This Month's Totals and Average
52.23 miles 11 locks 24.48 hrs 2.58 lmph

  March 2024

Sunday 31st March ~ Hopwas - BCF Easter Cruise

Not so bright this morning, with a mist hanging over the fields.

"The Resurrection"

We all attended the morning service at the Methodist Chapel, led by Rev. Jo Thornton, and incorporating Communion. This was follwed by tea/coffee and cake, before we once again returned to our boats.

We spent a quiet afternoon, with me chatting to Peter and Sarah.

Saturday 30th March ~ Hopwas - BCF Easter Cruise

A beautiful morning for Holy Saturday.

I had arranged for Rev.Dr. Robert Bates of the local Methodist circuit to come in for a talk/discussion. Due to the interest from the local congregations, I opened it to all. As it turned out, Helen from the Alrewas chapel was the only non-group person there. Robert's 1st topic was Mark 15:40 to end, studying the wording and what Mark was trying to convey in what he said. After the break, we looked at the Apostles' Creed in the same way. Very informative and challenging.

Afterwards we partook of a bring & share lunch, before returning to our boats.

The team from "Joshua" joiuned us late afternoon for coffe and biscuits. The weather remained sunny for the whole of the day.

Friday 29th March ~ Hopwas - BCF Easter Cruise

After a night of more heavy showers, the forecast for Good Friday was anything but 'good'. However, the rain stayed off for most of the morning, and the showers in the afternoon fortunately did not affect our movements.

"Betrayal to Crucifixion"

Our group joined the two local congregations at the Chapel at 11:00 and carried out a 'Walk of Witness' round the village, ending at St Chad's Church. Each of the 3 stations had a reading, prayer and hymn telling the story of Jesus' betrayal, trial and crucifixion - each station taken by one of the organisations present.

We then had a picnic lunch in St Chad's (should have been on their lawn but the weather wasn't cooperating).

"The Final Hour"

In the afternoon, at 14:00, we held a service in St Chad's "at the foot of the Cross", remembering Jesus' final hour before he died. We then returned to our respective boats for the evening.

Thursday 28th March ~ Amington to Hopwas - BCF Easter Cruise

After a night of continued showers, today started sunny. Up promptly and ready to move. Stephen left first with "Chyandour", Gwyneth taking the car. We held back till last to accompany Sarah down Glascote Locks - Leigh has a little experience but Simon and Eleanor have none. Arriving at Glascote, we found a queue so there was a delay in getting through.

Cleared Glascote and headed into Fazeley, with building clouds and the rain coming on. Sarah and I turned left at the junction to get services at the marina. I let Sarah go first, but when we moved in afterwards, Jackie said she was going for lunch - a further delay, so we had lunch as well.

Finally getting away after getting fuel, gas, coal and kindling, we picked up "Joshua" at the junction and turned left for Hopwas. More heavy showers as we headed north. Finally arriving at Hopwas, Stephen had 2 spaces ready for us. Moored and heated up with a cuppie, then got the BCF banner up before retreating inside for the night.

6.00 miles 0 locks 2.33 hrs 2.57 lmph
what3words logo  wobbles.breakfast.trumped 

Wednesday 27th March ~ Amington - BCF Easter Cruise

We have been organising a cruise over the Easter period (initially) for BCF  members, linking in with congregations along the route. Such has been the interest from the congregations that most of the activities have been opened for the congregations to join us for a mutual fellowship weekend.


Jesus and his disciples came together to celebrate Passover. We gathered in Amington during the day. Pat and Sarah went for some shopping in the morning. Stephen arrived mid-morning on "Chyandour". The initial sunshine didn't last long and heavy showers had set in by lunchtime. "Little Owl" with Graham and his crew - Isabel and Stephen - arrived just after lunch, and Peter aboard "Solar Kingfisher" late afternoon.

In the evening, we walked up to the village hall, and Sarah, with her crew of Leigh, Simon and Eleanor, treated us to a Passover-style meal, highlighting the significance of the objects in the meal, and how the Jewish festival is still relevant to Christians today. Fortunately, there were gaps in the showers at the right places and we got up to the hall and back dry. A wonderful start to the journey through Easter Week.

Tuesday 26th March ~ Atherstone Bottom to Amington

A lovely quiet night - we will be using this mooring again in the future. Heard tawny owls calling overnight. They were obviously quite near from the volume. Day dawned bright and sunny, and far warmer than it has been.

