This Month's Totals and Average
175.77 miles 104 locks 91.06 hrs 3.07 lmph

  September 2020

29th-30th September ~ Drydock - Shobnall

After a surprisingly warm night, Tuesday dawned sunny and warm. First coat blacking applied. Small jobs continue. We did a car-shuffle for my car from Kings Bromley to Bosworth. Alternative arrangements made (hopefully) for collection of the chairs from Willington. Pat commenced her packing for going home.

Wednesday brought us heavy rain. Coat of blacking applied along the waterline. Continued with small jobs, nearly finished. We went shopping in the morning, and Pat continued her packing in the afternoon.

Monday 28th September ~ Entered Drydock (Burton Boat Co, Shobnall)

Up early on a cold morning, although sunny. Reversed back to the entrance to the basin and awaited the dock being ready. One of the outcoming boats decided to take fuel and deal with other services as they left, which blocked the entranceway, much to the disgust of the drydock company who wanted to get on with docking. They eventually cleared the entrance and we moved into the dock. The second boat came in alongside and the dock was empty by 10:30.

Hull was pressure-washed during the afternoon. Work started on a couple of the small extra jobs we required.

Chairs that had been ordered arrived at 16:15, some 2 hours after the outer gate was locked (reduced hours due Covid), and there was a heated discussion with the driver about getting the gate opened. In the end, he drove off without delivering.

0.18 miles 0 locks 0.33 hrs 0.54 lmph

Sunday 27th September ~ Alrewas to Burton-on-Trent (Shobnall)

Took our time getting up this morning. Dropped in on the e-congregation at All Saints, Woodlands (Doncaster) for their "Live Stream Faith" broadcast on Facebook, then joined them for on-line coffee through Zoom, followed by lunch.

After lunch, got on the move by 13:00, headed through the town and descended onto the river at Alrewas Lock. Transitted the river section in good time and descended back onto canal at Wychnor Lock. A good run took us down through Barton Turn, Tatenhill and Branston Locks in the afternoon sunshine. Arrived in Burton and moored just east of Shobnall Basin at 16:30. All ready for docking tomorrow morning.

6.96 miles 5 locks 3.38 hrs 3.54 lmph

Saturday 26th September ~ Kings Bromley to Alrewas (en route to Burton)

Sunny morning and wind considerably less than yesterday, so ready to go.

Today was the "Fellowship Gathering" of the Boaters' Christian Fellowship . We would normally have congregated yesterday evening for a weekend with friends but Covid-19 put paid to that, as with most events this summer. This year, we arranged an on-line day together. We logged in just before 10:00 for a welcome by our chair and a short act of worship followed by a period of chatting together and catching up. We 'met' some old friends and made some new ones. At 11:30, a member who is a minister just outside Doncaster took us for a teaching and discussion session - very enlightening (our thanks to Stephen for his work). We then broke for lunch. There is to be a quiz this evening but we will be unable to attend.

The sunny morning had turned to a dull, cold afternoon. After our lunch, we let go and started our trip towards Burton for drydock. Leaving the marina at 13:30, we headed southeast on the Trent & Mersey, descending the three locks to Fradley Junction, then continued down the five to Alrewas, hoping there would be a mooring available. We got moored just before 17:00 at the western end of the town, east of Bridge 48. Carry-out dinner from Delhi Divan  as usual.

4.36 miles 8 locks 3.23 hrs 3.83 lmph

Friday 25th September ~ Kings Bromley Marina

Very windy this morning, but sunny. Did a 'car-shuffle' to get Pat's car to Shobnall for drydock, then went to MidChan for oil for forthcoming service. On return, cleared loo ready for departure, then had lunch.

After lunch, decided that the wind was too strong and it would be unsafe to leave the berth - sailing deferred to tomorrow.

Wind started to die down around dinnertime, and we had a heavy shower late evening. Cold clear, star-filled night.

23rd-24th September ~ Kings Bromley Marina

Wednesday morning turned to rain but that dissipated after lunch. 'Catering' went for stores. Generally quiet day after the 'chaos' of the last two weeks. Drive to Burton Sainsbury's - finally got the items (they had no problems with stock levels! ?).

