Monday 8 January 2024

Home Mooring

First job today was to go over to the water point and dispose of the rubbish, this included the builders bag that I picked up yesterday.DSCF8914

On the way we passed the old coal yard and office that is now used by CRT volunteers, someone decided it would be fun to smash the windows and trash what ever they could find inside.DSCF8912

While we filled with water Diana took a trip to the charity shop to get rid of some jigsaws but when she returned the bag was faller than when she went. We set off down the flight, some locks against us and some with us. Our plan was to get to Grendon Bridge as the chaps were supposed to be cutting the tree down today and we would then get through in the morning. When we arrived at about half one there were no one about and no tapes across the bridge so we went through, but once under the DSCF8915bridge it you could see the small bits over the towpath they cut off to make it OK for walkers, The main tree is still laying across the canal, but too late, we were through.DSCF8915

As it was only about an hour and a half back to our berth we decided to push on passing this boat with the skull above the rear door.DSCF8916

Well we haven’t seen any snow at all but its not been very warm, about 4°C and below freezing over night. For once back at the marina there was next to no wind and I slid nicely backwards down to our berth, of course no one was watching  except thisDSCF8917chap sitting on the end of one of the pontoons and it went perfect, I even had time for the photo.

Today’s Journeyimage

8¾ miles, 11 locks in 4¾ hours.

Sunday 7 January 2024


On Friday i posted a photograph of a very large building along the Coventry canal, thanks to friend DSCF8889on the internet I now know what this building use to be, it was The Coventry Ordinance Works. Lots of information HERE .  As for the stones, again thanks to friends via  the internet, they are part of the Coventry Art Trail, number 14 see HERE .
Mike Todd thanks for the information from your blog.

The weather is definitely turning colder and at half eight this morning it was 1.4°C but bright and fine only reaching 4°C all day. I don’t think I have ever seen so many boats moored in Nuneaton, I counted 10 moored towpath side so things must be improving in town, however I did see a scooter parked in the canal on the edge of the park area, probably someone's pride and joy stolen.DSCF8907
We didn’t see a boat on the move until we got to Springwood Haven where one winded in front of me with no indication of his intentions. At Atherstone The Rothen group had several of their boats moored up, they do keep them looking smart.DSCF8910

Near bridge 37 I spotted a builders bag just floating so we backed up and retrieved it, one of these round the prop can cause damage to a boats gearbox and engine mounts. We carried on into Atherstone to moor for the night just before the locks with 3 other boats.

Today’s Journey image  8miles with no locks in 2¾ hours

Saturday 6 January 2024

Nuneaton Bridge 16

Woke to brilliant sun shine and a blue sky, first job of the mooring over to Playwrights for a traditional English cooked breakfast, my highlight of a night in Coventry Basin. This made us slightly late getting away.
These stones are set in the ground just back from the towpath by bridge 5 (I hope that's the right number) Do they have any significant meaning.DSCF8892 

It was a bit harder squeezing past the fallen fir tree on out way back, a few more revs required as you push over the tip of it.DSCF8893

The next obstacle is just the other side of the bridge, another tree fallen from the offside with just room to get round it.DSCF8895

We did meet one boat along this stretch who were heading for the basin but there were a lot of people on the towpath heading for the stadium.
This bridge still looks to be free of graffiti unless you class the mural graffiti, there is quite a bit of this artDSCF8896 work professionally carried out along the 5 mile stretch leading into town.
Thankfully lots of offside vegetation has been removed since we last came to the basin in October, there was only just room to slide through here then, but now its all cut back, as it is in other parts.DSCF8898

This must be the only sofa ever left by the towpath for well over 25 years that has not ended up un the canal. Its actually a carved stone sofa on a caved DSCF8899raft and was produced by Tim Shutter and is know as the pleasure craft, there are even a pair of oars on the back.
Once back at Sutton’s Stop we carried straight on along the Coventry canal, at Marston Junction I spotted a boat coming out of the Ashby so gave him a short pip on the horn to let him know I was there. Shortly after this a Kingfisher zoomed past us andDSCF8900 landed on the railings around the weir. It stayed just long enough for one photo before shooting off along the canal and landing in a tree. I wont post the shots I took after it had gone.DSCF8902

As soon as we came to a straight piece of piling we moored up for the night in the sunshine. If we didn’t moor here it would be the other side of Nuneaton.