Took us slightly longer to get going - showers, changing loo and a few other things - but we were finally away by 10:00. Moved forward the short distance to the service berth at Bradley Green and topped water and emptied the loo (took longer than usual as there was a queue), before continuing generally westwards. Wandered our way through Dordon, Polesworth and Alvecote, passing Pooley Hall and Country Park (used to be a private colliery serving the gas works near Salford Junction), and through the outskirts of Amington. Moored at Bridge 68, opposite Sarah's house and "Joshua".

After lunch, made contact with Sarah and agreed we were all ready for tomorrow. The lovely sunny start to the day dulled over during the afternoon.

6.00 miles 0 locks 2.33 hrs 2.57 lmph
what3words logo  stamp.headed.gross 

Monday 25th March ~ Atherstone Bottom (en route to Amington)

A poor day had been forecast so we had planned for a day off today. After rain overnight and a stiff breeze had risen, we were correct to have made that decision. Bed change and washing machine on after breakfast. Had a quiet day reading. The wind did die down and the rain had dissipated by mid-afternoon.

Sunday 24th March ~ Atherstone Top to Atherstone Bottom (en route to Amington)

It took us slightly longer to get going than planned, but were away just before 10:00. Moved the short distance to the top of the flight and I emptied the loo at the service berth while Pat prepared the lock. First locks for the year, so took our time going down - all 5 in the top half were against us. No sign of any CRT Volunteers, but we were told that the "powers that be" have decided they will not work weekends. Moored in the "King's Head" pound for lunch.

After lunch, continued down the 2nd half, intending to stop in the long pound between 9 and 10. Still fair, but there was a chilly wind which felt extra cold when the sun went behind a cloud. Met a boat coming up, who told us they had moored in the long pound overnight and were sat on the bottom this morning. Due to a paddle not seating properly at 10, the pound was draining overnight. CRT (who had come out to rescue them) were advising not to moor there until it was fixed. We continued down the remaining 2 locks to the bottom, mooring just clear of the lock. Not used this mooring before but it seems to be good, with satellite TV available and a clear view for the solar panels for most of the day.

1.84 miles 11 locks 3.28 hrs 3.92 lmph
what3words logo  scary.dial.wiggling 

Saturday 23rd March ~ Atherstone Top (en route to Amington)

Heavy showers overnight, but less frequent into the morning. Took our time getting going as we had decided to take a day off. Went for a walk into town for a few odds-and-ends of shopping, then had an eartly lunch at Costa (thanks to Ian for the present ).

Quiet afternoon doing not a lot. The showers had all but died out so a nice sunny afternoon.

Had been having difficulty with internet connection. Found out that there has been a mast inoperative for some time, and apparently not expected to be fixed until the autumn!

Friday 22nd March ~ Marston to Atherstone Top (en route to Amington)

Slept in again this morning. Woke to a bright but cloudy day. After dealing with a 'problem' on the forthcoming Cruise, we got away just after 10:00, continuing northwards into Nuneaton. We wound our way through the suburbs and out the north side past Springwood Haven and Mancetter marinas, and continuing northwest towards Atherstone. Moored at the CRT yard at Hartshill and topped up the water. By this time, the wind had picked up and it was distinctly chilly.

Continued northwest through the farmland to Atherstone, the wind fortunately easing again and the sun coming out. Moored before Bridge 41 and had a belated lunch. Spent the remainder of the afternoon on the diary and preparation for the Cruise.

7.73 miles 0 locks 3.10 hrs 2.49 lmph
what3words logo  owner.daydream.ombudsman 

Thursday 21st March ~ Stoke Golding to Marston (en route to Amington)

After a better night's sleep all round, we woke to a bright but chilly start. On the move fairly promptly, continuing southwards. Heard far more birdsong today. Continued through Stoke Golding village, then on to Hinckley, entering past the Triumph factory and Tesco warehouse and maintenance depot, then Trinity Marina, before leaving past the Sea Scout hut at the old Hinckley Arm (now residential moorings) and finally the DPD International Gateway.

After passing under the A5, the countryside becomes more open, but that meant less shelter from the cold wind. Continued southwards past the villages of Burton Hastings and Bramcote (having lunch on the move), then Bulkington (a suburb of Bedworth), and finally coming to Marston Junction where the Ashby Canal meets the Coventry Canal. Turning right, we started our journey northwards. About ½-mile north of the junction, with a bit of rain setting in, we moored for the day just short of Bridge 16.

