|This Month's Totals and Average|
|116.68 miles||36 locks||55.10 hrs||2.77 lmph|
Heavy overnight rain into Tuesday continued as showers for the remainder of the day. Checked the cars and found both with flat batteries (again) - Britannia Rescue called. Topped up water and cleared loo whilst waiting. Britannia arrived just before lunch and jump-started both. After lunch, Pat started her packing while I nipped out for emergency stores.
Pat spent Wednesday finishing her packing and preparing the car. I generally kept out of the way . Despite being cold, it was a pleasant sunny day.
Pat departed late-morning, heading for our friends in Catterick (overnight stop). I spent the day clearing things to where I prefer them, and doing the shopping. Another pleasant day throughout.
Fog started the last day of the month, and turned to heavy rain with an increasing wind by lunchtime. Pat continued to the house from Catterick. I generally pottered - quiet day. A soggy end to the month.
Very heavy rain overnight, but it had mostly cleared by breakfast of our last day of the "Summer Cruise". Took our time getting on the move, then wandered our way back to base, past Stoke Golding, Dadlington, Sutton Cheney and Shenton. We seemed to be dredging the canal at points - as the water 'level' appeared to be near-normal, it can only be assumed to require work from CRT to remove silt. Moored on our pontoon early afternoon, and had lunch on arrival. A strong wind and frequent light showers made the trip a little unpleasant.
After lunch, we got the electricity hooked up, and we settled in.
|7.12 miles||0 locks||3.23 hrs||2.20 lmph|
Finally succumbed to the central heating this morning, with an outside temperature of 7°C. On the move fairly quickly, continuing south to Marston Junction. Turned left onto the Ashby Canal - not as short of water as people have been suggesting recently. Continued north past the outskirts of Nuneaton, Bramcote and Burton Hastings into Hinckley, mooring at Limekiln Bridge 15 (the A5) for lunch.
After lunch, continued northwards out of Hinckley, past Trinity Marina and on past "The Barge" moorings at Wyken Bridge 21. Just before Basin Bridge 22, we found a section of good piling with rings. Unfortunately, it is not well dredged and it took us some time to actually find a spot we could get alongside. Eventually moored safely for the night. Unfortunately found there was no phone signal .
Despite the chill start, the sun managed through the sheet of thin high cloud and was quite warm. It lasted all day, making a nice day for working.
|8.50 miles||0 locks||3.88 hrs||2.19 lmph|
Lovely morning, sunny if cool. Walked down into the town for a wander through the shops. Found that the outdoor market was on so had a wander there as well. Purchased from the fish man and the cookie stall. Visited the wool shop for more wool, and to show the results of items made from other wool purchased there. Went to the supermarket, storing for the remainder of the trip.
Had lunch on return to "Paws", then let go for the afternoon. Headed out the east side of the town, passed through Mancetter and Hartshill (waved to Jane on "Slow Gin" as we passed), and into Nuneaton. By this time it had dulled over and there were the odd spots of rain. Left Nuneaton, looking for the first available spot for mooring. The rain was getting heavier as we cleared Griff Lane Bridge 17, and found a space so took it.
Pat announced that, having thought about it and checked with our friends Ann & Frank in Catterick, that she would be driving home on Thursday, visiting them on the way north.
|7.56 miles||0 locks||3.14 hrs||2.41 lmph|
The heavy rain from early in the night had cleared by breakfast and it was looking hopeful for a nice day. There had been a lot of tawny owl activity between 03:00 and 05:00.
Prompt start, moving the ½-hour to the services at Bradley Green - everything cleared. Once ready, moved to the bottom of the Atherstone Flight, and started up. Ann, the new friend we met at Burton (and again at Fazeley), was to join us around 10:30 for remainder of the flight. Unfortunately, there was congestion on the roads in Leicester and she did not reach us until we were approaching Lock 6. Clearing Lock 6, we moored for a leisurely lunch and a chat.
After lunch, we moved on up the second half - Locks 5 to 1 - with Ann helping. There were also CRT Volunteers on duty today and Ann didn't get as much working as expected. Reaching Top Lock, we moored up in the section between Bridges 41 and 40, and sat chatting for the remainder of the afternoon.
As it approached dinnertime, Ann took her leave to walk back to the station and Pat walked into town for emergency stores. Great day with Ann, and look forward to meeting up again in the future.
|3.33 miles||11 locks||3.41 hrs||4.21 lmph|
"Housekeeping" busy today in all areas.
After a bright start, the day gradually grew more dull, and rain set in just before dinnertime. It continued until after bedtime.
