Thursday, 20 September 2012

Monday 17 September 2012

Braunston - Napton - Braunston - Home

Yes, we have returned home for a few days, but not before spending several days in Braunston supporting the local economy, shops, pub and of course the chandlers.

We tootled down to Napton to charge the batteries, and took a walk up the locks. On our return walk down the towpath back to the boat, we could see a gathering of people looking down into a lock, and boats tied up AND 2 CART people making their way there too. Apparently a narrow boat going up a lock, had unknowingly pinched its rudder in the bottom gates as they closed. Consequently when the top paddles were opened and the water level rose, the rear of the boat was stuck fast. Fortunately, the boaters around knew what to do and quickly shut the top paddles and slowly emptied the lock, so that the gates could be opened and the boat freed. The elderly couple on board, must have had a frightening few moments, and when we looked at the stern of their boat, the rudder clearly extended beyond the rear fender, so it had probably occurred before.

After a mediocre lunch at The Bridge at Napton (new management), we passed this sunken boat, that had definitely been floating 2 days previously, and returned to Braunston, enjoyed a 2 for 1 meal at The Boat, and left the boat in a marina for a few days. The wood burning stove was in action before we left - lovely days but very cold evenings in Northamptonshire!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Sunday 9 Sep 2012

Off the Ashby, off the Coventry, and on to the North Oxford Canal down to Braunston.

Which way to turn at the end of the Ashby - what a dilemma! Well it was near lunchtime, and so the draw of The Greyhound at Hawkesbury sorted that out! We turned left, (thinking we can always turn again at Hawkesbury) The pub was busier than the canal, and the day was so perfect we stayed overnight at Hawkesbury.

The next morning the sky was absolutely cloudless, and we decided to continue south and so onto the Oxford Canal.

Here is the crew, ready to go, but not before a dash about with a miniature Bentley, named Cara.
She was a delight, also rehomed from Ireland, mixed with spaniel, just as we suspect Bentley is.They made a lovely couple!

This is the inside of Newbold on Avon Tunnel - and every time we go through it, there are fewer and fewer disco lights glowing.. A sign of the times.

A lovely weekend, lots of boats out, more than we can recall, all this summer, but the barometer is falling fast

We are now back at Braunston, very familiar to us.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

From the end of the Ashby Canal at Snarestone down to Sutton Wharf Bridge

Another lovely morning, and after a spot of blackberrying, we turned around and left the end of the Ashby, and headed south. A sizeable bank vole swam down the length of the boat just after we set off, a rare sight indeed. Back through that kinky tunnel to Shackers as Shackerstone is known.

A planned lunch stop at Shackerstone,was disappointing, as the Rising Sun pub was shut today, so take'n'bake rolls again. We set off in the afternoon sun intending a short afternoon, but the plans went awry as we just couldn't get close in to moor - too shallow, in so many nice spots. The huge clumps of floating water iris and weed, meant that the propeller needed clearing now and then,  We ended up mooring much further down the canal than planned, but never mind, a quiet spot to ourselves, oh then came another and another boat to join us, presumably they had mooring difficulties too.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Congerstone to Snarestone, Ashby Canal, Leicestershire

The day started early for some - not us - as boat after boat passed on their way back down the Ashby from the show at Shackerstone - a really lovely morning, and it was not long before we were moving northwards, threading our way through the remaining boats alongside the Shackerstone Festival site.

It called for a slow and patient course snaking alongside the many decorated boats, and on northwards towards the end of navigation. Snarestone Tunnel has a slight kink in it, but is dry. We reached the end just before lunch and after taking on water, decided it was such a quiet and lovely spot, to moor up for the day, and what a good decision it was. A sunny, warm afternoon, with the occasional boat arriving for water and to turn round. We walked around the new slipway and moorings at the current of navigation. It is obvious that plans to link the navigation to Measham, are well in hand.

Bentley and a rather nice Alsation, who appeared from nowhere, peer into the water at the end of the canal together.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Congerstone, Ashby Canal Leicstershire

Well, we might have been back onboard 4 days, but we haven't been very far! After a pumpout at Ashby Boats, by a mobile tank on a Reliant Robin! we moored at Dadlington, and what a cold night - not far off a frost.

  On Friday we walked into Stoke Golding, neat village with good shop, and then boated on to our current spot at Conglestone. In view of the Family Festival weekend here, we were incredibly lucky to get a mooring at all, even though it has meant over 2 miles walking to and from the show site. Historic boats galore, and they kept on passing us late into Friday evening, 70footers, towing, and serious boaters with boiler suits, the women too!

We ventured into the show site on Saturday with the dog - wrong - took him back to the boat and went back - loads to see historic cars, old tractors, traction engines, dog training, Theakstons ales, sheep dog herding ducks, mower racing, etc etc. A very big show, that continued on into Sunday. We were a little disappointed that the  Battle of Britain Memorial flight didn't happen, but we enjoyed the overhead flying from a spitfire.- that got everyone out of the beer tent!

Our show ticket gave us a discounted rate for the Battlefield Line, a steam train ride up to Shenton and the Bosworth Battlefield site, so we duly took advantage of that.

The picture shows the Blue Circle Engine, apparently it once belonged to blue circle cement.

Good weekend - well organised show - .

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Congerstone to Stoke Golding via Snarestone

Well, what a day. After the lovely weather yesterday, it rained. And rained. And rained.

We'd planned to go to Shackerstone and get the Heritage Steam Train down to the "Battle of Bosworth Country Park". Unfortunately, there is a boat festival at Shackerstone this weekend, and every available mooring spot on the canal was stacked with "Historic Boats", sometimes 3 deep across the cut.

Manoeuvring through the boats in the wind and the rain was a challenge, but we managed without hitting anything (though in the process, we did lose an umbrella).

Eventually we reached the current end of the Ashby Canal at Snarestone:

Thankfully there was a pause in the rain while we looked around.

After turning the boat around (always an interesting exercise), we headed south again. Predictably, the rain started again, and we had a repeat of manoeuvring through all the boats at Shackerstone.

But eventually, we've arrived near Stoke Golding. The sun is now shining, and it looks to be a good evening.

That's the end of this voyage for us - it's been an interesting and enjoyable trip.

16.5 miles and one tunnel (twice) today.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Burton Hastings to Congerstone

Another lovely day for boating - not constant sunshine, but enough of it not to feel cold. Why isn't the British Summer always like this?

We've gently pootled up the Ashby Canal - it really is a lovely rural canal - nothing dramatic, just pleasant scenery and the occasional small village. Unlike the dire warnings from a few years ago, navigation hasn't been a problem, nor have moorings - there are now many more places to moor than the 'official' ones marked on the map, though like everywhere else, so many moorings seem to be occupied by boats there for the duration...

The various wharves and marinas on the canal all look very well looked after - quite a change from some of the other canals - all giving the impression of a canal that people really care about.

We are now moored near Congerstone, which is a one pub village vaguely near Market Bosworth.Barney and I have been for a 3.5 mile walk through the local fields and towpath, so he's a bit happier than when we've only been able to walk up and back the towpath for a while.

14 miles and no locks today.