The rain didn't last long. The sun tried all day to get through, finally making it late afternoon.

9.80 miles 0 locks 4.00 hrs 2.33 lmph
what3words logo  tree.escape.cult 

Wednesday 20th March ~ Market Bosworth to Stoke Golding (en route to Amington)

A rainy start to the day. Pat had been ill overnight, so a slower start than planned. Spent the morning finishing clearing away Pat's gear and preparing "Paws" for departure. Topped up the water as an extra load through the washing machine was required. Dumped rubbish and emptied the loo. Lunch before departure.

Finally on the move just after 13:00, leaving the marina and heading south, intending to stop at Sutton Cheney. Noted that the bare trees of two weeks ago were now budding leaves and catkins. Arriving at Sutton Cheney, we found that the whole pontoon was taken so we carried on. Tried to get alongside at a favourite mooring at Dadlington, but the silt has built up to the point where I could no longer get "Paws" alongside - very disappointed! Continued on to Stoke Golding, finding a space on the towpath side opposite the main visitor mooring.

There had been some short sunny spells during the afternoon, but it was threatening rain by the time we were moored. A cool, dull evening.

5.63 miles 0 locks 2.49 hrs 2.26 lmph
what3words logo  blown.poppy.starlight 

17th-19th March ~ Bosworth Marina

Yesterday's rain continued throughout the night, but the sun finally poked through mid Sunday morning. Pat got away from the house at 06:30 and had a good run south despite the mist/fog around Falkirk, arriving around 14:30. I had cleared the final bits and made up her bed ready. After getting the essentials out of the car, we sat chatting until dinner.

Long lie on Monday morning. Brought the remainder of Pat's stuff out of the car and got it stored away. She had a hunt through the food lockers and larder, making up a list for tomorrow's shopping trip. I generally kept out of the way!

Tuesday was shopping day. A cloudy start to the day, but it brightened up after lunch. Shopping in the morning and stowing it away in the afternoon. Engine given a check over ready for departure tomorrow.

13th-16th March ~ Bosworth Marina

The rain had cleared by dawn on Wednesday, but it still remained cloudy. Was round at the office on business, and found we have new marina and office managers - Dean & Mandy (taking over from Chris & Jane). Took a walk up the hill into the village while it was dry for milk in case the rain came back. I'd forgotten how steep the hill was! After lunch, continued with the spring-clean, finishing the galley area and cooker.

The marathon spring-clean continued on Thursday with the galley (worksurfaces, sink/drainer) dusted top to bottom and deck washed, then into the saloon space (about ⅔ at the rear dusted and deck washed). One session to go! A bit of work on genealogy to relax with during the afternoon. A bright day throughout with a lot of sun but occasional short showers. Evening phonecall with Sarah confirmed final bits of the cruise programme.

Friday dawned bright, but deteriorated slowly during the day to heavy rain showers and a rising wind. Completed the remaining bit of the spring-clean ready for Pat arriving on Sunday. Water topped up (again!).

Wall-to-wall sunshine to start Saturday, but cloud slowly came in and rain arrived after lunch. Cleared away Pat's bunk (I use it as extra storage while she's away). Spent the remainder of the day on genealogy.

9th-12th March ~ Bosworth Marina

Mostly sunny during the morning on Saturday, but cloud building during the afternoon. A moderate/strong wind all day. Shopping in the morning, then clearing e-paperwork in the afternoon.

Rain set in overnight into Sunday, and remained all day. Spent the day on genealogy. Recently received an email from one of the research companies I deal with showing that around 11-13 generations back (1500-1600) I have links to other family lines showing I am (allegedly) related to Lucille Ball, John Wayne and Lady Diana Spencer - I don't think I'll be researching anything that far back any further .

Started the 'spring-clean' aboard "Paws" on Monday - back cabin, washroom and centre cabin all dusted top to bottom, vacuumed and the deck washed, and a disinfect/clean cycle done on the washing machine. The day started and ended damp and cloudy, although a short period of sun poked through just after lunch. Water topped up

Heavy rain overnight continued into Tuesday morning. Dropped in on the e-coffee at Doncaster - joined by Liz and Margaret in Doncaster, Pat in Kirkcaldy, and John & Jane in Cookley. Spring-clean continued with washroom facilities (shower, basin and toilet), then fridge and freezer. Another brief spell of sunshine early afternoon, then the rain was back.

