|This Month's Totals and Average|
|140.53 miles||75 locks||71.97 hrs||2.99 lmph|
A cloudier day to start, but still very pleasant. Back to our normal routine for departure, getting moving just before 09:30. Continued southwards while 'housekeeping' caught up with washing and ironing. Turned right at Marston Junction to return northwards on the Coventry Canal, through Nuneaton. Stopped at Hartshill CRT Yard to take water (the tap is far quicker than the one at Atherstone Top), then continued to Bridge 40 where we moored for the night (very busy with moored boats, we got the last space).
The earlier cloud cleared by late morning, giving another hot afternoon. The earlier-than-expected stop was gratefully received, particulary as we had caught up the deficit as well.
|13.82 miles||0 locks||5.65 hrs||2.44 lmph|
A long lie-in this morning, after a good night's sleep. Wind had not reduced overnight so we look forward to a day of difficult manoeuvring. Cleared loo cassettes, then walked up into the village for stores. Once the office opened, we moved round to the services berth for fuel, gas and rubbish. Once all ready, set off again for the run round to Kings Bromley and on to Burton for drydock.
Lunch on the move as we returned south. Had decided that, with the delay in getting away, we could stop at Hinkley for the night, and catch up over the next 2 days. We seemed to be getting on quicker today, with fewer moored boats (might just be an illusion), and fewer boats on the move. Elected not to visit the farm shops as we passed. We were hailed at "The Barge Moorings" by Andy ("Still Waters") and had a brief chat. Sunny but windy throughout the working day, but the wind did ease after we had moored for the night just west of Hinkley Arm entrance. Caught up on the data and stats held over last night.
|9.21 miles||0 locks||4.22 hrs||2.18 lmph|
Happy Birthday, Fhi
Same timetable as previous days, and on the move again by 08:00 for Fhi's last day with us. Another sunny day, but again cool to start. Returned back up the Coventry as far as Marston Junction, then turned right onto the Ashby Canal, often called "The Moira Cut" as it's original terminus was at the town of Moira. Immediately, the vista changes from the tree-lined avenue to a wide view of the surrounding farmland. Continuing north, the Cut is shallow and quite narrow in places. This makes for a slower journey. Noted "Rusalka" moored so stopped for a brief chat with Barrie & Margaret. Passed through the outskirts of Hinkley and Stoke Golding, finally arriving at Market Bosworth nearly 2 hours behind our expected time. Moored on our designated berth, although difficult as the wind had increased over the day. Fhi was already packed by arrival and was on her way in short order for the drive home. Great having her aboard again, and look forward to future visits.
Spent the remainder of the afternoon getting the boat back to "our normal", then had a quiet evening in our new home.
|15.68 miles||0 locks||7.06 hrs||2.22 lmph|
|Totals and Average with Fhi|
|83.58 miles||29 locks||40.74 hrs||2.76 lmph|
Up early again this morning, to a cool but sunny day. Noted a kingfisher as we moved off. On the move again before 08:00, and moved south to "Sutton's Stop" (Hawkesbury Junction - so named by the boatmen because the tollhouse was run by the family of Sutton for many years). Ran past the junction to the services berth for the usual items, then reversed back to the Junction, turning left onto the Oxford Canal (northern section). Ascended the stop-lock and continued generally towards Rugby. The scenery is mostly wooded cutting hiding the railway or farmland. Passed by the villages of Ansty, Brinklow, Cathiron and Newbold to Rugby (one can see very little of the villages as one passes). Passed Rugby on its northern edge, then continued to Hillmorton. Ascended the three locks and moored up for the night just round the corner.
Another evening of board games.
|17.57 miles||4 locks||7.94 hrs||2.72 lmph|
Up early as planned, and on the move by 08:00. Headed round through Grendon to the bottom of the Atherstone Flight and started the ascent. Busy with boats in both directions. Late morning, between Locks 6 and 5, moored up while the girls went into town.
On their return, resumed up the remaining 5, with help from CRT Volunteers at 4, 2 and 1. Three boats at the top waiting to descend, and one on the services berth, so decided not to wait, and continue on. Sun very hot by this stage. Lunch on the move. Glad of any tree shade that presented itself. Continued through Nuneaton intending to finish at Sutton's Stop but, by the time we reached Charity Dock, we had decided to curtail the day and stop at Bedworth in the shade. Moored just before Bulkington Bridge 14.
