|This Month's Totals and Average|
|51.07 miles||32 locks||27.37 hrs||3.03 lmph|
Spent Tuesday morning with Kenny, Louise and Jade - she fell asleep in my arm for over an hour (so contented). Remainder of the day catching up on 'paperwork'.
Last night's rain continued through till after breakfast, only gradually declining through drizzle during the morning. Cleared up from the weekend, then packed the car for a week at home - principally to see Jade. Drizzle died out just before lunch, giving a good run for the remainder of the trip. Arrived home late afternoon and had a quiet evening.
Headed round by car to Windmill End on both days, to assist on the 'stand' for BCF at the Black Country Boating Festival . Saturday was a hot sunny day, Sunday a little cloudier (eventually turning to rain in the evening). Very busy indeed over both days. Great to catch up again with friends (old and new) in the BCF.
Word received during Saturday that grand-daughter's name is Jade.
Beautiful morning - plenty of sun, and the wind had dropped. Leisurely start for our last day. Let go and headed for Fradley. Around Brookhay, we got a fantastic sighting of a kingfisher as it flitted along from tree to tree - Fhi amazed. Arrived at Fradley just too early for lunch (but it would be late if we continued to base). Moored on the visitor moorings and went for a walk through the wildlife garden and back via the Visitor Centre. Had lunch before moving on.
Suitably refreshed, we continued through the swingbridge and turned left onto the Trent & Mersey Canal again. Ascended the three locks and continued back to base, mooring up mid-afternoon.
Had a last dinner together before Fhi headed off for home. We've both had a fantastic week.
Received text from son overnight that our second grand-daughter had been born - name and other details to be supplied later.
|5.91 miles||3 locks||2.90 hrs||3.07 lmph|
Wind had risen slightly again by morning (and continued to rise during the day). Up slightly early, but got ready at a more leisurely pace. Whilst letting go, Fhi's mobile slipped out of her hoody pocket - rescue magnet recovered it, but we're not sure whether it is still alive (usual resuscitation techniques used, but not sure whether its in a coma or dead). Eventually let go and continued our run towards base, back through Polesworth, Alvecote and Amington to Glascote. Stopped at the Co-op for minor stores, but it was too early for lunch so we then continued down the 2 locks and on to Fazeley. Lunch on the move as we continued for Hopwas and Whittington. Moored up outside Kings Orchard Marina again for our last night out. Still very pleasant, even if the wind was causing problems with leeway.
|14.38 miles||2 locks||5.96 hrs||2.75 lmph|
Yesterday's forecast for today was for a sunny day throughout, so we were surprised to rise to a dull drizzly morning. On the move promptly as we were to go to the next winding hole to turn before retracing our steps to base. Arrived at Stoneleigh Quarry winding hole to find it unusable due to weeds, so had to continue to Cherry Tree Farm. Having added a further 20 minutes to the extra hour needed due to lack of mooring at Atherstone Top, we arrived back at Top Lock late morning and dealt with the services.
Once completed, we joined the queue to descend - a further delay of 15 minutes, although this was mitigated somewhat as a working boat pair let us ahead of them as they would be slower (many thanks to them). With CRT Volunteers on Locks 1 to 4, we made exceptional time. As we had had sustenance while servicing, we continued down the whole flight without a break. A family of swans decided to freeload our last two locks. The wind had been rising all morning and it was getting tricky.
Clearing the bottom lock, we continued back towards Meadow Bridge. Just after Grendon Dock, Fhi's hat blew off! Did an emergency stop and recovered it, but unfortunately got stuck against the bank with the wind. Tried poling-off, tried using the engine, only got away when a passer-by gave us a push just as the wind dropped for a few seconds. Five minutes later, we were moored at Bridge 50 for the night. Very late lunch. Nice and sunny by this stage, but with the strong wind.