Friday 8th March ~ Sutton Cheney to Market Bosworth (short break)

A cold cloudy morning. Cleared some e-paperwork before setting off around 09:30 again. Went along to the winding hole at the old wharf and turned for the trip back to base. Quite pleasant in the occasional sunny spells, but generally cold in the slight breeze. Arrived back just before lunch and settled "Paws" in for a week until Pat arrives. Apparently just got back in time as the wind picked up during the afternoon meaning I would not have got berthed.

3.88 miles 0 locks 1.80 hrs 2.16 lmph
what3words logo  custom.footpath.walks 

Thursday 7th March ~ Sutton Cheney (short break)

Tawny owls heard calling overnight, and a blackbird singing at 05:30. Another cool and cloudy start to the day. Decided I'd stay put and get some chores done, starting with a load of washing. A bit of cleaning and dusting, then a quiet afternoon. Again, the cloud cleared slightly giving sunny intervals.

Wednesday 6th March ~ Congerstone to Sutton Cheney (short break)

Up and on the go by 09:30 again, on a misty and cool morning. The team from the Ashby Boat dayboat "Mole" (which I had passed a couple of days ago) had moored ahead of me last night and, having slept 'ashore', returned aboard just before I let go. It was a team from CRT, out doing surveys/inspections, and they let me past when I caught up with them. I continued south past Market Bosworth and Shenton to Sutton Cheney. I had got quite cold standing out at the back and was glad to moor up at the visitor pontoon for lunch in the warmth at the café.

Lovely lunch as usual, then returned to "Paws" to do the diary and maps for the day. A little bit of business (renewing "Paws" insurance) and a few small jobs took care of the rest of the afternoon. The morning mist had dissipated and the subsequent cloud had a few sunny spells.

5.48 miles 0 locks 2.47 hrs 2.22 lmph
what3words logo  reflected.pupils.insurers 

Tuesday 5th March ~ Snarestone to Congerstone (short break)

After a wild night as a weather front passed through, the day dawned cloudy but pleasant. On the move again by 09:40 and returned south through the tunnel and on past Shakerstone to Congerstone. The early morning cloud had lifted, giving a sunny afternoon. Had lunch, then decided I couldn't be bothered moving again so made "Paws" secure for the night. Spent a quiet afternoon reading and with puzzles.

4.94 miles 0 locks 2.23 hrs 2.21 lmph
what3words logo  able.spelled.booms 

Monday 4th March ~ Market Bosworth to Snarestone (short break)

With a beautiful sunny start to the day and a good forecast for the rest of the week, I decided that it was worth taking "Paws" out for her first trip of the year. Finally!

Got the morning routines out of the way as quickly as possible and let go at 09:30, leaving the marina and turning northwards.The trip up through the farmlands by Congerstone and Shackerstone was very peaceful, with the birds twittering gently in the background. Only met one moving boat, "Sonia Louise" from 2 berths along at the marina. The trees were not yet in bud and the hedges were thin. Noted a suitable mooring on the south side of Snarestone in case there were none at the terminus, but I was lucky, with only one boat there. Moored for the day and had lunch.

Took a walk to the ACA (Ashby Canal Association ) shop in the afternoon - nobody there. Noted that the moorings and towpath walk beyond the terminus have been closed by Leicestershire County Council "due to extensive badger activity".

Fitted new chains on the new chimney and commissioned it. Started the maps for this year (took me to remember how to do each bit), then had a quiet remainder to the day.

6.93 miles 0 locks 2.78 hrs 2.50 lmph
what3words logo  recital.caged.cuddled 

Sunday 3rd March ~ Bosworth Marina

Once the mist lifted, it was a beautiful sunny day with little wind. Went to Alrewas for the morning service, then did necessary shopping on the way back. With the prospect of possibly getting out over the next few days, collected a couple of extra bags of coal. Checking my email after lunch, I found one from Tracey at the Little Chimney Company  - my replacement was ready, and they were moored just outside the marina. Walked round and collected.

Saturday 2nd March ~ Bosworth Marina

Long lie in after a disturbed night - they were relaying the road outside the marina, closing it for overnight work rather than doing it during the day. A cool sunny day, spent doing not very much - reading and crafting.

Friday 1st March ~ Bosworth Marina

Prompt rise to get the car to Tamworth for replacement of two tyres, then an MoT. Took all morning, but back for lunch. Repair work required, research and getting it organised took most of the afternoon as no-one could do the job until mid-April. We will have to come straight back to base after the Easter Cruise. A very wet and windy start to the day, but both eased to give a fine evening.

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