After a very quiet night, the day started out dull. We took our time getting on the move.
On the move mid-morning, continuing towards Atherstone. Left Glascote and passed through Amington and Alvecote, then passed Pooley Hall (which used to have a coal mine, now a country park). Went through Polesworth and out to Bridge 50 where we moored for the night (our intended spot for last night). Lunch once secured.
After the initial dullness, the sun came out for the second half of the morning. It dulled down again over lunch, however.
|5.24 miles||0 locks||2.10 hrs||2.49 lmph|
Heard more tawny owls overnight. Lazy start, Pat took a walk for a few items of shopping while another load of washing processed. I generally pottered. Lunch before moving.
After lunch, we reversed back to the marina for fuel and services (they were on lunch-break so we waited), then headed off for the day. Had a longer-than-planned chat with John & Jane as we passed "Ichthus". Went down to the Junction and turned right in the direction of Atherstone. Headed out of Fazeley through Kettlebrook and ascended the two locks at Glascote. As we were running later than planned, we elected not to continue to our expected mooring at Bridge 50, but moored between Glascote winding hole and Bridge 71.
|2.29 miles||2 locks||1.65 hrs||2.61 lmph|
The funeral of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The weekend continued with Saturday 'breakfast' - bacon butties and coffee - in the church hall, before we repaired to the church for a morning of thought-provoking bible study led by Stephen Gardner (of All Saints Church, Doncaster) - excellent as always. Picnic lunch in the hall was followed by chat, quizzes and competitions in the afternoon. Takeaway meals, brought in for dinner, were followed by an evening of entertainment (songs, anecdotes and readings) supplied by (in the immortal words of Leonard Sachs of The Good Old Days) "chiefly ourselves".
We started Sunday with a service in the church hall for ourselves, then we joined the congregation of St Paul's for their morning worship (with Communion). A final lunch together at a local pub/hotel rounded off a great weekend (although not without its problems - the booking had been for 13:00 but hotel requested we postpone to 13:30 and a list with our orders orders; the food finally arrived at 13:50 and although the flavours were excellent throughout, the portion-size for the goat's cheese tart were very small, and the ice cream sundae turned into a bowl of vanilla ice cream - we finally finished dinner at 15:45). Back aboard we had a quiet evening, with most of the other BCF boats heading off.
Took our time this morning as we only had a short run into Fazeley. Pat did some more baking (ready for this evening). Noted Steve & Fiona passing on "Lutra Lutra". Slightly early lunch then on the move.
Let go and headed back to Fazeley. Stopped at the marina to clear services for the weekend, then moored with the other BCF boats on the section near St Paul's church, our hosts for the weekend. Pat made a quick trip to the post office for script, then the pharmacy for the meds.
In the evening, we went up to St Paul's Church for the start of the "Fellowship Weekend". Met up again with old friends and made some new ones over 'nibbles' and drinks.
|2.18 miles||0 locks||0.94 hrs||2.31 lmph|
Woke late and took our time. Pat got a load of washing on, then set to some baking. I spent the morning on e-paperwork, and resetting the internet modem (which had miraculously done a factory reset overnight). Had a chat with John & Jane as they passed late morning on "Ichthus" heading for Fazeley. More tawny owls heard in the early hours of Friday morning.
Another lovely morning, but each one getting gradually cooler - autumn on its way, I think. Took our time getting going, then headed back towards Fazeley, through Whittington and Hopwas. Moored at Sutton Road Bridge to store-up for the weekend and collect my parcel. Lunch on board on return.
On the move again, we continued through Fazeley turning right at the Junction - Pat had decided we would moor out at Kingsbury after dealing with services. Noted "Sonflower" followed us through the Junction (from the Atherstone direction), and that "Jubilee", "Chyandour" and "Spring Water" were already moored at St Paul's Church. We stopped at the water point and did the necessaries (including a new bottle of gas), before continuing out to Kingsbury and turning "Paws" at the winding hole below Curdworth Bottom Lock. Returned to the Gravel Pit Bridge and moored for the night.
Another lovely sunny day throughout. Tawny owls and (possibly) foxes heard overnight.
|10.84 miles||0 locks||4.47 hrs||2.42 lmph|
Lovely morning, sunny but not overly hot. Decided we would stay here for the full day, possibly moving on tomorrow. Pat did some baking. I did some work on the genealogy project (having received an update for the software I use. My parcel from Herbalife was (allegedly) delivered - we'll see the situation when we get to Fazeley. Generally pottered for the remainder of the day. Remained bright and sunny for the whole day.
