|This Month's Totals and Average|
|58.01 miles||29 locks||28.98 hrs||3.00 lmph|
Poor day to finish the month. Heavy rain and hail with a strong wind (the tail of Storm Aiden) pushed through during the morning, although the sun did come out in the afternoon. Boris Johnston announced that England would go into lockdown again on Thursday, so preparations to be made to return home again - at least we got notice this time, sufficient to get ready properly.
Routine chores on Saturday. Dull day with drizzle at times and a brisk breeze.
Dropped in to the service and coffee from All Saints, as usual. After lunch, took a walk up to Market Bosworth Station (on the preserved "Battlefield Line" ), but it all appeared closed (despite hearing steam whistles during the day) - will have to investigate further.
Remainder of the week spent pottering on the ongoing projects (including trying to set up an "entertainment centre" (music, film and internet video) using a Raspberry Pi). Decision made on purchase of equipment (for home) to comply with the new fire regulations in Scotland (originally to come into force Feb '21, but postponed to 2022) - I'd not heard anything about it until last week! Shopping in Hinkley on Tuesday and Friday. Sunny spells and intermittent heavy showers throughout the week, never really settling.
Damage to the gates at Lock 2 on the Atherstone Flight have caused problems for the local fuel boat - he can't get from his base in Alvecote through to the southern end of his route (including Ashby). Hope I can last out, if not I'll have to get supplies from the marina at 20p/ltr more expensive!
Mostly cloudy during Saturday, slightly damp first thing but brighter during the afternoon. Quiet day doing not a lot.
A quiet day on Sunday. Dropped in to the service and coffee from All Saints (as has become normal during the lockdown), collected a parcel in Hinkley in the afternoon, but very little otherwise. Misty start, remaining dull for the whole day.
Drove to Kings Bromley on Monday and "signed off" from our contract, then stopped in Fazeley on the way back for kindling from the sawmill. A watery sun remained all day.
Heavy rain overnight into Tuesday, but this cleared by breakfast time. Sunny periods most of the day, but with a brisk breeze. Spent most of the day working on the maps etc for the website (having found a slight error), and adjusting the "plans" page. Drizzle arrived at dinnertime.
Rained most of Wednesday, lovely day Thursday, but showers again Friday. Shopping on Thursday, but generally pottered with a few projects I'm thinking about.
A dull and damp morning today. Had heard tawny owls calling overnight, but very little other sound. Took my time getting going, then moved the remaining 45 minutes up to the marina. Noted another BCF boat next to us, but nobody appeared to be on board.
Checked in at the office and got the electricity organised. Topped up with water, and had lunch. Had a prolonged shower of rain over lunchtime. After lunch went shopping down to Hinkley getting topped up again with stores.
|1.19 miles||0 locks||0.61 hrs||1.94 lmph|
Another sunny morning, but today was quite cool. On the go for 09:30 with only 4 hours to go (according to the 'planner'). Continued northwards past the village of Burton Hastings and through Hinkley. As I went past Stoke Golding (about 12:00), I realised I had 'lost' half an hour already so decided I'd better find somewhere for lunch. It was mayhem at Sutton Wharf (about 13:00), with boats trying to clear from watering, boats trying to moor for water, and nowhere obvious left to moor for a short stop, so continued on. The Battlefield Moorings at Shenton would have required a full set of stakes (which I didn't want to bother with for a short stay), and the offside was well overgrown - continued on again. By 14:00, I was getting hungry so decided the first available spot was going to be used. I tried several times but couldn't get alongside. Eventually got alongside and moored up just north of Welsboro Bridge 37. Even though I was only an hour short of the marina, I had had enough for the day so had my lunch at 14:30 and stayed put!
|11.03 miles||0 locks||4.64 hrs||2.38 lmph|
Beautifully quiet mooring, with little footfall and practically no road or rain noise. With a forecast of rain at some point during the day, I elected to stay here for another day. Indeed, after a lovely sunny morning, rain did visit from lunchtime to mid-afternoon. Received an email saying that our energy-provider had ceased trading so spent time checking that it was not a hoax, then setting up the new account with the Ofgem-appointed company taking over. The remainder of the day was spent quietly reading and generally pottering. Watched a buzzard circling at a great height looking for its dinner.
