This Month's Totals and Average
87.96 miles 30 locks 41.03 hrs 2.88 lmph

  April 2015

29th-30th April ~ Fazeley Mill Marina

More cloud, and looking uncertain on Wednesday. Wind slightly down, and slightly warmer. Migraine clear. Baking for guests coming, full clear for "her Ladyship, the Piggy", general clearing up.

After an 'interesting' night, with police on site for a 'public disturbance' issue, Thursday morning dawned with more sunshine. Cloudy spells and rain showers dotted the day, but generally not too bad. Shopping done for the weekend cruise, and advance prep-work done for tomorrow's dinner. Think we're just about there.

Tuesday 28th April ~ Streethay to Fazeley (awayday)

Beautiful sunny morning, but with more wind. Winded in the entrance to Kings Orchard Marina; quite an interesting operation given the crosswind! headed back towards base. Quite cold out of the sun. Stopped at Sutton Road Bridge for lunch and a walk to Ventura Retain Park.

Once on the move again, continued back to base. Took fuel ready for the trip out with friends over the bank-holiday weekend. I was suffering from migraine so had early night.

7.89 miles 0 locks 3.11 hrs 2.54 lmph

Monday 27th April ~ Fazeley to Streethay (awayday)

Another nice morning. A few routine chores during the morning, then decided to go out overnight before the wet weather forecast for the end of the week arrived.

Got away after lunch, and turned left at Fazeley Junction. Headed out once again through Hopwas and Whittington, and past Huddlesford Junction. Lovely carpet of bluebells in the woods at the firing range, and a lot more green in the trees. Cloud building all afternoon, and getting colder. Our usual mooring just north of King's Orchard Marina, which normally has nothing moored, had three boats along it so pulled up just before the marina entrance, just as the rain started (wasn't supposed to be any today). News from home is that it is snowing and blowing a gale, so we are better off here.

7.95 miles 0 locks 3.07 hrs 2.59 lmph

24th-26th April ~ Fazeley Mill Marina

Lovely morning Friday. Up promptly and headed out in the car to Stone to visit the 'floating market'. These markets are organised by Roving Canal Traders Association  and bring together a collection of boats selling wares directly to the public on the towpath. This time, there were 10 boats ranging from a tearoom to jewelery and knitted clothing, to candles, artwork, and home-brew equipment.

Saturday was a mixture weatherwise - mostly sunny, but with cloudy periods, and occasional short rain showers. Sunday more sun, less rain. Generally pottered about. Quiet weekend.

Thursday 23rd April ~ Alvecote to Fazeley (short break)

Cooler morning, with moderate cloud. Up slightly earlier than normal to move up to Alvecote Marina Services  for routine service on engine. Arrived for 09:00.

Sun came out during morning to bring a warm day. Service complete, winded and returned towards base. Stopped above Glascote locks for lunch.

After lunch, decided that it would not be worth continuing past our marina without having to just turn and come back, so descended the locks and headed back to base. Arrived mid-afternoon and moored up for the night. Plans made for tomorrow, further than that will depend on weather forecast!

4.29 miles 2 locks 2.86 hrs 2.20 lmph

Wednesday 22nd April ~ Polesworth to Alvecote via Bradley Green (short break)

Beautiful sunny morning, with birds singing from just after 05:00. Relaxed breakfast before getting on the move headed for the winding hole and services at Bradley Green. Turned the boat first, then reversed to the services berth under the bridge for water, loo and rubbish.

Quick stop, then headed back towards Polesworth. Stopped on the west side and walked into town. Visited the Abbey to look more at the architecture and history (rather than just being at a service). Had lunch at "Licensed to Grill" café - very good food and reasonably priced.

Did a spot of shopping on the way back to "Paws". Let go and continued towards Alvecote. Went past the marina and winded at Amington winding hole (to put us port-side alongside) and moored just short of the marina ready for the engine-service tomorrow. No tele tonight (so the snooker will have to get a miss!).

7.11 miles 0 locks 3.21 hrs 2.21 lmph

Tuesday 21st April ~ Fazeley to Polesworth (short break)

Quick shopping trip for essentials, then prepared for departure. Lunch before setting off.

