Monday 20 February 2023


Last night we had a takeaway Indian meal from The Yard Spice, needless to say there is sufficient for dinner today as well. TV reception here was zero but we were close to an aerial array so that may have been the cause. We didn’t have the best of nights sleep, first it was what we think were cats screaming and then early hours a pare of large white geese trying to wake the dead. This morning was absolutely great with temperatures well into double figures hitting 16°C by mid morning.
Just as we were setting off the two boats behind us left so I gave then a bit of room to get away before we pushed off.
I managed to get a bit better look of the new poetry boards, part of the Polesworth poetry trail.DSCF7596 
Unfortunately some are not weathering to well by the look of things, maybe they are only meant to be temporary.

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As we approached Pooley Country Park the golden Obelisk was glinting in the sunshine, I say gold as it is all gold leaf, top to bottom.DSCF7598

Not long after this we were back in the marina, a slight breeze so I decided to wind in the opposite direction which went well, unlike dropping backwards into our slot, but a doo have an excuse, from when I winded to when I tried to get in our slot I was distracted by a fox who I think had found something to eat, the surprising thing was there were people and dogs about but both seemed oblivious to each other.DSCF7610

I hope I haven’t made the wrong decision but I haven’t drained the water, just isolated at the tank and opened all the taps.

Today’s Journey image

2¼ miles, No locks in 1 hour

Sunday 19 February 2023


Last night laying in bed it sounded like birds pecking on the deck, not ducks at the water line, although they did a bit of that as well. The mystery was solved this morning, it was Blackthorn growing out of the bank rubbing on the side of the hull. 
We were away about quarter to ten, stopping for water and dumping the rubbish at the top of the flight. Two observations, the tap is slow and the Biffa bins are half full of sheet polystyrene.We had a good run down the flight, all the locks were against us but all the water levels were good. It took us two hours and ten minutes.
Between locks 4 and 5 a walker enquired if we were doing the whole flight and then told us there was a section of wooden fencing in the canal just below lock 7, he was right, but it came out quite easy with the boat hook.
There is a lovely show of daffodils beside lock 2, they are the best we have seen so far.DSCF7588 

In the now disused side pond, at I think it was lock 8 there are a large number of fresh water mussel shells laying on top of the weed, I don’t know if this could be the work of an Otter, I understand they have been seen down here.DSCF7589

Clear of the locks and I spotted a short train on the main line, a diesel engine each end and just 3 yellow coached in between, I couldn’t get a clear shot due to the bushes and sun coming towards me.DSCF7591

By now the weather was quite warm as we made our way to our mooring for the night a Polesworth, just before we passed under the West Coast Main line they were motorbike scramble racing up on the hill, even racing sidecar combinations. I think its the first time we have seen any activity here .DSCF7592

We are really living it up this week, tonight will be an Indian on Chinese takeaway.

Todays Journeyimage

5 miles, 11 locks in 3¾ hours

Saturday 18 February 2023


Last night as we were in a city we went out to eat, we couldn’t get a table at Jinseon where we have been in the past with the table BBQ, so we decided to try Ghana Restaurant/Afrilicken Junction and it was interesting. We will probably have a Takeaway from there next time as the venue is not over exciting. Despite the weather forecast the evening stayed dry as can be seen from this night shot.IMG_20230217_230002 (2)

The basin was deserted over night and we had a very quiet night but you need good blackouts as its like daylight all night. This morning another treat with a full cooked breakfast at Playwrights, I was surprised when asked if we had booked at 9 in the morning, they certainly do a good trade.
We set off at 10am leaving an empty basin behind us, we had been the only boat there all night, but we did meet on boat making their way to the end.DSCF7573 (2)

There are some interesting sculptures along the towpath as you come into Coventry, but I a at a lose to know what this one depicts, part of an old car, but the context is lost on me.DSCF7575
Its good to see no one has managed to throw the sofa in the canal yet or set fire to it, I can’t remember when it first appeared. There are evenDSCF7577 more flats and houses along the banks of the arm now, there can’t be room for many more to be built.
As we came into Bedworth we ran into fine drizzle but it only lasted a few minutes to be followed by a dull rainbow but we couldn’t see any sun. The wood framed building has grown a little in the past week, I think I will look the plans up to see what its going to be. Coming into Nuneaton we met Jason on Bargus towing his butty with a new dog onboard.
We are heading back to base due to two stoppages on this stretch starting Monday, the first a gas pipe is the longest shutdown, not sure how they will spin the job out that long, probably days of doing nothing, the other is shorter and a foot bridge in Atherstone. That one has notices up warning of the closure, but nothing at Nuneaton.
Passing The Anchor Pub at Hartshill we could see that as well as a large marque behind the building they have also cleared a lot of land and put new fences up.DSCF7583

We carried on to moor for the night a short way before the Atherstone flight with the houses between us an the railway.