A quiet evening chatting as we were all tired with the heat of the day. Fhi managed a sighting of a water vole in the undergrowth opposite.
|12.36 miles||11 locks||6.88 hrs||3.39 lmph|
Beautiful morning. Didn't overly rush to get going, but on the move just after 09:00, intending to go to the middle of Atherstone. Wended our way south through Whittington and Hopwas to Fazeley, then continued ahead at Fazeley Junction, on the Coventry Canal through Kettlebrook. A very hot day, with no let-up in the sun and little cover.
Ascended the two locks at Glascote (a queue of two boats waiting), then lunch on the move as we continued on through Amington, Alvecote and Polesworth. Seeming to be a long way from Atherstone, and taking longer than expected, a recalculation was called for on the expected running-time for the day - it was found to be wrong by about 2 hours! Emergency replanning, and we moored for the night at Meadow Lane Bridge (a favourite mooring for us). Earlier start planned for tomorrow to take account of the shortfall.
Evening spent playing board games (a regular feature of Fhi's visits).
|14.42 miles||2 locks||6.89 hrs||2.38 lmph|
Fhi left home just after 05:30 and arrived with us at 11:00. Pat had finished rearranging the boat for visitors, and I had done a quick pick-up of the errant parcel. After Fhi had dropped her bags, we did a car-shuffle to get her's to Bosworth Marina for the end of the trip, and returned in mine.
Slipped from Kings Bromley and headed south on the Trent & Mersey, for Fradley. Lunch on the move. Descended the three locks to the Junction, and turned right onto the Coventry Canal. Very busy again this week. Noted that there were still some juvenile swallows not departed for southern climes. Moored up for the night outside Kings Orchard Marina on our usual mooring.
Sun out all day - very hot, with little /no breeze. Spent the evening chatting.
|4.29 miles||8 locks||3.53 hrs||3.49 lmph|
A mixed three days. Cleaning and tidying before daughter arrives. Chasing parcels that were late in arriving. Shopping for the special items required for her diet (but failing to get some as not in stock). In amongst that, had some quiet relaxing time reading.
Last day of the "Great Summer Cruise" for this year, although a few short trips still planned (Fhi joins us Sunday for another week's holiday, then we reposition for drydock at the end of the month.
Our neighbour had his engine on by 07:15, so awake early. A dull day to start, which turned to rain after breakfast. Waved goodbye to David & Sue as they passed heading north. Let go in the rain and ascended Bagnall Lock. Rain slowly cleared as we continued for Fradley, ascending Common, Hunt's and Keeper's Locks. Had a short chat with Trevor & Janet on "Grace" (they moor at Fradley Junction). Cleared the loo in a pit-stop as we passed before ascending Junction Lock with assistance of 2 CRT Volunteers. Continuing ahead, we ascended Middle and Shadehouse Locks, again with the assistance of Volunteers, then on to Wood End Lock. By this time it was a sunny day, although the wind had picked up a little. Arrived back at Kings Bromley in time for lunch.
|4.29 miles||8 locks||3.53 hrs||3.49 lmph|
Decided to stay put for an extra day (subconsciously trying to make the end of the "Slightly Less Great Summer Cruise" come slower). Pat walked into the village in the morning for stores. In the afternoon, she did some 'clearing up' while I went to the other end of the village and 'volunteered' at Alrewas Lock (about 10 boats through in the 3 hours, including David & Sue on "Amethyst"). Lovely sunny day throughout. David & Sue dropped past for a socially-distanced chat on the towpath during the evening. Our neighbour decided to run his engine for about ½ an hour at 22:00 - antisocial, but may have been essential.
Dull, dreary morning today, with occasional bouts of light drizzle/rain. Took our time getting moving, hoping the rain would stop, but it didn't. Moved off and headed to Streethay Wharf - no 6kg gas bottles. Continued onward for Fradley. Rain eventually died out, but it remained overcast. At Fradley Junction, turned right onto the Trent & Mersey Canal, descending Junction Lock with the help of a CRT Volunteer. Moored at the services berth for the usual items (very slow water tap), then moved across to the visitor moorings for lunch.
After lunch, moved off again and descended the remaining 4 locks to Alrewas. Winded below Bagnall Lock and reversed on to the mooring by Bridge 48. A little drizzle started just as we were mooring up.
Take-away dinner from Delhi Divan as usual when we are here.
|5.21 miles||5 locks||2.89 hrs||3.54 lmph|
Lovely sunny morning today. Fantastic start to the day - while we were at breakfast a kingfisher landed on a branch opposite. Dropped in as usual on the e-congregation at Doncaster, then to the online coffee afterwards. John & Jan and John & Jane were also on so got a catchup with them. Lunch then a quiet afternoon during which I sourced a replacement 'nav-desk'. Very busy all day with boats in both directions. The earlier sun changed to rain during the afternoon but it was never heavy.