Let go after lunch and turned right at the junction, towards Coventry . Ascended the two Glascote Locks (pound between very low as usual). Noted the increased number of trees in blossom. Saw our first swallow of the year - looks like spring has actually arrived. Continued round through Amington to a favourite mooring just east of Polesworth, just before the railway bridge. Beautiful sunny day all day with only a light breeze, and even that had a hint of warmth in it.

6.59 miles 2 locks 2.98 hrs 2.89 lmph

17th-20th April ~ Fazeley Mill Marina

Cloudy again Friday, and still cool. Arranged service for engine (at Alvecote Marina Services ). Renewed insurance for bike. A few routine chores.

Weekend still cloudy and cool. Shopping trip to Tamworth and Ventura on Saturday, otherwise a quiet weekend (World Championship snooker from Sheffield on tele so Admiral glued to the box when not otherwise engaged!). Confirmed plans for Bank Holiday trip out with David & Betty. Noted that a nuthatch had built a nest in the tree beside the marina office.

Sun poking through again on Monday, with good forecast for remainder of week. Routine chores. Plans for short break made, to include engine service.

12th-16th April ~ Fazeley Mill Marina

Very windy on Sunday. Did a shopping trip to top up after the cruise. Quiet afternoon.

Up early Monday to get the bike to the garage for repairs. Breakdown company arrived 09:45 and moved it without hassle. Routine chores in the afternoon.

Decided to take a (car) trip to Whilton Marina Chandlery  for a few items on Tuesday. Unfortunately, found they do not stock Craftmaster coachwork paints, but did manage to get a flue brush. Had lunch at the attached café before walking up to the farm shop above the bottom lock. Took the car round to the services berth at Lock 7 and walked to Anchor Cottage to see about painted canalware.

Beautiful morning on Wednesday, so got started on the 'spring cleaning'. Swept the flue, cleaned out the stove (in the hopes it won't be needed again before the winter), cleared out the cratch and removed the cover, cleaned the cover and the cratch area, washed down the roof and both sides. Rather tired when we finished but a good job out the way.

More cloud on Thursday, and cooler. Received a call from the garage; bike ready for collection. Generally not a lot done apart from that (recovering from the previous day).

Saturday 11th April ~ Polesworth to Fazeley (Easter Cruise, extended)

After a windy night, the forecast rain arrived at breakfast. Decided to wait until it had passed, so finally got away late morning. Headed through Polesworth and Amington, having lunch on the move. Descended the two Glascote Locks and headed round to the marina. Arrived just as Jackie was returning from lunch so got a replacement bottle of gas before moving onto our berth. Quiet afternoon after clearing up from the trip.

6.58 miles 2 locks 2.88 hrs 2.98 lmph

Friday 10th April ~ Hartshill to Polesworth "St Helena" (Easter Cruise, extended)

Cooler this morning, with more cloud. Let go shortly after breakfast and continued towards Atherstone . Stopped above the top lock for services, then descended Locks 1 to 5 with the help of the volunteer lock-keeper. Moored up and headed into town for lunch at "The Larder", then collected a few stores.

On return, let go and descended the remainder of the flight (a further 6) and headed out into the countryside again. Slight shower of rain at the bottom of the flight, but hardly worth getting the coats out for. Wind slowly rising all day. Moored at the same place as when we came south, just west of Polesworth railway bridge.

5.63 miles 11 locks 4.57 hrs 3.64 lmph

Thursday 9th April ~ Sutton's to Hartshill (Easter Cruise, extended)

Another sunny morning, but a struggle to get going. Eventually let go mid-morning and continued north. Lunch on the move. Appeared to be more birdsong today, and noted the buds starting to open on the trees. More boats noted as well, both private and hire.

Stopped at Springwood Haven for a look round their chandlery and gift shop, then moved on to the mooring we had used going south, at Bridge 34. Moored for mid-afternoon.

9.18 miles 0 locks 3.47 hrs 2.65 lmph

Wednesday 8th April ~ Sutton's to Coventry and return (Easter Cruise, extended)

Sunny start this morning. Despite good intentions to get on the move early, we ended up getting away late! Chatted to the boat behind who were new to hiring. Moved up to the water point and topped up, also did the loo. Decided to give the hirers a hand through the lock. Finally got under way mid-morning, and headed down to Coventry . Water quality deteriorated (as usual) on the way down, with increasing amounts of refuse on and under the water. One spare berth left in the basin so we took it (three unused hire boats from the Valley Cruisers fleet taking up other berths).

