|This Month's Totals and Average|
|27.83 miles||0 locks||11.78 hrs||2.36 lmph|
Generally helping Pat around the house, and getting repairs done. A couple of trips out by car to buy parts.
Car serviced on the Friday.
Up early, car packed, and ready to go by 07:50. Good drive north in the sunshine with generally low wind. Usual break at Stoke for fuel, then lunch at Lancaster. Took another break at Abington, then went via Penicuik for a second dose of fuel. Once clear, I went via Newbridge to book the car in for its service. Mercedes are obviously too worried about the apparent luxuries of having their customers in their 'lounge' with a tea or coffee, rather than having service reception staff available to attend to their customers' needs - it took a full 20 minutes to see someone, who then had to go away again to check the diary, and then couldn't give me a price for the job at the time. I call that disappointing service. Headed home, arriving just after 16:00. Long day.
A dull start to Sunday, but with a light breeze and slightly warmer than of late. Spent the morning sorting things out from the trip, and starting prep for going north. The service at Alrewas was in the afternoon this week, and highlighted Racial Justice Day. After a brief period of sun, heavy rain showers came in during the evening.
Spent Monday generally getting ready to go north. Overll, a good day weatherwise, with sunny spells.
A beautiful start to the day - sunshine and little wind (better than the forecast of cloudy with rain showers!). Up and on the move quickly, returning northwards. Tried out logging the trip on my phone, and it seemed to work OK (after I'd worked out how to use Google Sheets!). Lovely trip north with the sun shining all the way. Arrived back at the marina just before midday. Once all moored up and safe, had lunch.
Took a car trip out for essential stores to tide me over until the beginning of the week. Had a long chat with Pat to agree when I was to travel north - finalised as Tuesday (good forecast both ends). Settled in for a quiet evening.
|5.38 miles||8 locks||2.17 hrs||2.48 lmph|
Heavy rain (as forecast) this morning, so stayed put. Spent most of the day reworking my stats spreadsheet to accomodate the change of tracking. Also constructed a photos page for my stop at Snarestone (added to the text for Tuesday). The sun broke through around lunchtime although showers continued through the afternoon.
Fantastic night's sleep with no noise at all. Woken by another blackie to another beautiful sunny morning, although a chilly wind was already starting to rise. Had a short walk to the café to see what was available, then back, and let go. Continued southwards to Dadlington - the berth I wanted was next to a field that had been manured. Decided to wind first and see if any other alternatives were available.
Continued south, noting that there were moorings on the north side of Stoke Golding (intended to return here after winding). Continued through Stoke Golding to bridge 22 and winded, letting a couple of boats pass during the manoeuvre. Returned northwards, but realised I had completed the job into the middle of a convoy. Attempted to pull over at my chosen mooring, but found it was too silted to get alongside. Let another couple of boats pass before pulling out again. Returned to the mooring at Dadlington and pulled over to let the remainder of the convoy pass, before mooring up.
After getting the e-paperwork up to date, had a quiet remainder to the afternoon. There was a little smell, but not too bad - the wind was blowing it away for "Paws".
|5.00 miles||8 locks||2.42 hrs||2.07 lmph|
Woken by a blackbird singing at the top of its voice. Cloudy with a light breeze. Let go and headed shouthwards again, back past Gopsall, Shackerstone and Congerstone to Market Bosworth, mooring just past the water point outside the marina for lunch.
After lunch, set off again behind a boat which, I found, was taking its time. Wasn't a problem as I was in no hurry. Continued southward past Shenton to Sutton Cheney. Not as far as I had hoped to go, but the breeze was chilly and I'd had enough for the day. Moored on the pontoon just north of the café and services. Caught up with the stats, but then found there is a very poor signal on that berth, so it will have to wait until tomorrow to get uploaded.
|10.65 miles||8 locks||4.28 hrs||2.49 lmph|
Beautiful morning. Went for a walk to the end of the water - some lovely mooring available, but I would need to reverse through the stop-gate as the winding hole is only 52ft. Chilly wind on the increase. Walked back and had a chat at the Ashby Canal Association (ACA) shop. Returned to "Paws" for lunch.
Decided that I would actually test the solar panels in a "live" environment (i.e. not while in the marina). This meant staying put for the remainder of the day, moving on tomorrow. Although it remained sunny, the wind picked up. Managed to actually run the inverter with the immersion heater for 1 hr on the solar panels - very pleased. Did more on finding a way to match times to locations for a revised tracker - possibilities exist.
Finally! The first miles on this year's clock. Last minute prep - cleared loo and rubbish. Set up ready to leave, and switched on the tracker, only to find that they had shut down their server at the end of 2022. The local screen still appears to work but does not save anything - a bit of work there to find an alternative. Time had run on dealing with this so had an early lunch before setting off.