Wind died off during the evening to give a lovely end to the day.
|3.57 miles||11 locks||4.76 hrs||3.06 lmph|
Far nicer morning, today, sun peeping through and a lot warmer again. On the move promptly, moving past Bradley Green services and on to the bottom of the Atherstone Flight (11 locks). On arrival we found 3 boats waiting to go up so it took us nearly 40 minutes from arrival to actually getting to start up the flight. Felt like a slow run up from 11 to 6, even though there was a good stream of boats coming down. Noted the flower memorial to Margaret from Fazeley Mill as we ascended Lock 8. Had a brief chat with Crystal & Mike (originally met them as lock-keepers on the Foxton Flight) as we ascended Lock 6. Moored in the pound between 6 and 5.
Had a bite of lunch, before walking into town - the usual selection of shops visited (wool shop, sweet shop and card shop!). Once back, moved "Paws" forward to Lock 5 ready for the remainder, to find 3 boats again waiting to go up. Had a brief chat with Derek & Ann on "Ursinity" as they passed having come down. It took over an hour to get started up. Once on the move, we flashed through the remaining 5 locks (with assistance from CRT Volunteers on 3, 2 and 1).
No spaces in the section immediately above the lock, but found a space right at the end of the next section, immediately before Bridge 39. Fhi walked back into town via the bridge at the lock to get a Chinese carry-out for dinner. A lovely sunny day throughout.
|3.57 miles||11 locks||4.76 hrs||3.06 lmph|
A very damp day greeted us this morning - cool and rainy (but we had been expecting it). Long lie, then took our time getting started. On the move mid-morning, heading past Huddlesford Junction and through Whittington, Fisherwick and Hopwas. Noted that the reed beds were getting out of hand again. Fhi saw a kingfisher as we approached Fazeley so she was very happy. Lunch on the move.
At Fazeley Junction, we continued ahead onto the main line of the Coventry Canal, ascending the two locks at Glascote - very busy here as there were two boats coming down with another two following us up. Rain had eased to occasional drizzle, with the sun attempting to get through. Continued on through Amington and Alvecote, then Polesworth and Dordon. The rain came back again for a short period just before we moored up. Moored at our usual place before Meadow Lane Bridge (50) as the rain ceased again.
|14.46 miles||2 locks||6.00 hrs||2.74 lmph|
Beautiful, if cold, start to the day, with few clouds and warm sun. Last-minute things readied for departure - clear loo, clear rubbish, top up water, car to carpark.
Fhi arrived just around 11:30. Got her gear aboard and unpacked, then we had some lunch and a chat.
Her choice of route was a trip to Atherstone and back, so after a leisurely lunch, we let go and headed out of the marina, turning right onto the Trent & Mersey Canal. She had asked for additional tuition on single-handing, so the descent down Wood End, Shadehouse and Middle Locks took slightly longer than normal. Generally took our time as we were just happy to be out and about. Turned right at Fradley Junction, passing through the swing bridge, again with tips on how to do it single handed. Continued on the detached portion of the Coventry Canal as far as Kings Orchard Marina, mooring in our usual place between the marina and the bridge. Lovely calm evening with little movement of the air and still with sun until it set.
|5.91 miles||3 locks||3.50 hrs||2.55 lmph|
Spent most of the remainder of the week doing odd jobs around the boat - changed water filter, fitted new catches to aft lockers. Gave the whole boat a rinse down to clean the dust which had enveloped us when the farmer opposite cut his field. General preparations for having a guest aboard, including some baking. Fuelled up, and got coal and kindling in (just in case).
Cleared the top of the battery-box, extricated the lid, then changed the batteries. Everything then put back in - long, heavylift, awkward job. Very stiff afterwards so had a quiet afternoon. Pat continued her trip home. Turned stormy late afternoon.
Up slightly early as Pat wanted to get away. She was heading to Catterick to visit friends on the way home (staying overnight). I took a trip to Fazeley for a haircut and shopping. Spent the afternoon relaxing, walking round the National Memorial Arboretum. . Procured a new full set of batteries on the way back.
A beautiful sunny day to start the new month. Pat continued with her cleaning and packing over both Sunday and Monday. Carry-out by car from Delhi Divan at Alrewas (they had a big party on and I could barely move when collecting our meal, but tasted just as good as usual).