Walked into the city centre, had lunch and did a bit of shopping before returning to "Paws", and heading back to Sutton's. Arrived back for a late dinner aboard.

11.40 miles 0 locks 4.05 hrs 2.82 lmph

Tuesday 7th April ~ Hartshill to Sutton's (Easter Cruise, extended)

Another misty morning, took slightly longer to clear. Away soon after breakfast, continuing towards Coventry . Generally uneventful trip to Sutton's Stop where we moored for lunch, and for the day.

Spent a sunny afternoon lounging about and chatting to other boaters. Went to The Greyhound  for my birthday dinner (trying to forget that it's my 60th, but people keep reminding me!). Lovely meal as usual.

9.20 miles 0 locks 3.43 hrs 2.68 lmph

Monday 6th April ~ Polesworth to Hartshill (Easter Cruise, extended)

Woke to find a slight mist lying on the fields, but it quickly burned off and we had a very sunny day. Didn't rush ourselves to get on the move, but were still away by mid-morning. Saw our first yellowhammer for the year - hadn't seen or heard one so far, but two were sitting on the hedgerow as we passed. Stopped at the services berth at Bradley Green for water and loo, then continued to the bottom of the Atherstone flight and ascended Locks 11 and 10. Stopped for lunch.

After lunch, continued up the flight and moored just before Lock 5 for a quick walk into town for stores. On return, completed the flight and headed back out into the countryside, leaving Atherstone  and Mancetter behind. Saw our first batch of ducklings for this year - can only have been a day old. Also noted a number of butterflies, including a Peacock (couldn't identify the others; will have to brush up on our butterfly identification skills!). Moored up for the night just short of Bridge 34.

5.66 miles 11 locks 4.26 hrs 3.91 lmph

Sunday 5th April ~ Polesworth to "St Helena" (BCF Easter Cruise)

A damp morning, but with a lot of promise. Our group headed back to the Abbey for the Easter Morning service. Fr Philip duly 'ordained' Peter as our 'Cruise Director' , presenting him with a badge of office. After the service, we had a 'bring-and-share' lunch before returning to our boats and going our separate ways. The sun had fully broken through, giving a warm afternoon.

We decided to head round the corner to a favourite mooring in the fields. A most enjoyable long-weekend - look forward to future fellowship with our new friends.

0.39 miles 0 locks 0.19 hrs 2.05 lmph

Saturday 4th April ~ Amington to Polesworth (BCF Easter Cruise)

Some rain overnight, clear by morning. Mostly cloudy during morning, but brightening into a sunny afternoon. A slow daunder along to Polesworth before lunch, then spent the afternoon chatting with others from the group. Attended an evening "Festival of Light" service at Polesworth Abbey.

2.80 miles 0 locks 1.13 hrs 2.57 lmph

Friday 3rd April ~ Glascote to Amington (BCF Easter Cruise)

With rain overnight, day dawned wet. The group walked into Tamworth to congregate in the castle grounds as part of a 'procession of witness' to the market square where a service was held. A meditative/reflective service in St Editha's Church followed after lunch.

On returning to our boats, we moved on to our berth for the night at Amington (just east of Bridge 64). Went for a group meal at The Pretty Pigs . John and Jane from "Ichthus" came back with us for a nightcap.

1.55 miles 0 locks 0.61 hrs 2.54 lmph

Thursday 2nd April ~ Fazeley to Glascote (BCF Easter Cruise)

Calm morning with little wind. Took fuel and changed the loo cassette. Set off mid-morning headed for the visitor moorings at Glascote Locks where we met up with 8 other boats for the BCF  Easter Cruise. Given the low-down by 'harbour-master' Peter, and spent the afternoon chatting to other boaters/members.

In the evening we all gathered at St George's Church hall for an Agape meal and Communion service before processing to the church opposite for reflective prayer. Drops of rain were just starting to fall as we returned to "Paws"

1.64 miles 2 locks 1.21 hrs 3.00 lmph

Wednesday 1st April ~ Fazeley Mill Marina

Far nicer day (to start with). Sunny skies and wind had dropped overnight. Quick shopping trip during morning, topping up ready for weekend mini-cruise. Heavy showers back again in afternoon - hope they clear for next few days.

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