|This Month's Totals and Average|
|82.94 miles||11 locks||36.11 hrs||2.60 lmph|
More heavy rain overnight and into the morning, and the wind had risen again. Watched Fhi's flight-track on internet - safely down 20 mins early.
The rain again cleared mid-morning and I set off, moving forward to the locks with the intention of servicing first. The lockies had the gate opened as I arrived so headed straight in. There were 3 volunteer lock-keepers on duty today and, although Locks 1-5 were all against, I was assisted down them all. Thought I had something round the prop so moored up in Kings Head pound. Checked weed hatch - nothing there, so think it might have been large volumes of leaves at the lock entrances. Had a brief lunch before moving on. A couple of brief showers while stopped.
Onwards after lunch, but with no lockies to help. Worked down Locks 6-7 (against me), but met two boats coming up so easier at Locks 8-9, then Locks 10-11 were set. Lovely sunny afternoon, but the wind was increasing again. Clearing Bottom Lock, I stopped at Bradley Green for services, then moved on to a favourite mooring at Meadow Lane Bridge (50). Quite busy today. Didn't need a centreline alongside, the wind glued "Paws" to the pilings.
|3.41 miles||11 locks||3.13 hrs||4.61 lmph|
The overnight rain continued through the morning and I was debating getting soaked, or using my last spare day off. The rain cleared just after 10:00 (exactly as the rainfall forecast said), so set off. Meandered my way north through Nuneaton, then past Hartshill and Mancetter. The sun came out shortly after departure, and it became a very pleasant day. Approaching bridge 40 in Atherstone, a boat was just pulling off so slid in as he left - just as well, as I found out later that there were no other moorings available before the locks.
Having moored up, I got some lunch, then went for a walk through the town, finishing with a chat with the lockie before returning to "Paws". Quiet remainder to the afternoon.
|7.74 miles||0 locks||2.82 hrs||2.74 lmph|
The forecast suggested the overnight rain would continue through the day so I decided to use the second of my 'spare' days and stay dry. Cleared a couple of small outstanding jobs, and got the church directory to half-way. Tried again to reschedule my flu/covid jabs - after breakfast, no change on their website; after lunch a whole batch of new free appointments so got it changed .
The rain actually cleared by late morning, stayed bright until mid-afternoon, but was back for the evening and overnight.
I was woken by the rising sun streaming through my porthole. The wind had dropped a little. On the move, continuing towards Marston Junction, skirting Stoke Golding. Assisted a hireboat who had left a little too much room for a passing boat and had got stuck on the mud. Once we were both on the move again, we continued towards Hinckley where we both stopped for a lunch break. Had a chat with the family aboard.
After lunch, I continued again (they had already moved on), passing Burton Hastings and Bramcote, turning right at Marston Junction onto the Coventry Canal. Clearing the junction, I moored just before Arbury Park Bridge (16) for the night.
Received details of my flu and Covid booster jabs. Unfortunately, they are before I get home. Attempted to reschedule them, but there are currently no appointments available from mid-November. I contacted the helpline, to be told that the appointments shown on the website are the only ones available at any given time, and I would have to just keeping trying (daily!). "Ursinity" passed during the afternoon - managed a brief chat with Derek & Ann as they passed.
The initial sun was short-lived, although there were occasional sunny intervals throughout the day. Rain arrived during the evening and stayed through the night.
|10.33 miles||0 locks||4.29 hrs||2.41 lmph|
The wind had risen quite a bit overnight, althouhg cloudy but warm (for the time of year). I decided to stay put in the hope the wind would drop a bit by tomorrow. Having found that a TV channel I needed had become unavailable on satellite, I spent the morning doing a full retune (this also involves removing channels I definitely don't want, and sorting the remainder into a sensible order). Spent the afternoon clearing more e-paperwork, including completion of Pat's dance website.
Having decided to get on the move, headed for Fazeley to pick up Fhi for her holiday, the day dawned cloudy. Did the last minute necessaries for departure, then had an early lunch.
After lunch, let go and headed southwards towards the main line. Wind was rising, but not a problem. Passed the moorings for the Battlefield centre and Shenton station (southern terminus for the Battlefield Line railway), then on past Sutton Wharf, before mooring at Dadlington at a spot I used earlier in the month. By this time I was getting cold so a hot drink and heating on. e-Paperwork for the remainder of the day.
|4.97 miles||0 locks||2.07 hrs||2.41 lmph|
Friday saw another cold but mostly sunny day - a couple of short showers did get through. Cables all completed for the Pi, just need to cut the holes for the final positioning (I know where its to go). Commenced changing the folder-structure on the Pi to suit new arrangement (will take several hours). Got more coal - going to need it if the cold continues.
