regal position in the bows whilst leaving my 'man' to steer........lovely countryside.....aint life grand....
Total distance:8.53 miles 
Elapsed time:4h21m8s
 Locks:5
Bridges:31 
Average speed:1.96 mph (3.11 lock/mph)