After heavy rain overnight, we were once again woken by the first boat going past just before 08:00. Up, but took our time getting going - Pat wanted a load of washing finished before arrival Fradley. Away late morning, ascending Bagnall, Common, Hunts and Keepers Locks (Keepers with the assisdtance of a CRT Volunteer before he went for lunch). Decided we would also have lunch before going for services and moored up just clear of the lock.
After lunch, moved forward to the services berth.
Having serviced, we moved off again and ascended Junction Lock. Volunteers short-staffed today so nobody on to help. Turned left onto the Coventry Canal and returned southeastwards towards Fazeley. Passed through Fradley village and moored again outside Kings Orchard Marina.
We had a shower of drizzly rain over the lunchtime period, but it cleared soon after we got on the move, giving a fine bright afternoon.
|5.12 miles||5 locks||3.28 hrs||3.08 lmph|
Woken by the first boat going past just on 08:00. Found a foggy morning. Joined the congregation at Alrewas Methodist Church for their service. Great catching up with our friends there, and congratulations to Rev. Jo on her 'promotion' to Circuit Superintendent.
After lunch I did my usual here and went to work the River Lock. A quiet afternoon with little traffic. The sun came out for most of the afternoon, but it clouded a little again by dinnertime.
Takeaway dinner from Delhi Divan - excellent as usual.
Another prompt start. A very light shower of drizzle over breakfast was well clear by the time we were ready to move. Headed north for Brindley Bank corner then on to the winding hole at the next bridge. A very slow run as it was exceptionally busy. Turned "Paws" and returned into town, still slow going. Clearing the town, the traffic eased a bit and we got going at 'normal' speed. Left Rugeley and returned through Armitage, Handsacre and Tuppenhurst to Wood End Lock. Lunch on the move.
Descended Wood End, then Shadehurst, Middle and Junction Locks with the assistance of CRT Volunteers (just returning from their lunch break). Pulled in at the services berth for the loo and water.
Once ready, continued down Keepers and Hunts Locks, again with Volunteers, then on down Common and Bagnall Locks into Alrewas. Unfortunately, the preferred mooring was already taken so we turned "Paws" and moored just clear of the winding hole.
Cloud slowly cleared during the day giving a bright sunny evening.
|11.48 miles||8 locks||5.84 hrs||3.34 lmph|
Took our time getting up as we were not planning to go far. A cloudy morning with sunny patches. Went for a walk to town mid-morning for a look round the shops - Pat got wool. Decided to have lunch at Costa, before getting a small amount of stores at Morrison's and returning to "Paws".
Quiet afternoon. Cloud built, with decreasing sun, then another thunderstorm late afternoon.
Up promptly to light rain. On the move as soon as we were ready, continuing northwards. The rain died to a watery sun giving the suggestion of better things to come. Saw a kingfisher just north of Brookhay Pumping Station. Exchanged brief greetings with John & Veronica on "Thistledown" as we passed. Continued through Fradley Village and moored just before the water point at the Junction to clear rubbish and loo. Sun and rain both arrived as we serviced.
The rain didn't last long and was gone before we let go again. Turned left at the Junction onto the Trent & Mersey Canal to find we were in a queue of 3 waiting for the locks. The word was that a boat and butty were ahead and the butty had to be bow-hauled (pulled by hand) in and out of each lock. Ascended Middle and Shadehouse Locks with the assistance of CRT Volunteers, but the queue was 4 behind us as we left. Ascended Wood End Lock (queue of 3) and headed out through Tuppenhurst, Handsacre and Armitage without seeing a boat ahead or tailing (although several came the other way). Finally arrived in Rugeley to find it very busy - nothing available on the south moorings or the new ones north of Leathermill Lane. Heading to the north end of town, we found a barge, involved in the piling work Rothens are carrying out, loose and right across the cut. Managed to secure it, and continued past Church Bridge. We moored on the straight leading to Brindley Bank Corner for the night. After an afternoon of cloud and sunny spells, the drizzle came back just after we moored. Got another 10-second soaking just before dinner closing up due to another very heavy shower - two days on the trot
We were deeply saddened by news at dinnertime of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts and prayers are with the King and all the Royal Family.
|11.40 miles||3 locks||5.32 hrs||2.71 lmph|
Up promptly on a cloudy morning for a quickish start - didn't happen! One of those days where you can't get out of your own road. Then Tony & Jacqui arrived on "Timewarp" and we had a chat. Reversed back for water but someone was already filling, so had to wait. Eventually on the move mid-morning, we headed out to Bonehill for Sainsbury's.