Today’s Journey image

8¾ miles, no locks in 3 hours

Friday 5 January 2024

Coventry Basin

A very good meal in the Greyhound last night, we were very pleased we stopped here even if it was raining when we walked back to the boat.
This morning was fine and we set off just after ten o’clock. I always find it amusing what some people use to stop the rain going down the stack, bottle, cans, chamber pots, I posted a photo of a boot this trip and today a hat.DSCF8886

It wasn’t far to the first lock  which Diana had walked ahead to set, it has a fall of at least 10” then under the footbridge onto the Coventry Canal and turn left for Coventry.  There were quite a few branched floating around the canal that have broken off in the storms and a couple of small trees down from the off side, but its possible to push past them. Spring is on its way, yesterday snowdrops and today it’s pussy willows breaking out.DSCF8887

Half way down to Coventry Basin we passed this huge building on the off side, I guess at one time it was some kind of manufacturing shop, maybe the car industry.DSCF8889

Just a short way past this is what I think is a metal recycling yard and is partly surrounded by shipping containers stacked three high.DSCF8890

We met a couple of boats on our way to the basin, both in convenient places so were quite hopeful there would be spaces when we arrived and we weren't disappointed with 5 boats already moored in bright sunshine, we slid in down between them to moor against the swing bridge. Just look at those shadows.DSCF8891

Todays Journeyimage

5½ miles, 1 lock in 2 hours

Thursday 4 January 2024

Hawkesbury Junction (Suttons Stop)

Well a dry day and a dry night and it wasn’t long before Diana was taking us through Newbold tunnelDSCF8864

On the far side of the tunnel looking towards Brinklow, Armada’s hire base gave a nice reflection through Fall’s Bridge.DSCF8868

The reflections didn’t go away with lots more at the off side long term moorings in Cathiron.DSCF8869

The moorings may look nice but at the moment some of them are totally under water.DSCF8871

There were two CRT trucks parked up at Old Oaks Wood, I am not sure why they were there as three operatives were by the vehicles I guess that had DSCF8872ether just arrived or were about to leave. Its possible they had been securing this tree trunk, I don’t think just three of them were about to retrieveDSCF8873it. The other problem they may have been there to look at is this land slip by bridge Easenhall Lane Bridge, I ran aground on this two weeks ago, but since then the small tree has come down with it, so you have to keep close the the towpath to get by.DSCF8875

We carried on through Ansty and on towards Hawkesbury Junction, on the way we passed this well known by boaters property, just before Tusses Bridge with a garden full of old cars and VW .DSCF8881

There are even 5 in front of the house now, just to add to the collection.image

From here it wasn’t far to Hawkesbury Junction, often known as Suttons Stop where we moored just before the lock, this puts us a short walk from The Greyhound where we have a table booked for dinner tonight .

Today’s Journeyimage

11¼ miles, no locks in 4 hours

Wednesday 3 January 2024


We set off a little earlier this morning hoping to keep with the fine weather and although it looked bad we did keep dry.
Bridge 75 is going to need a bit more than a spot of Pollyfiller in the next few year, it looks as if the joints have been packed with wool, I understand this is to stop bats making the joints their homes and holding up repairs.DSCF8856  Another bridge that looks a lot more robust is showing signs of wear and tear where boats are wearing away the brickwork under the arch is bridge 66 just before Clifton Cruisers.DSCF8859

At Hillmorton a chap on a boat told Diana that he had just set the nearside lock to go down, but changed his mind as he thought it was going to rain. Just the job, thanks. We in turn set the other lock for the following boat. The water was flowing over the top gate of the nearside middle lock and I was able to open  the offside bottom gates for a single hander coming up, at the bottom lock both chambers were full, so the boat behind should get a good run. Rugby Golf Course is well flooded due to a very swollen Clifton Brook.DSCF8858

When we came south before Christmas I moaned about this tree as the branches hung down almost to the water, it seems it was in the process of falling down when we passed and managed it just after weDSCF8860 had been through. You can also see all the work going on at Clifton Cruisers on what use to be a workshop. We had a couple of Buzzards circling around above us but a Magpie was giving one a hard time,  it always surprised me how such a largeDSCF8861 predator is worried by a much smaller bird. Just look at than nice blue sky.
We stopped at Brownsover for Diana to visit Tesco, we haven’t shopped since we passed here  2 weeks ago. Just as she was about to set off the rain started, so time for lunch before a visit to Tesco in the dry. On Diana’s return it was across the other side to fill with water and then on to Newbold for the night, again there are hardly any boats moored here. If I was CCing I thing I would spend a couple of weeks here then a couple at Brownsover, but no they are both almost empty.