Let go just on midday, and headed northwards towards the current head of navigation. Lovely sunny day, with very little traffic. Passed Congerstone and Shackerstone, then on past Gopsall to Snarestone. Passed through the tunnel, winded and moored north of bridge 61. Managed to cobble something together by way of stats for today, but it took longer than usual.
|6.80 miles||8 locks||2.92 hrs||2.33 lmph|
Easter Sunday. Drove up to Doncaster to join our friends at Highfields for their service. Stephen looking well, and served Communion with Jacqui, but remainder of service taken by Liz & Sal. Stayed on, chatting, and only got back to "Paws" late afternoon.
With torrential downpours mingled with the occasional sunny spells, I decided it would be inadvisable to move on Monday. The forecast for the rest of the week isn't much better.
Tuesday started sunny, but with a forecast for rain later. Went along to Holly Lodge for a top-up of coal (hopefully that will be the last for this winter), then went out for stores to last the remainder of the week (in the hopes of getting out for a few days). Yet another phonecall to Amazon in the morning to get the missing refund - finally got satisfaction with the refund arriving mid-afternoon.
Lovely sunny morning on Wednesday. Got up and started getting ready to move. Cleared the loo, and nearly froze with the biting wind. Decided against moving! Wind increased and rain moved in by lunchtime. Quiet day, pottering
Thursday was another cold and windy day, although sunny. Spent the day crafting and reading.
A very wet day on Friday - heavy rain showers throughout a dull cloudy day. Stayed tucked up inside - more reading and craftwork.
Vast improvement in the weather on Saturday, with rain, slight breeze and warmer. Boat made ready for a planned departure on Monday (allowing for being at church on Sunday. More craftwork and reading.
Usual trip to Alrewas on Sunday - I had been asked to be part of a playlet about 'doubting' Thomas. Took lunch with me, as I hoped to spend the afternoon at the lock. It was quite chilly so came straight back after lunch.
A dull start to the new month, but dry with a chilly breeze. Jay turned up at 09:00 with his son, and got started on fitting the brackets. By the end of the day, they had all the brackets fitted and sealed, the panels mounted on the brackets, and the hole made for the cable (with its grommet sealed on). A good day's work. When they left, I made a trip to the Post Office for my prescription, but it hadn't arrived. The cloud had broken by late afternoon, leaving large chunks of sunny sky.
Sunday morning service, as usual, at Alrewas, then spent the afternoon sourcing new parts to hang the BCF banner as I now don't have roof-space for the feet.
Jay returned Monday morning and completed the work of running cables and setting up the solar panels . All tested and working. The problem with the battery monitor turned out to be a blown fuse, so easily fixed. Got the replacement monitor on its way back to Amazon. Checked at the Post Office for my script, but it was still not in. Beautiful sunny day throughout - maybe spring has finally decided its going to stay.
Dropped in on the e-coffee at Doncaster Tuesday morning - hosted by Liz, with Margaret & Malcolm, John & Jane, Pat and Fhi. Lively conversation as usual. Popped out in the afternoon to get rid of the remaining old battery to the local recycling centre, then to check again on my script, which had actually arrived, so took it to the pharmacy for processing. A beautiful day throughout (and the new solar panels knocking out nearly 200W).
Back to rain again on Wednesday. A generally quiet day with just a trip out to collect the meds. Did a bit more craft-work. News from Pat's doctor - the x-ray of her knee shows the problem is arthritis, and orthopaedics will not be operating. GP has changed her meds and wishes to see her again in 2 months (meantime she's been told not to return to the boat, and I've been told to stay aboard).
After heavy rain overnight, Thursday dawned bright, and improved throughout the day, although the wind picked up in the afternoon. Quiet morning, then Maundy Thursday Communion in the afternoon.
Good Friday was another beautiful day. Went to the short service at Alrewas (taken by the vicar of the Anglican Church), but the "Walk of Witness" planned for after, was cancelled due to lack of numbers. Walked down to the river-lock and had a packed lunch before "manning" the lock for the afternoon (fresh air, sun, and exercise). Put through 7 boats in the 3½ hrs I was there. Thoroughly enjoyed my birthday.
Yet another lovely day on Saturday ("Paws'" birthday). Went shopping in the morning - hopefully will get out on Monday if the weather is kind. Once this was packed away, headed to Whittington for lunch at the "all-day coffee" at Eric Wood's house in aid of funds for the Lichfield & Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust (of which he is president) - this year in memory of his wife who died last year. Adopted another bear for our collection. After lunch, headed back to "Paws", topped up water and cleared loo and rubbish. Quiet end to the day in glorious sunshine.