Lovely sunny morning. Slightly later in getting away due clearing e-paperwork. On the way by 10:00, continuing south through Mancetter (suggested as the site of Boudicca's last battle with the Romans) and Hartshill into Nuneaton. Birds seemed to be singing more this morning, and it was a pleasure to be out (even if the sun was straight in my eyes ). Due to the late start, decided to take a lunch break on the south side of Nuneaton, in the Hill Top district.
Surprised, after lunch, to find it had clouded over, but got on the move again, continuing southwards. At Marston Junction, turned left onto the Ashby Canal (often called the "Moira Cut" as it originally went as far as the town of Moira). Almost certain I had a sighting of a water vole, but just too far away for a positive identification. Starting to get cooler during the afternoon so stopped short of my planned overnight (Hinkley) and moored mid-afternoon between Bramcote and Burton Hastings.
|10.77 miles||0 locks||4.21 hrs||2.56 lmph|
With a forecast for rain, I was surprised to wake (early) to a cloudy but settled sky. Decided to 'make a run for it'. On the move before 09:00, headed through Grendon to Atherstone Bottom Lock. A good run up the flight (11 locks), with all but one being in my favour (that 'one' was due to the previous boat downward leaving a top paddle part-drawn thus refilling the lock after they left). I had assistance through Locks 8, 7 and 6 from the boat behind (they had plenty crew so had a lock-wheeler 2 ahead), and from CRT Volunteers on Lock 4 and Top Lock. Clear of Top Lock, I made a brief stop to clear the loo and dump rubbish (using the lock landing as there was a boat on the water point), then moved forward to Taverner's Bridge (40) where I moored for the night. The rain (a slight drizzle) came on as I was tying up.
|3.45 miles||11 locks||2.91 hrs||4.97 lmph|
Decided to have a quiet day before the climb up Atherstone. Sunday dawned with wall-to-wall sunshine and no wind - the ripples were reflecting on the cabin deckhead. Joined our friends at All Saints again for Rev Stephen's service and coffee. Quiet afternoon pottering.
Morning dawned sunny so prepared to get going quickly as the forecast was for rain later. By the time breakfast was complete, the sky had dulled over, but it was not unpleasant. On the move and headed through Fazeley, past the Junction and headed straight on onto the Coventry Canal proper. Continued around through Kettlebrook and ascended the Glascote Locks (2). Moored by the Co-op for a pit-stop call for milk (it was not on yesterday's shopping list, so was forgotten!). The pit-stop lasted shorter than it took for the boat behind to get through the locks, so didn't 'lose my place'.
Continued on through Glascote, Amington, Alvecote and Polesworth, with occasional short periods of misty/drizzle. Moored just west of Meadow Lane Bridge (50), a favourite spot for a late lunch and a quiet afternoon.
|7.77 miles||2 locks||3.54 hrs||2.76 lmph|
Left Streethay on a cool but sunny morning, and headed into Whittington. Stopped outside a friend from Alrewas Church's canalside house, Helen (with her dog Skye), and had a chat (about 30 mins), catching up on her and the church family. Onwards, then, through Hopwas to Fazeley and moored at Sutton Road Bridge.
Just finishing lunch when Tony from the "Fudge Boat" ("Timewarp") tapped on the window. Had a long chat with him before heading off for stores at Sainsbury's. Intended to move on to Kettlebrook, but after going round to "Timewarp" to buy "necessities", Jacqui was back from shopping, another chat ensued, and heavy rain came on! Aborted on moving on, and settled in for the night.
By dinnertime, the rain had ceased again giving a lovely evening.
|6.59 miles||0 locks||2.57 hrs||2.56 lmph|
The forecast rain arrived as I went to bed last night, and continued through to breakfast. Sailing delayed due to a CRT Stoppage Notice that Middle Lock would be closed for the morning for repair work. Decided to have an early lunch and get going late morning.
On the move just after 12:00, leaving Kings Bromley for the last time. Headed round to Wood End Lock and found plenty of boats swapping places, so plenty of help descending. On to Shadehouse Lock where a CRT Volunteer arrived (after his lunch break) just as I was leaving, then was assisted down through Middle Lock. Turning right onto the detached portion of the Coventry Canal, continued southwards.
