Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Hartshill To Atherstone.

A day of decisions.

It's funny how quickly the keenness to move on evaporates when you awake to the sound of rain hitting the roof.
This is then quickly replaced by a new kind of keenness to get as far under the quilt as possible without actually suffocating.

This just about sums up Atherstone this afternoon.

There was a brief respite from the rain for a couple of hours so we decided to take a chance with moving on and try not to get too wet.
It started again just as we were mooring up for the that little trip will have to do for now.

One last decision to make or no fire?

No contest!

Until next time...................


Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Ansty To Hartshill. 1 Puddle With Gates.

Bad light stops Blog!!!!!

The light in my "office" would only glow dimly last night as the tube failed.
Changing one of these old tubes is a major operation and not one to take on in the dark as there are so many tiny little screws involved.
It's working now though.

Yesterday was another day when we seemed to go too far.
It was a perfect autumnal day, very still and quiet with a continuous mist in the air - not enough water to be called rain - but best of all there were no other boats out and about.

This was the scene at the normally packed moorings at Sutton Stop/Hawkesbury Junction.

Whilst we were stopped and taking on water, one of the four moving boats we saw that day came along and took the puddle with gates stop lock. No worries there though, they were heading for Atherstone in a bit of a hurry.

A vandal with a sense of the ironic at Nuneaton?

It's still there, all on it's own. I know it's been asked over and over again, but, why did they leave that one when they removed the others?

Our journey took us past the junction to the Ashby, invoking memories of chugging up there in the freezing cold way back in February to pick up Crunchie.

It was getting late as we approached a mooring way out in the country that we have stopped at three times before and been in total solitude.
This time though there were three boats nose to tail crammed in on it, I know I keep going on about boaters doing this, but they really might as well be in a marina.
There are hundreds of places to moor along here but this particular place has a really good view and is a very nice place to be............. on your own.

It's somewhat akin to camping in the solitude of the woods and then having three other campers coming along and pitching their tents almost on top of yours.

Staying put today.

Until next time.......................


Sunday, 26 September 2010

Rugby...ish To Ansty. 1 Tunnel.

Cold, wet and windy, just another day then.


The Newbold tunnel..........................again.

We did a lot more miles than we set out to do today.

After stopping at Rugby itself for the inevitable Tesco's trip, our minds were made up to move on when we spotted an "Element" of people on another boat moored there.

We have seen them around here before and know they have a vicious dog aboard which they delight in pointing towards cats.
This might account for the amount of missing cat notices you can find pinned up in the area.

Keep your eye on the little white cruiser approaching us.

I know it doesn't look it but there is plenty of room to pass.

Bouncing gracefully off the red spotted boat straight into our path it was then panic time aboard the little one.
Twelve odd tons of steel can make a right old mess of a boat shaped piece of fibreglass.

Luckily I had just awoken from my afternoon nap on the tiller and stopped Ubique dead in the water as he proceeded to bounce down our side.

He did apologise........... but I think he came off worse.

Until next time...........................


Saturday, 25 September 2010

Willoughby To Rugby...ish, 3 Locks.

Blackberries, our first frost and then out with the speeding boats.

I did think it was a bit chilly this morning when I woke up, the frost all over the seats in the cratch proved me right.

The sun soon came through though and started to make an impression on the day.

There were so many Blackberries in the hedgerow that it was difficult to stop collecting them, the Apples came from Calcutt Boats for a donation to their charity box.
Another crumble is on the way!

Nature really can seem to be so cruel sometimes.
The same parents that have been nurturing, feeding and vigorously defending their cygnets up to now have got to turn on them and drive them away.
It seems that as soon as the cygnets turn white it is like a red rag to a bull to the parents and they must go.
If a teenage swan can look bewildered that one certainly did.

It's a good job we human parents don't adopt a similar attitude to our teenagers.
Mind you, on the other hand............................

Heading off to Hillmorton and beyond we passed this advert.

I think that they might be being a bit ambitious with the opening date.

Getting to Hillmorton today was one long round of letting boats - who are going far too fast - go past us. These were mainly boats from Braunston Marina tearing off out for the weekend.
One culprit tore past us as I pulled over with all the thanks and waves only to have us pass him at the pub moorings fifteen minutes later.

Perhaps they had missed "Beer o'clock"!!!

We are now back at the moorings just outside of Rugby.
Our new plan "A"  means that we have a certain amount of back tracking to do, least we know where we are going.

Until next time.......................

I have finally got the other page working, please have a look at it by clicking the tab at the top of the Blog.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Bridge 101 To Willoughby.

Lots of wind and a bit of rain = A short day.

Oooo...... that wind was a blowing today.
Two hours we plodded on before we stopped, that also included a stop at Braunston for a top up of water.

Gloves and coats were on, how can this be the same country as we were in the other day?

Reception here is as good as a chocolate tea pot, it's rarity equals that of hens teeth and rocking horse manure.


Until next time.........................


Thursday, 23 September 2010

New plan! 

We spent a good part of yesterday sitting in the cratch soaking up the sunshine and trying to decide exactly what we are going to be doing this winter.
One thing that was absolutely definite is that we are not going to be doing the Braunston, Hillmorton, Rugby circuit this year.

"Off we go to the Shroppie then" is the new plan A. 



