Friday 23 April 2021


Not much to report today as it was les than 3 miles back to the moorings. Last nights Indian Takeaway was just the job, I walked up and collected it. This morning we were away at 9-30am. on

probably the warmest morning all week, needless to say the wind freshened slightly as we entered the marina, just to help me reverse back down to our slot. Of course there was no one to watch my get it right. We had just moored up when the C&RT  man walked by checking licences in the marina.

Todays Journey just two and three quarter miles in one hour

This weeks trip 6 nights, 24 locks and 67 miles

Thursday 22 April 2021


 It was very fortunate that we moored where we did last night, overlooking the hills with all the lambs and sheep,  because I was  looking up the hill this morning and saw four legs waggling in the air. There was a ewe flat on her back on the top of the hill. We pushed off and I drove Harnser's bow through the offside mud so that I could get ashore and help her. I think she had been there quite some time and if the legs had not been kicking when I looked out I wouldn't have spotted her. I pulled her back onto her feet but she was very unsteady, in the past when I have done this they have just run off, but she was far to unsteady to go far, I stayed and watched for a bit and she finally wandered off, hopefully she will make, at least I gave her a chance.


We extracted ourselves from the mud and were on our way at 10am. heading for the Atherstone Locks, on the way we saw a single pair of Swallows, the first I have seen this year on the canals but I have seen some in Suffolk. When we arrived at the top lock we found one boat in the top lock, a single hander in the second lock, a boat waiting to enter the lock and then us, it was a slow journey. There was one Volockie on at the top lock as two had called in sick. Just below the second lock there are some allotments, I wonder what the allotment committee's view is on this one. 

We got down to Lock 6 and I spotted this notice about 5 Yards from the lock, do the Canal and River Trust not realise these are Atherstone Locks?

The boat directly ahead of us pulled in for lunch in the long pound below lock 7 so we now had a bit of clear water plus a boat came up lock 8 which helped us on our way as he left the top gate for us. The long pound between 9 and 10 was down a bit but still enough water, by lock 11 we saw the 2 boat in the convoy leaving but we didn't see the first any where. We pulled over at the services and topped up with water, this is a nice fast tap with good pressure and once full were on our way again. We hadn't gone very far when a bucket of fire ash came straight out of the side hatch of a moored boat, straight into the cut just in front of us, I don't think they knew we were there. A steady chug saw us moored up at 3pm. at Polesworth. There was only one other boat here when we arrived but we now have at least one behind us. Tonight is an Indian Takeaway which we will collect from Ratna Indian takeaway which we have ordered on line but will pick up.

Todays Journey six and a half miles in five hours

Wednesday 21 April 2021


 For some reason the chap who moored directly behind us last night started his engine around 7am this morning not leaving until 8-30am. there were only 3 of us moored here last night, if he wanted to fire up early why not moor at the other end of the moorings alone.

We made the normal 10am. start just going about 100 yards to the water point where we sat for a good half hour while the tank filled before proceeding through the lock and hard right onto the Coventry canal. It was a lot cooler this morning requiring a coat in place of sun tan lotion. As we made our way along the Coventry Canal a boat was catching up to us, as we were in no hurry I pulled over and waved him passed, we in turn passed in in 500 yards as he was only going to Charity Dock for blacking. As we passed I photographed the cartoon cutouts that have appeared since our last trip.    

It wasn't far past here where I spotted a Blackbird with a white collar round its neck, apparently you often get Blackbirds with some white feathers. 

It's interesting to see what some people do with their gardens, some grass them all over, one we passed was all gravel with some flower beds set into them, others just let them run wild. But just a few set them out to amuse others and I suppose themselves, like this one.  

When I first saw this house looking up at the balcony had me quite puzzled and I wasn't sure what I was seeing, it really plaid tricks with my brain. Now knowing what it is it still plays the same trick.

It's actually a mirror mounted at the end of the balcony against the side of the gable end above the locker. I am not sure I would like it on my balcony, but I am not that keen on looking at myself.

When we came through the other day there was a rather laid back dog just watching the world go by from his chair, ignoring  any one or thing passing him. I did photograph him but it was too out of focus to post, he was in the same spot and pose today.

We pushed on a bit further passed Hartshill maintenance yard and Sarval pet food manufacturers, it didn't smell as bad as it sometimes does to  moor in the sunshine at Mancetter opposite a very large field of sheep and lambs, I hope they don't snore.

Todays journey nine and three quarter miles, one lock in four and a quarter hours.

Tuesday 20 April 2021

Hawkesbury Junction

 We were away a little earlier today at 9-30am for some reason. I little bit further south to wind by the entrance to Rugby Wharf were I got it slightly wrong and almost did an Ever Given across the cut, I have never winded here before and didn't realise the tip of the hole was so far out of line with the arm, so it was all a bit late. The reason for going back now is that Diana and I have been called for our second Covid jab.
It was some time before we met another boat, its been unusually quiet for some reason. Yesterday I noticed so signs on the towpath each end of the 14 day moorings at All Oaks, so today I took a picture to see what they said, I have no idea who put them up.