Left the file transfers going overnight - big job! "Housework" took up most of Saturday, washing, vacuuming, dusting. Had noticed yesterday that there was a big-band concert on tonight in the next village, so took myself out for the evening. Fantastic time with Leicester Big Band - they'll be back in December (but I'll be home ). A cloudy day, coolish, but the wind had died down.
Sunday and Monday were both sunny and slightly warmer. Went up to the market on Sunday (but didn't buy anything), then did the shopping Monday ready for heading out to collect Fhi. Generally a quiet couple of days other than that.
Up early on Saturday for the drive to Rugby to attend the BCF AGM. A nice sunny morning made for a pleasant drive. All-day meeting as usual, incorporating fellowship, worship and short talks along with the business. A chance to meet up with old friends and make new ones. Drove back in the evening as the sun was setting.
By contrast, Sunday dawned wet after heavy rain overnight, continuing through the morning. The rain did cease and the sky brighten during the afternoon. Started the work on this round of checks for the BCF members' directory of churches (all 1200 need to be checked for changes).
With still no responses to emails, spent Monday trying to find a means of contacting the organisers of the Saul Boat Festival (as I do not have a Facebook account, I cannot interact there, the website advertised on that page returns a server error, the email address I used in 2019 bounces, and there is no quoted email or phone number). Spent some more time on the church directory. Weather not great - damp and dismal .
Tuesday was spent working on e-paperwork - church directory, Pat's dance website, "Paws'" maps etc. After overnight rain, the weather wasn't conducive to doing anything outside.
More heavy rain overnight into Wednesday morning. It did clear during the morning, turning to showers with sunny spells. Shopping, and more computer work today (nearly 1/3 through the list of churches).
Very cold morning on Thursday, although sunny. More computer work and investigating possibilities for the Pi. A drive to Fazeley for the cheapest kindling around (at the sawmill) broke up the day.
A lovely sunny morning greeted me today. Up and on the move quickly, heading for the first winding hole (south of Bridge 23). Just approaching Stoke Moorings when a boat pulls off from the moorings on the west side - turned out to be Barrie & Margaret on "Rusalka". Stopped midstream for a lengthy chat. Continued on southwards to Basin Bridge winding hole. Returned northwards heading for base. Approaching Sutton Wharf, a boat was coming the other way, but kindly let me through the bridge at the café - turned out to be "Rusalka" again (we'll have to stop meeting like that ). Completed the journey back to the marina and moored up for a slightly late lunch.
As soon as lunch was over, I took the car to collect the two parcels waiting for me. On return, checked them (correct) and got a Covid test done ready for tomorrow's meeting - negative! Quiet evening.
|8.83 miles||0 locks||3.71 hrs||2.38 lmph|
Up and on the move promptly, headed through the tunnel to the terminus to wind. Had a chat with the skipper of "Dover" who had taken receipt of a butty, "Success". Returned through the tunnel and continued south. Caught up with a slower boat around Congerstone, so moored at Illiffe Bridge 45 for a lunch break (and to let him get ahead). Got a phonecall from Fhi whilst stopped. Once on the move again, continued south, past the marina, the Battlefield Moorings and Sutton Wharf, calling a halt at the same mooring I used last Wednesday.
|12.37 miles||0 locks||5.28 hrs||2.34 lmph|
After early drizzle, there was some sun during the morning, but rain again was on the horizon by lunchtime. Decided to have a very quiet day on puzzles, PC games and reading. Drizzle returned mid-afternoon so happy to be tucked up inside.
After yesterday's struggle with the cables, I decided I would take a break before tackling the remainder of the project (getting too old for diy). I had expected another bright day, but the newest forecast said rain from lunchtime. Did a run for essential shopping before lunch then took "Paws" for fuel and gas (had to wait for another boat finishing a pump-out before I could get across).
Once fuelled, I noted there was no change in the clouds so decided I'd risk it and go for another short break. Headed straight out from the service berth, turning left. Wandered northwards through the farmland, both crop and livestock, and passing the edges of the villages of Congerstone and Shackerstone. Initially there are just hedges along the side of the cut, but after Shackerstone it becomes more an avenue of trees. Arrived at Snarestone, following a hire-boat. As it was now nearly 15:30, and the moorings were quite busy on the south side of the tunnel, I elected to take the first available, and moored for the night.
Shortly afterwards, an old working boat, "Dover", moored behind me. During a chat, he said that a friend had warned him not to go through to the terminus as it was full. The forecast rain arrived just after dinner, but didn't last all that long. A very quiet night.
The email I sent to the organisers for Saul Festival has bounced back. Will have to put out more feelers to enable me to get in touch.
|6.19 miles||0 locks||2.47 hrs||2.50 lmph|
Beautiful morning, Saturday - warm and sunny, with no wind. Up promptly and went out to collect my parcel, and do food-shopping. After the previous cooler weather, it was a pleasure to have the hatch, sidedoors and ports open with inside temperatures reaching 23°C until dinnertime, no heating used at all, and no lighting required until after dinner. Generally pottered for the afternoon, catching up with e-paperwork, and keeping the mind active with puzzles whilst sat out the back.