Heavy rain overnight into Thursday, died out early morning. Routine chores.

Tuesday 22nd September ~ Fazeley to Kings Bromley

On the move for the last leg of the journey back to base. Let go just after 09:00 and headed through Fazeley Junction and on towards Fradley. Another sunny day, but with a forecast of rain tomorrow. Noted that the military firing range was active as we went through. Lunch on the move again. At Fradley, turned left on the Trent & Mersey and ascended the three locks assisted by CRT Volunteers on all of them. Arrived back at base just after 15:00 and moored up on our berth.

Once the boat was settled, I went back to Tamworth Sainsbury's for the own-brand items not available last time - still haven't got them in!

13.69 miles 3 locks 6.40 hrs 2.61 lmph

Monday 21st September ~ Atherstone to Fazeley (east) (en route to Kings Bromley)

Beautiful morning - cool but still sunny. On the move as usual and headed for Top Lock. Stopped at the services berth for loo, then started down the flight of 11. A CRT Volunteer was on duty at Top Lock, and another clocked-on by the time we got to Lock 4. We had a very good run down the flight (all 11 in less than 2 hours!) and were finished before lunchtime. With the good run, and the forecast for Wednesday being rain, we decided to continue on past our intended mooring (Meadow Bridge 50). Lunch on the move as we headed on through Grendon and Dordon, then on through Polesworth, Amington and Alvecote to Glascote. Debated whether to stop above Glascote Top, but the better mooring at the aqueduct east of Fazeley won. Descended the Glascote 2 Locks and headed round towards Fazeley. Moored just west of the aqueduct by 15:00. with the full length of the section for choice.

Heard tawny owls calling on several occasions in the evening and overnight.

10.05 miles 13 locks 5.74 hrs 4.02 lmph

Sunday 20th September ~ Hinckley to Atherstone (en route to Kings Bromley)

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

Saturday 19th September ~ Market Bosworth to Hinckley (en route to Kings Bromley)

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 Hinckley 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 ("Spring Water") 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 Hinckley Arm entrance. Caught up on the data and stats held over last night.

9.21 miles 0 locks 4.22 hrs 2.18 lmph

Friday 18th September ~ Bedworth to Market Bosworth (with Fhi)

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 Hinckley 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.

Totals and Average with Fhi
83.58 miles 29 locks 40.74 hrs 2.76 lmph

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

Wednesday 16th September ~ Bedworth to Hillmorton (en route to Market Bosworth with Fhi)

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

Tuesday 15th September ~ Dordon to Bedworth (en route to Market Bosworth with Fhi)

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

Monday 14th September ~ Streethay to Dordon (en route to Market Bosworth with Fhi)

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

Sunday 13th September ~ Kings Bromley to Streethay (en route to Market Bosworth with Fhi)

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

10th-12th September ~ Kings Bromley Marina

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.

Wednesday 9th September ~ Alrewas to Kings Bromley

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

Tuesday 8th September ~ Alrewas

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.

Monday 7th September ~ Streethay to Alrewas

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

Sunday 6th September ~ Streethay (en route to Alrewas)

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.

Saturday 5th September ~ Kingsbury to Streethay (en route to Alrewas)

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

Friday 4th September ~ Curdworth to Kingsbury (en route to Alrewas)

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

Thursday 3rd September ~ Birmingham (Aston) to Curdworth (en route to Alrewas)

~ Merchant Navy Day ~

The national day of remembrance for merchant seafarers who, in the course of their trade, lost their lives as a result of armed conflict. During WW1 and WW2, British Merchant Fleets lost 52,000 men, women and boys to the sea, and that is their only grave. September 3rd was chosen as the memorial day for two reasons -
   1. it was the day WW2 was declared,
   2. SS Athena was sunk by a German submarine on the first day of war, with the loss of 117 civilian crew and passengers - the first merchant ship sunk in the war.

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

Wednesday 2nd September ~ Birmingham, Brindley Place to Aston (en route to Alrewas)

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

Tuesday 1st September ~ Birmingham (Brindley Place)

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.

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