After shopping and lunch, back on the move for the main bit of today's run - headed north out through Hopwas and Whittington to Streethay. Waved to Eric & Doreen as we passed their house at Whittington, but no sign again of Helen or Skye. Greetings in passing exchanged with Trish aboard "No.8". Very busy with boating traffic today. The cloud had been building all morning and we could see rain falling in the distance with rumbles of thunder, but we only got one short but heavy shower whilst on the move. Moored up again on the section to the north of Kings Orchard Marina. Shortly after mooring, a big flash and a bang and we got dropped on! We were both soaked in the 10 seconds it took to shut the doors and hatches. The rain continued for a further 3 hours, with lightning and thunder.
|7.50 miles||0 locks||2.96 hrs||2.53 lmph|
Very heavy rain overnight into Monday, with thunder and lightning. It had cleared by breakfast to a lovely sunny morning. Another long lie-in, then generally pottered - Pat did some baking, while I caught up on e-paperwork. Drizzle during the afternoon turned to rain again in the evening.
More heavy rain overnight into Tuesday (apparently with more thunder, but I slept through it). Dropped in to All Saints Church, Doncaster, for e-coffee and a catchup - John & Jane and John & Jan also joined Liz and Margaret today. After lunch, had intended to move, but the parcel expected was running behind schedule and we are on a better mooring here, so elected to stay put and move tomorrow. Another day of light showers. Subsequent email from Amazon states they cannot deliver as per request, order cancelled, day wasted.
After heavy rain overnight, another long lie-in for Fhi's last morning, then on the move to her requested drop-off point. Continued to the winding hole at the bottom of the Curdworth Flight, then returned towards Fazeley. Stopped at the water point outside the marina for water, loo and rubbish. Fhi left us here to get a taxi to the station in Tamworth, a train to Derby, and the airport shuttle coach to East Midlands Airport - she flies late afternoon.
Text received from Fhi that she was safely back at their house, after long delay with traffic.
|Totals and Average with Fhi|
|111.97 miles||69 locks||56.86 hrs||3.18 lmph|
After the services, we took "Paws" inside to get fuel. Once topped up again, we headed to the Junction and turned left, mooring just short of Peel's Wharf. Spent the afternoon tidying things away that had been moved while we had a visitor.
|3.70 miles||0 locks||1.51 hrs||2.46 lmph|
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.
A long lie-in for Fhi's last full day aboard, getting on the move mid-morning. Worked our way south through Whittington and Hopwas - no sign of Helen or Skye as we passed their house in Whittington. Stopped at Bonehill for lunch and a quick walk to the shops, then continued on to Fazeley Junction. Turning right towards the Curdworth Flight, we dropped in at Fazeley Mill Marina to empty the loo, then continued south.
With time getting on, and in case the mooring at Kingsbury Water Park was full, we moored for the night about ½-mile short of the winding hole.
|9.72 miles||0 locks||4.19 hrs||2.32 lmph|
Took our time getting up this morning as it was an easy day. Finally got on the move mid-morning, heading south again. Passed through Rugeley town, then Armitage, Handsacre and Tuppenhurst to Wood End Lock. Descended, then on to Shadehouse and Middle Locks. No volunteers around today as they were on lunch break - we split our lunches between Wood End and clearing the junction. Turning right at the Junction onto the Coventry Canal, we immediately stopped for water and walked round to the services berth for the other items. Met up again with Tony & Jacqui on "Timewarp".
Once ready, moved on again through Fradley village and south for Streethay. Moored at our favoutite place just as a light drizzle set in. Looks as though we may not be using this mooring in the future as HS2 works are being carried out right next to the canal - now we find out why the equestrian centre suddenly disappeared!
Tawny owls and (possibly) foxes heard late evening.
|11.49 miles||3 locks||4.73 hrs||3.06 lmph|
Another lovely morning, and a good start to the new month. Fhi did a bit of baking before we set off, then we headed round Brindley Bank corner and headed to "The Taft". Arrived mid-morning for tea/coffee with Peter & Julie, Fhi finally getting to meet them for the first time. Great to catch up with them again.
Just after mid-day, we left and headed for the nearest winding hole (this involved a 3-hour return trip to Great Haywood after the 40 min intended trip from Rugeley!) Headed through Wolseley Bridge and ascended Colwich and Haywood Locks, winded at the junction and returned back to "The Taft" (no sign of our morning's hosts), then back to Rugeley, mooring on the same stretch as last night.
|9.21 miles||4 locks||4.46 hrs||2.96 lmph|