Sunday was a little cooler with a light breeze, but still sunny. Long lie, then went up to the village to see if it was market week - unfortunately no. I had heard steam engine whistles during the morning, so walked up to the station in the afternoon. Got a few photos but, since they haven't yet restored their 'box, they are still working "single-engine-in-steam" protocols so long delays between trains. Had a chat on the way back with the team on "Deneb" who were watering. Have noted that the Facebook page for the Saul Boat Festival is saying it is to go ahead in 2022 - will have to get in touch.
The cool but sunny weather continued on Monday. Spent most of the day lying on my side on the deck, feeding cables through the 'skirting board' and removing redundant ones. A second day will be required (at some point) to finish the job, but I've at least proved the problem was a broken cable.
A misty start, today, but the forecast said it would brighten. Notification arrived that my parcel would be delivered early, so changed my plans. Let go and continued southwards for Hinckley. Passed the outskirts of Stoke Golding, and moored just west of Nutts Bridge 16. Went for a short walk to the convenience store for a TV paper, then returned to "Paws" for lunch.
Once finished, I moved forward to the junction with the Arm and winded, returning northwards. Saw a kingfisher near the entrance to Willow Park Marina - had just caught a fish. Waved to Andy & Sue who were at the Sutton Wharf café. Decided that I was just as well going back to base even though it would be a late finish. Got back around 17:30 and settled "Paws" in for a few more days.
Although there was a slight brightening around lunchtime, the sun never got through, the day remaining overcast.
|13.70 miles||0 locks||5.86 hrs||2.34 lmph|
A quiet day. Decided I couldn't be bothered moving so did some computer work - factory-reset the modem to clear a fault, sourced parts for the next stage of a project, updated the maps on GPS units.
Although the day was warmer than it has been for some time, the cloud built slowly over the day.
Beautiful start to the day - sun shining, wind reduced. Decided a short trip out was in order. Housekeeping and odd jobs in the morning. Early lunch, then let go for trip away.
Left the marina and headed south, intending to go roughly to Hinckley. Uneventful start, enjoying the sunshine after the recent rain. Approaching Sutton Wharf, I saw an Ashby day-boat on a centreline, but well out from the bank. Approached slowly to see if they needed help. It turned out to be very much more than that (can't give more details than reached local paper ), but an ambulance, police and air-ambulance were all on their way.
Once allowed to go by the police (about 1½ hours after stopping), I moved on to a good spot just east of Shenton Lane Bridge 30 and moored for the night.
|4.95 miles||0 locks||2.05 hrs||2.42 lmph|
A much brighter morning on Sunday, and my car started . Pat would be going past the door of All Saints at Doncaster on her way home, so we decided to give them a surprise, and both drove up. Fantastic service, made so welcome. After the service (and coffee), Pat continued to Catterick to visit Anne & Frank, while I drove back to "Paws" for a late lunch and rearranging the boat for "me". Rain set in shortly after I got back, becoming more heavy into evening.
After stopping over Sunday night at Catterick for the night, Pat continued her trip home, getting in late-afternoon. I looked into a problem Fhi was having with the family tree (solved), then had a chat on the phone. Rain had cleared, but it was cold.
Very wet and windy overnight into Tuesday - the rain had been hammering down on the roof. Dry but cloudy in the morning, so went out shopping, and topped up the car fuel. Generally pottered during the afternoon. More heavy rain in the evening, sufficient that I couldn't hear the TV for its noise.
Pat's car started OK, but mine was flat again. Hurried attampts to find a replacement battery, or someone who would come out and fit one. Internet, for once, not very helpful. Drove to Atherstone for Pat to do a little shopping, and went to KwikFit - they had one . Physically incapable of fitting it due awkwardness of location, but a second call to Britannia saved the day. Pat finished off her packing and preparations to leave.
Drizzle and rain throughout.
A lovely sunny day when we got up. On the move promptly on the last leg back to base, heading northwards past the villages and hamlets (although they rarely actually touch the canal) - initially Hinckley, then Stoke Golding, Dadlington, Sutton Cheney and Shenton. All morning, the cloud had built and it finally shed its load just before lunch; soaked! Lunch on the move whilst stuck behind an old working boat going very slow. Eventually, they let us past, and the sun came out again.
Arrived back at base just on 14:00 to find both cars with flat batteries - so much for the higher-powered solar panels . Britannia Rescue came out without question and started us both (arrived about 16:00). Both cars run for nearly 2 hours, hopefully enough for them to start in the morning. Pat started on her packing.
We've created a plan for a two-week cruise for Fhi when she comes over in November. Plans page updated with route.
|10.43 miles||0 locks||4.43 hrs||2.35 lmph|