As we approached the bridge at Rose Narrowboats a cruiser came the other way, pity he didn't mention the ex working boat Princess Anne was a short way behind. When we came through yesterday one of Rose narrowboats employees crossed the swing bridge to the workshop and opened it for us as he left, today another chap crossed to the slipway but he just looked at us and carried on so I had to drop Diana off to do it.
Rose Narrowboats still have their old manual spoon dredger, I don't know how much work would be involved in restoring it to full working trim.
We were to see very few more boats all the way to Hawkesbury but passing the fields just before Tusses Bridge are well flooded, they were like this last time we came this way but don't remember them being flooded say 10  years ago.
There was only one other boat moored at the junction when we arrive, can't remember last time I saw it this quiet, I can only thing that the Continuous Cruisers who were moored her all through lockdown have now moved on, leaving it empty.

Todays Journey 14 miles in four and three quarter hours with no locks.

Maps curtesy of Waterways Routes.

Monday 19 April 2021


 It's been another cracking day, but boy was it cold overnight. It was a bit of a surprised to be able to hear the motorway in the distance. When we moored up there was just three of us, overnight that had gone up to seven. 10am. this morning we were away down to Hawkesbury Junction were we turned hard back on ourselves on the North Oxford canal. We did see a few more boats on the move but not as many as we expected.  The offside buoys have been removed in the cutting just before All Oaks Wood but there has been a good landslide towpath side since we were last this way.

The moorings at All Oaks were full as expected but we were heading to Brinklow Marina, this has recently been bought by Castle Marinas and they are spending quite a bit of cash bringing it up to 
standard. After thanking Dave for taking the trouble for showing us round we set off again to moor overnight at Newbold, where we were lucky enough to get the last set of mooring rings. When I checked the phone we had received texts about our second covid injections with a link to make an online appointment. Needless to say the links didn't work, so I rang the surgery and they booked us in for Saturday afternoon.
The injections sorted we decided to go for a short walk, it started well but we were soon lost and had to retrace our steps several times making it quite late getting back for dinner.

Todays journey 13.5 miles, one  very small lock in five and a half hours, but we probably spent three quarters of an hire at the marina. Map curtesy of Waterways Routes.

Sunday 18 April 2021

Between Bedworth and hawkesury Junction

We set off at our normal 10am. to find the first lock we came to with us, but the next against us, it was unusual to find the pound between locks 9 and 8 actually full of water. This memorial was beside Lock 8 to a lady who died there a few years ago.

The rest of the locks were with us and from lock 4 we were assisted by Volockies, the ones at lock 4 were under instruction but at lock 3 our friend Terry, a long term boater was on duty, round the bend to number 2 there was another who informed me that voles have been seen in some of the side pounds and finally onto the top lock the Volockies  were still being trained but an experienced one help us up while the other were being instructed. At the hop of the locks this swan decided that a garden would be the best place to build her nest and lay her eggs. Not a very good photo because the focused was set wrong. this has resulted in the rest of the photos getting dumped as well.


We met a few boats today, but no mad rush that we were expecting, the marina where we moor was half empty when we left but the new one at Mancceter looked quite full, as did Springwood Haven which I understand is under new management. We carried on in the sunshine, treading our way between the boats moored at Boot Wharf, Nuneaton. Round by the collection of cutouts, which now include the 7 dwarfs as well as the Simpsons at Charity Dock, Past the entrance to the Ashby Canal at Marston Junction to moor for the night between Bedworth and Hawkesbury Junction just after 3 35pm. so we have done 9 locks and 12 miles.
Once moored up we walked back to bridge 13 and crossed over to explore the Newdigate Colliery Arm, it doesn't actually go very far now, probably 150 yards to a dead end just before the railway bridge.

Todays Journey 9 locks 12 mines in five and a half hours

Map  courtesy or Waterway Routes

Saturday 17 April 2021

Atherstone Locks Sat 17/04/21

We set off from home at just on 9am and had an excellent drive to the boat, stopping at Bury St Edmunds to top up with diesel. Its been so long since we have done a journey of any length I can’t remember how to link the phone to Tom Tom.

We arrived at the boat and everything was in order, batteries fine with the small solar panels I have onboard. Rick on Coal Auriga from https://www.alvecotemarina.co.uk/canal-carrying/gravenor-boating-co/ did give her a look to make sure all was OK during the shutdown for us. The engine started first time and no water leaks from the plumbing so all looking good. We unpack and had a bit of lunch sitting out on the front deck in the sun shine before setting off towards Atherstone. A short hold up at Polesworth as a large branch went through the prop and wedged between the skeg and the bottom of the rudder having a very bad effect on steering.

We stopped at the services at Grendon to fill with water, while we were doing this I was aware of Atherstone locks being dropped with the surge of water, sure enough just after setting off we met a boat,as we arrived at the flight a second boat was almost down in the bottom lock so I just had to hover a bit. Just as I entered the lock a boat arrived behind us and walked up to help. The had come from the Llangollen and had only had two locks in their favour and now they were behind us. We were about half way up when a boat coming down turned the next lock against us and we were out of the lock and waiting for the second as they entered the lock. They didn’t gain anything as the boat behind us turned the bottom lock so holding them up, they didn’t gain ether as they had to wait for us to leave the lock so they could then turn it. We moored up above the second lock from the bottom behind another boat, through the bridge ahead of us its now nose to tail with moored boats.

The day has been a real cracker with no coats needed, clear sky’s and sunshine. We have done 6 miles  and 2 locks in 2 hours and 40 minutes 

Map courteously of Waterway Routes