Woke to a beautiful sunny morning. Attempted to fix the touch-screen failure on the 'nav-desk'. No joy, so going for a reset of Windows - set it to reset, then we moved off. The initial sun had hidden itself behind cloud by mid-morning.
Headed northwards as far as Fazeley Marina and pulled in for services. Shelagh & Steve on "Perfect Solution" were on the berth and advised that the water taps in the marina were currently out of action due to a broken pipe - we waited for them to finish and moved onto the berth. The marina had no 6kg gas bottles (Calor say they are having difficulty getting bottles back (?!)). I did the loo, water and rubbish, while Pat walked to Tesco for stores. Once finished, continued on towards Fazeley Junction.
David & Mary ("Kew") spotted us so we stopped for a chat and catch-up. At the junction, turned left and continued along the well-used route towards Fradley. A lot busier than it has been lately. Lunch on the move.
The sun came back out again and it was quite warm for the remainder of the trip to Kings Orchard Marina. Finding the section we usually use full, we pulled in on the section just south for the night. Finished resetting Windows, but the touchscreen still inoperative - will have to investigate further tomorrow. Clouded over again by dinnertime.
|10.39 miles||0 locks||5.16 hrs||2.01 lmph|
After a very quiet night, we woke to a cloudy but bright day. On the move around our usual time to finish the descent from Birmingham. Headed down the Curdworth Flight (11 locks) - mostly set favourably, although some had leaked overnight needing topped up or refilled. Met up with a crew of CRT Volunteers, out doing routine "gardening" maintenance - two helped us down through Lock 10. Saw no other boats on the move until we got to the bottom, where one was letting go to start the climb. We moored up for the day just after Bottom Lock. The sun had tried to break through (but failed), although the day remained bright and warm.
Did a Windows Update on the 'Nav-Desk' - unfortunately, it's caused the touch-screen to fail - will have to look at it in the morning.
|2.75 miles||11 locks||2.77 hrs||4.96 lmph|
- Official Remembrance Day for merchant seafarers lost at sea as a result of conflicts worldwide
Day started wet and miserable. The heavy rain did die out around breakfast-time, but continued as drizzle well into the morning. On the move around normal time, headed back along the Digbeth Branch to Aston Junction. Turned right and continued the descent from the Birmingham plateau. Relatively easy run down the 11 locks of the Aston flight, only meeting one boat coming up. As usual, there were no berths available at Cuckoo Wharf had we wanted one, there wasn't even space to get on the services berth! At Salford Junction (where there is Spaghetti Junction, over footbridges, over canals, over the River Tame), we turned (1st) right along the B&F towards Curdworth - lunch on the move. The relatively clean canal of Birmingham gave way rapidly to rubbish . We descended the 3 locks at Minworth and continued into the much nicer scenery of farmland again, the rubbish rapidly clearing again. Moored just before Curdworth Top Lock for the night. The drizzle had cleared by lunchtime and the sun was out by the time we moored. The day ended with a warm summery evening.
|8.00 miles||14 locks||5.02 hrs||4.48 lmph|
Nice day to start with. Up and on the move promptly (at least, that was the intention). Got a call from Fhi wanting to discuss more about their move to Kirkcaldy - put us slightly later than planned.
Moved off and headed out to Cambrian Wharf (the section from Old Turn to the top of Farmer's Bridge Flight used to be the Newhall Branch, leading to where Snow Hill Station now is - Cambrian Wharf is the current end of the branch). Stopped at the services point, then headed down the flight. Received help from a Volunteer between Locks 3 and 11 so made very good time. Completed the remaining two locks ourselves, then turned right onto the Digbeth Branch at Aston Junction. Headed along to the winding hole, turned, and moored up just as the rain came on.
Lunch, then routine chores during the afternoon.
|1.71 miles||13 locks||2.62 hrs||5.61 lmph|
Another sunny morning to start the new month. A very quiet night in comparison to normal in the centre of Birmingham - nothing on at the Indoor Arena or at the nightclubs, fewer people at restaurants and pubs, and fewer people walking past on their way to/from work.
Took a walk down to the Chinese Quarter for the supermarket, then up to the Bull Ring and St Martin's for the markets. Noted a number of the units not occupied, and a number of the eateries not open. Didn't bother going into the shopping malls this time. Returned to "Paws" for lunch.
Fhi had requested another chat (planning meeting) about how they could start the move to Italy, by moving in with us to free the Edinburgh flat. Very productive Skype call - look forward (?) to changes in living conditions when we go back to the house.