Today’s Journey image 

7 miles, 3 locks in 2¾ hours

Tuesday 2 January 2024


Last night when we went to bed it was raining but when I got up for my 3am wee it was a clear moon light night with a dead calm canal, however when I woke up this morning it was again raining but not much wind.
We pushed off about 10-30am just after the boat that went down the flight backwards on New Years eve came by and we followed him all the way to Braunston Turn. Due to all the rain we have had recently the water was flowing steadily off the fields into the canal, this wont  help with the silt build up.DSCF8851

At Braunstone Turn we went left up the North Oxford, I was going to stop at Midland Chandlers but not only was it chucking it down there was a boat already moored outside. We carried on in the rain and what I was dreading the wind was picking up and we needed diesel and a pump-out at Dunchurch Pools marina, always fun in the blustery wind, but today the wind was probably in the best quarter. I crept in close to the bank, put Harnser’s nose against the very shore end of the pontoon and allowed the wind to take the stern round and lay us along side. Once the diesel tank was full and the poo tank empty I paid my dues and we were off again, out of the marina and turned left passing under bridge 80, WRG repaired this bridge some years agoDSCF8853not long after CRT took over from BW but again its starting to crack, its all down to the bridge foundations or lack of them. I hope WRG didn’t give them a guarantee. We carried on for a bit and moored between bridges 78 and 79. since we have been here the rain stopped, the sun came out for a short time, the rain started again and now its blowing a gale.

Todays Journeyimage 6 miles, no locks in 2¼ hours.

Monday 1 January 2024


Well its another new year so a few statistics from 2023. We covered just over 1000 miles and did  657 lock, that took us 500 hours over 140 days.

Last night we went to bed to the sound of rain, this morning we woke up to sunshine, the strange thingDSCF8837was the temperature was still dropping and was actually coldest at 9-30am when it dropped just below 3°C. The last time we moored the boat in this spot over night it was locked in ice for about 4 weeks and friends put it back on its moorings when the ice thawed, we are moored directly opposite our old mooring at Napton.
We had a good run down the locks with a boat having just come up the flight, as we arrived at the top lock a boat arrived at the bottom, I think they thought we turned the lock as Dian drew the top paddles just to top up the leakage so a bit long faced as we passed. We were to meet another 3 boats before reaching the bottom of the flight. Moored below the locks facing uphill was an old riveted hulled boat, he had come all the way down the flight backwards yesterday afternoon to avoid getting stuck in lock 10.
This boat had a small electric outboard motor attached to the rear of the hull, I don’t know if it DSCF8839was the only form of propulsion, it also has a large gas cylinder laid across the back end, another on the deck plus a petrol generator.
Passing Napton Narrowboats we counted 24 hire boats waiting for the hire season to start again.DSCF8841

Just past Napton Narrowboats someone has erected a silhouette of a lone soldier with his football on the meadow  on the offside. I must admit I didn’t noticeDSCF8845 it on our way out. Rather a fitting location I thought, alone out in a field.
The seagulls seem to have taken a liking the signpost outside Wigrams Turn marina DSCF8847

We were now on the Grand union, when we came up there wasn’t hardly a single boat moored between here and Braunston, now its back to normal with some of them on bends or as close to bridges as possible, in fact we have seen more boats on the move today than the past 2 weeks.
The private offside mooring at Lower Shuckburgh under Jackson’s foot bridge have grown longer since we were last in this part of the world, I am sure they only just went under the bridge.DSCF8848One thing I did notice but didn’t get a photo of is what I believe is “The Wolfhampcote Grange. It’s a rather imposing looking building and in my opinionDSCF8850not really in keeping with the area, it looks to be on the line of the disused railway line and is something to do with Anchor Farming Group.
I looked for it on Google Maps but its just a barren spot image

We moored quire close to it for the night so that Diana could go exploring (be noisy)and needless to say since we have been here its started to rain. 

Today’s Journeyimage6 miles, 7 locks in 3 hours