Noted that another piece of our country's history was falling to the contractors' wrecking-ball - the remaining hangers from the WW2 air station at Fradley are being demolished (probably to extend the housing scheme nearby, or for the purposes of HS2).
Day remained dull and cool, looking like rain but none arrived. Moored outside Kings Orchard Marina in one of our favourite places.
|5.89 miles||3 locks||2.85 hrs||3.12 lmph|
As this will be the last time in Kings Bromley, I maximised the ready supply of water and prepaid (non-refundable) electricity. Spent 2 days clearing up from drydock - washing that had accumulated, cleaning & vacuuming, removing rubbish (packing from chairs etc), and generally getting "Paws" back to normal. Dodging occasional light showers, did an engine service, oil change and full check round in the motive-power department. Cleaned out bilges. Weather generally kind to me so kept busy.
Woke to a sunny morning; by the time I'd finished breakfast it was raining; by 09:30 it was fair again - decided to get going. Before leaving, noted that the river level was up another 3" and that it was marked as "Proceed with Caution". Ascended Bagnall, Common, Hunt's and Keepers Locks with the assistance of the team on the hireboat "Gracie" behind. Stayed fine for the remainder of the morning. Moored for lunch on the visitor mooring at Fradley.
Heavy shower during lunch, but cleared by the time I was ready - thought I'd got away with it! Ascended Junction Lock with the aid of a CRT Volunteer and continued up Middle Lock (nobody on duty here). At Shadehouse Lock, the rain started again, and it was heavy. Up Wood End Lock and on to the marina in the pouring rain. Noted a kingfisher flitting across the marina entrance as I turned in. Got moored up, and inside to dry out! Apart from the rain, a good day.
|4.69 miles||8 locks||3.66 hrs||3.47 lmph|
Very heavy rain overnight with a strong wind. By breakfast, the wind had died to almost nothing and the rain had ceased, although it was still very dull. Took a walk into the village for necessary stores, then joined Rev. Stephen for his online service from All Saints at Highfields, and the online coffee meeting afterwards.
After lunch, the weather was brightening, but decided to stay another night (hope I don't regret it tomorrow ). Went to Alrewas lock in the afternoon to assist boaters through. The water level on the river had risen a good foot since I came through yesterday. The cloud cleared to give sunny spells, before increasing again by dinnertime.
A dull start to the day, but fair (despite the forecast). Moved forward to the quay outside the chandlery and waited for Steve to arrive. Just after 09:00 he delivered the chairs and took away the old ones (my sincere thanks to all the staff at Burton Boat Co who went above the call of duty throughout). It was still fair at 09:30 so decided to take the risk of the weather changing, so that I could get above the river section in case it flooded. By mid-morning, we had ascended Branston and Tatenhill Locks by the time a misty drizzle set in. A couple of slightly heavier showers came during our ascent of Barton and Wychnor Locks but nothing drastic. Cleared the river section (it was reading a good 12" inside the green!) at Alrewas Lock and moored in the visitor section for the day. Late lunch, as the heavens opened!
Spent the afternoon constructing the chairs. Heavy rain for most of the afternoon, but eased enough to get dinner from Delhi Divan as usual.
|6.55 miles||5 locks||3.82 hrs||3.02 lmph|
Steve, Matt & Georgina were on site at 09:00 as usual and prepared both boats for refloating (ropes ready, fenders on, pipe-drain plugs removed etc), and flooded the dock. Afloat by 09:45. The other boat was out first and moored, then "Paws". Manoeuvred out of the basin and moored just west of the entrance. Checked with Mid-Chan about the chairs, to be told they had arrived last night - advised Steve who volunteered to collect tonight. Generally pottered, tidying up from the drydock work.
Mostly dull, with occasional showers, heavy at times later in the day. Long-range forecast is poor .
|0.08 miles||0 locks||0.17 hrs||0.48 lmph|
New month, final day of drydock. Pat departed after breakfast for the drive north to the house. Final full coat of blacking applied. Remainder of small jobs completed. Mostly sunny, but with a couple of short showers.