So........after a cruise to turn around and get back to Calcutt Boats where we picked up some lovely spares for our BMC, we started the journey to our chosen wintering grounds.

Braunston first!



It was another great day for being out on the water today, it seemed that whichever way we were going every other boat was going in the opposite direction.

In and.......



out of this oh so picturesque bridge.


The late afternoon/early evening sun was like a spotlight on the countryside today, some places were bathed in light while others were totally ignored.
These two were directly opposite our mooring for the night.

Until next time...................


Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Napton And.......... Return.

Two days ago we were toasting in front of the fire, today we are topping up our tans.

The sun is out, the sky is blue what are we going to do?
Well...... we were staying put but it's too excuse was needed for moving on.
We could do with some more liquid Platinum says I, OK says D.

If only everything was that easy!

Off we went to a garage that we know about at Napton Junction. (Thanks to NB Harnser for that tip) 

Boaters flocking to moorings always baffles me but this lot have a good's a pub!
Obviously no chance of getting in here though.

After visiting the place where I had to leave my wallet for some explosive liquid we were still not ready to moor up.
This was just as well as we passed through here...... "Parking"?

Arriving at the bottom of the Napton Flight we turned quickly around and chugged  back through the countryside practically to where we had started from.


You might think this trip was a complete waste of time and a bit of a crime, you could be right.
But on a day like this and at this time of the year, it would have been more of a crime to miss out on it.

Until next time......................


Monday, 20 September 2010

Norton Junction To Bridge 100 On The Oxford/GU. 6 Locks And 1 Tunnel.

We are listing with vittles.........for now.

Norton Junction.

Reversing back to our chosen Tesco pick up point we were amazed to find a space that we could fit in to.
Whilst we were waiting there, Graham from NB Armadillo came by for a quick chat before he headed off to Braunston.
Our goods arrived in good time and we were on our way again.

The run up to Braunston Tunnel would be a great place to be on a baking summer day...............dream on.

A "Yellow Peril" had moored itself just on the entrance to the tunnel........... don't you just love em?

Back to the other side of the tunnel and this is the result of all that drainage work last winter. Back to the drawing board BW methinks!

A quick two mile an hour dash through a fairly crowded Braunston, and.........

back out past the sunken boat that all efforts to re float it have obviously failed so far, then onto...............

Hargreaves Bridge.............. bringing back all those frozen in memories of last winter, it's a little bit different now though.

Until next time.....................


Sunday, 19 September 2010

Norton Junction.

How quickly things change............

The winter chimney was out and up yesterday afternoon as it turned really cold and our first fire of the season was well under way.

Someone found it very quickly and was soon flat out on the log box with a huge grin on her face.

We walked back to the top lock this morning to see if we could squeeze in yet.

Not a chance!

We have got to get there by the morning to meet Tescos or we will be going hungry - and more importantly - thirsty.

Until next time...................


Saturday, 18 September 2010

Willoughby To Norton Junction. 6 Locks And 1 Tunnel.
Oh no, it begins again...........

Yesterday morning found us umming and ahhing as to moving off or staying put.
As it turned out the decision was made for us by a boat mooring up right in front of us and disgorging three huge dogs onto the towpath.
Was it something we said? they asked as we went by, no of course not came the very polite reply.
Three miles into Braunston and there was not another boat moored up all the way in, he could have moored anywhere along there. He must have been one of those people who seem to have a need to be close to another boat, I don't know if they feel safer doing that or if they are just used to being packed together in a Marina.

Having that tree crunching down onto the boat in the middle of the night would certainly have made you jump, this one was unoccupied though.

An old "steamer" on the end of a long line of boats at Braunston.

This is the new towpath that they were building when we passed this way back in March.
Is it just me or does that look a bit worse for wear as it is only six months old?
It is still flooded in places and that was what the work was supposed to cure.

We have come up to Buckby Top Lock to pick up a Tesco delivery on Monday but unfortunately we couldn't get moored as that is packed out as well.
Our mooring here though is very good and only a six to seven hundred yard reverse back should a gap appear.

Ubique has a bow thruster fitted - or girly button or cheats switch etc etc - this is akin to having a rudder at the front and it enables me steer in reverse nearly as well as moving forwards.
This opens up lots of extra options for us where the normal one would be trying to wind (turn around) somewhere to get back............ so girly button it is!  

The chainsawing season has started, the roof is all messy with logs again, the flue has been swept (why I haven't done that sooner, I just don't know!) the winter quilt is out and the summer chimney will soon be changed for the winter we go.

Until next time...................


Thursday, 16 September 2010

Clifton To Willoughby, 3 Locks.

Back to the country. 

It seemed a whole lot quieter this morning so off we went to Hillmorton where there is all this work going on upgrading the moorings (re-doing the bankside).

There is still nowhere to moor though, boats are even two abreast. The water point was just about available so we took advantage and topped up.

A lovely day at Hillmorton bottom lock with its lock gate sculpture lying spread eagled on the grass.

The mooring situation was no better at the top of the locks, not a single space left.............. so we headed off out into the country.

This bridge seems to be even worse this time around.
BW have put a laminated A4 sign on a stick asking boats to slow down as the bridge is badly damaged.

That's OK then.

Only one hour away from Braunston and the countryside is at it's best.

The Natives are friendly as well as being sooooo cute.

Until next time.......................