Monday, 20 September 2010

Slowing down and less exertion

Monday 13th September to Sunday 19th September

26 Miles, 6 Locks – for this week

Totals: 236 Miles 289 Locks, 7Tunnels, 6 Swing Bridges

This was a somewhat lazy week in terms of travel and the travel that I did do was also of a non-exertion state.

As I mentioned last week the TV and internet signals were both good at Atherstone so I stayed put on Monday and got stuck into work. I did however take a wander around – firstly along the towpath down (or should that be up) to Lock 1 – the numbering was going down but the locks were going up – nevertheless I found Bridge 41 and walked along the road into the town centre – not far at all.

A new entry in the lovliest lock competition - Bridge 43 / Lock 5 at Atherstone

Atherstone High Street
I was very impressed with the High street – a good range of shops (excluding a decent coffee shop) and there were a great many people out and about – found a locksmith and had a spare key cut for the front doors as well as a replacement watchband – the other had almost broken through.

Tuesday came along and the first thing I noticed was that we had a decided list to starboard (away from the towpath) – mmmmm that wasn’t good – a quick look outside and the water level was down in the pound – quickly dressing and down to the lock – no paddles left up and all seemed OK; boats were coming down so I assumed that everything would resolve itself. Set off at 9:30 and made it to the first lock and the lock-keeper made an appearance – there would be a delay whilst water was let down to completely stabilise all of the pounds.

Only an hour delay, but where I might have lost an hour waiting, I made up in time and energy. You see, whilst hardly anyone gathered at the bottom locks – only 2 boats waiting to come up, there apparently was a fair sized queue to come down, so naturally everyone was dead keen to get the process moving as quickly as possible and be on their way – magic for a single-handed boater – there were plenty of people willing to work the gates and paddles – I didn’t have to do a thing, but of course there were gracious and grateful thank-yous all along the way – when I reached the top there was still a queue of 7 more boats waiting to come down.

A casual cruise down to Nuneaton as I had arranged to catch up with Les ad Pauline, which I did and very pleased to see them both again – didn’t get back to the boat until after 8pm, but a very nice afternoon/evening.

As I was very much ahead of the schedule that I had mentally penned out I decided to make a bit of a detour and head up the Ashby for a couple of days – which turned out to be 4 nights – moored up for 2 days by Bridge 16 where I was quite happy and then decided to cruise 2 miles up to wind and had every intention of continuing back to the Coventry, but became waylaid along the way by mooring up outside Trinity Marina – although the sign said ₤5 per night I was prepared to pay – a nice outlook. Started chatting with Mac from Painted Lady –“no, don’t worry about the sign – they never come along to collect it” – 2 more nights and no outlay, and right outside the pub – just the spot to have a pint and read the paper at lunchtime (oh and something to eat with all of that as well).

For the first time since I have been on the boat, Friday night was so cold that I needed to put the heater on – ended up being about 4C overnight and such a crisp Saturday morning.

Sunday was finally the day to move and cruised down to Hawkesbury Junction – I had never been through here before, but with boats moored on both sides and just enough for two boats to squeeze through the middle; a narrow section just before the junction; a 180o turn and then a lock; boats coming down through the lock and immediately winding to go back through – what a nightmare – but very organised and friendly as well.

Through the lock – about a 300cm rise; moored up just down from the lock around the bend; then it was back to The Greyhound for a Sunday roast lunch and a couple of pints of Theakston Mild (very nice indeed), but the pub was pretty well packed as well.

The Greyhound - excellent Sunday roast

It has been a very much lazy week – not too much in the exertion stakes, plenty of help on locks and plenty of relaxing in pubs (oops shouldn’t have said that – she who must be obeyed will be reading this – sorry dear, it was purely research)

Hawkesbury Junction -  not so busy here, but a nightmare on Sunday

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