Today’s Journeyimage

16¼Miles no locks in 5¼ hours

Friday 17 February 2023

Coventry Basin

The wind picked up during the night and was quite gusty at times today but the temperature was already in double figures at 9 o’clock (that’s when I checked it). We set off for the final ½mile of the Ashby canal, some of the bridges could do wit a bit of pointing on the stone work.DSCF7571

We were soon back to the main line and turned left towards Hawkesbury Junction. To out surprise there were actually vacant mooring spots down by the water point, they must have known we weren’t stopping. At the junction we went straight ahead down to Coventry Basin for the night, we did wonder if there would be any spaces as I expect its 14 day moorings in the winter, anxiety levels were raised when we saw two boats moored outside the basin, canal side, near the water point. However as we came under bridge No.1 we could see the basin was completely empty, we are hear all alone. We haven’t seen a single boat on the move all day. As I write this we have had to turn the stove off, its 30°C in the boat and 17°C outside. The Baltic shop is sill there so a few bits bought, the Portuguese shop is now a cafĂ© in competition with Playwrights but thankfully they still sell home made cakes, so a small stock was bought for the boat.

Today’s Journeyimage

8¾ miles, no locks in 2¾ hours.

Thursday 16 February 2023

Marston Jabbett

It turned quite cool again during the night but mild this morning and all day, although its been very overcast until mid afternoon. There were nowhere near as much traffic about today and we only met one boat and had one follow us all day.
It wasn’t much of a problem getting off the soft mud this morning but tis strange walking around the boat with a list on. I noticed yesterday as we crossed Shenton Aqueduct some one has cut the full length of the offside bank which use to give access to the Battle Field, I am not sure would do this or why.DSCF7567

This is something you don’t see every day, an outboard powered Narrowboat, but this looks like a permanent feature.DSCF7568

We carried on to fill with water at the A5 road bridge near the Lime kilns pub before continuing almost to Marston Junction to moor for the night.

Today’s Journeyimage

14 miles, no locks in 5¼ hours

Wednesday 15 February 2023

Far Coton

Last night I was guilty of leaving git gaps, when we moored up there was a boat, a gap of about 70 feet and then a row of boats, so I moored in the gap close to the row of boats, what happened the boat in front left so it looked like I had moored inconsiderately.
Early morning was quite cool and when I looked out this morning we has bright sunshine and frost on the grass, by the time we set off the frost had gone and we had a fisherman right by our stern, there was another by the bows of the next boat, not the grumpy sort and made sure I had room to lose off and leave.
There is a patch of reeds down the canal and I don’t think I have ever seen taller, not even in Norfolk grown for thatching.DSCF7555

It was a steady run in the sunshine down to Snarestone tunnel, not the straightest tunnel on the system but wide with quite a low profile.DSCF7557 (2)

Down at the end we decided not to go through the new lock with the footbridge across it but to wind and moor up to spend a few pennies in the trusts shop. At the moment if you want to pass through the lock you have to get it unlocked by a member of the trust as its not been handed over yet.DSCF7561

After bit of a chat and as I said parting with  a couple of quid we were on our way south again, it wasn’t long before the sun was considering saying goodbye.
Its good to see have all been repainted although the comedian who has gone to great trouble in the past to deface the mileposts at this end of the canal is still trying to spoil things, unless its bird poo dripped down They only targeted about the last 3 posts for some reason.DSCF7562

Our plan was to moor at Market Bosworth for the night and there was actually one space there by the water point, all the best moorings have been handed over to the marina, however as there is now a building site opposite and they are constantly reversing dumper trucks with their bleep bleep bleep we decided to carry on through bridge 38 at Far Coton. The canal is not to deep here by the towpath so we are well aground, slight list to port and two foot from the bank, no need for fenders.DSCF7566

Today’s Journeyimage

11½ miles, no locks in 4 hours

Tuesday 14 February 2023


I am pleased to report there is no more water leaking from the pump and no air in the pipes, so that’s a success.

It was a bit chilly last night, down to 0.8° C but it was up to 3° C when we got up with thick fog. The fog cleared a bit by the time we set off just afterDSCF7546 10am. but it hung around until after lunch when the sun came out.
We have seen a couple of hire boats out from Braunston today but not as much on the move as yesterday.
Passing Sutton Wharf they were lifting a boat out using a hiab lorry mounted crane, it was only a cruised but I thought the lorry was well away from the edge and had the boom well out to reach it, I don’t know what weight they can lift. There were four chaps with lifejackets and crash hats as well as at least three in hivis jackets, so it looked more than someone just having their boat lifted.DSCF7549

As you can see by now the weather was a bit better but it was over another hour before the sun peeped out. We were now following a boat but they pulled in after about half a mile so we were on our own again. Spring is on its way with loads of catkins out,DSCF7550 there are even a few pussy willows starting to show as well as daffodils and snowdrops.
Bosworth Marina will be the half way point on this canal when the final length is opened. The Ashby Canal society (probably the wrong title) do a grand job keeping the mile posts smart.

Our original plan (made yesterday) was to stop at bridge 47 and go to the pub for a meal not considering today was Valentines day, when Diana reminded me we decided that may not be the best idea as they would probably be packed, so we carried on to moor in Shackerstone just past bridge 52. By now the sky’s were clear, the sun was out and it was some 13°C almost summer like. DSCF7553Talking of spring, I hope the lambs don’t keep calling all night.

Todays Journey image

12¾ miles, no locks in 5 hours

Monday 13 February 2023


We were all set to go this morning at 10 am when I decided a quick trip to the loo was called for. On flushing the loo a bleeping was heard to be coming from the galley, it was the water alarm that sits in the tray with the water pump. The water supply has been a bit spluttery all trip with air in the system, I put this down to a slight leak on the lid of the pump inlet strainer sucking air in when the pump runs and letting a very slight weep out when it isn’t. The pump tray was dried out, the strainer top loosened and retightened and we will see how it goes, I am glad I fitted the water alarm, last time it went off the pump was leaking.DSCF7536

So half ten and we are on our way, we passed an exworking pair, some of you may recognise them,before continuing on to stop at the Hartshill old BWB yard to fill with water.DSCF7538

There were a lot more boats around today and we were to meet several before mooring up. Today was brighter than yesterday but no warmer.
Coming into Nuneaton we passed this garden wall, its been painted for some time now and still showingDSCF7542 no signs of vandalism, maybe Nuneaton is getting better, I see more and more boats moored there now. To the other side of Nuneaton work is still continuing on the large warehouse complex. They are now erecting a large timber framed structure, I have no idea of its purpose.DSCF7543

When we reached Marston Junction we turned hard left along the Ashby, by now the sky had cleared completely and it was constant warm sunshine on our backs, visibility in the opposite direction wouldn’t have been too good as the sun got lower in the sky. We carried on to Hinkley, mooring for the night on the visitor moorings just past the Sea scouts. The towpath here was closed for several months for resurfacing and what a mess it is now, DSCF7545the surface sticks to the soles of your shoes like mud, ideal for getting on a boat.

Today’s Journey

12 miles, no locks in 4½ hours

Sunday 12 February 2023


Today didn’t quite go as we had hoped, It was just after 10am when we went to set off, the same time as the boat moored between us and the locks, so we followed him to the bottom lock. He was sort of single handed, I say sort of as he had got a friend to come and help him up the flight, the friend was 75 and never worked a lock before, it didn’t go well, Diana tried to explain what was needed but by lock 9 they had parted company and the friend was heading back to his car. The single hander, well he was now said he was only doing 4 locks when actually he miss counted and moored below lock 5. To give him his due, after mooring up he had locks 5 and 4 ready for me. We did actually get along better after his ex friend had gone home. The other thing we hadn’t planned on was two pounds fully drained, the first between 8 and 9 but that is very short with a long pound above, but then 2 to 3 was dry as well, this meant letting water down from the summit. Once in the top lock Diana nipped off to post a letter and I struggled to get the top gate open, it had been leaking badly when I entered the lock, once open I couldn’t close it again. I don’t carry a rake but poking round with the pole I could feel the obstruction under the gate and by opening the gate a bit more I was able to pull it from under the gate and up with a boat hook. It was a car tyre.  We had planned to take water above the top lock but as we came up in the lock another boat arrived and pulled onto the water point to fill up.
Just as we set off the CRT chap turned up to refill the top two pounds as someone had phoned it in, so he was surprised to see us just leaving. I explained it all to him and we were on our way. A bit long winded but that was basically our morning. As we came slowly up the flight Atherstone Castle was clearly visible in the distance. 
Once we were away from the locks we passed one of The Rothern Groups new boats looking very smart DSCF7532on her moorings. Academies was moored outside there yard and there is a blue top on the hard being worked on.DSCF7533

We only planned to go a short way after this and moored for the night by the winding hole just prior to bridge 33.

Todays Journey image

4 miles, 11 locks in 4 hours

Saturday 11 February 2023

Bottom Atherstone Locks

We had a very good run from home to where we left M42 where we found our turning closed off, off the A5 and Tomtom didn’t know about, so we continued along the A5 and then relied on Tomtom to take in a long loop to get us back to the road to the marina. Once on board it was a case of unpacking the car and wile Diana packed things away I refilled the freshwater system, this is quite straight forward, open the isolation valve on the tank and switch the pump on and wait for water to come out of both cold and hot taps. It was just as well I drained down as I recorded down below -2° on the floor of the boat, well below water level.
After lunch we left the marina and headed towards Coventry, the weather although very overcast was surprisingly mild with no wind. Needless to say we didn’t see any boats on the move but one did come down the flight about 5pm.
For a long time there have been Plaques, poems and writings along the Pooley section of towpath, now there are a few more new ones.DSCF7529

Todays Journeyimage

4¾ miles no locks in 1¾  hours