Thursday, 24 April 2014

Easy Cruising

Monday 21st April to Thursday 24th April 2014

With the skipper out of action with a bung knee, it was indeed fortunate that there were many lock-free miles ahead of us.

She would be able to sit and relax her leg, but getting medical people to do as they are told / should be doing is practically impossible.

A man's work is never done
After watering and emptying rubbish and cassette at Sutton Wharf it was simple plain cruising for quite a while.

We filled the diesel tank at Trinity Marina (not too bad at 92p/l) and then onward to the moorings at Bulking Road Bridge.

a bit too expensive for propulsion
Tuesday was not so great weather-wise but put the foot down firmly with her and so she was consigned to the chair in the cratch with her book and on boat lookout duties -  for once she accepted it - mainly because we were due to eat out that night and she need to walk a bit, and we would have a harder day following.

There were plenty of comments about the "lady of leisure" in the cratch.

Approaching Marston Junction
Mooring right outside The Anchor Inn at Anchor Bridge was fortunate.

We were due to catch up with Linda and Richard (nb Mary H) with whom we had cruised last year along the Leicester branch and then up to Warwick, and of course Muffin their spoodle.

It was really great to see them again.

The food was acceptable - nothing that is likely to drag us back again but that was of little consequence as we chatted away.

Richard with his ice-cream and custard dessert

Linda - (n)ice cream

"I'm not sharing much of it"
The following morning we needed to get ourselves into Atherstone, which fortunately was not too far away at all.

We had Post Restante parcels arriving - 1 was already due to be there and 2 would be arriving that day.

Taking advantage of water and Elsan facilities at the top of the locks before starting the flight, we also enjoyed the sunshine that had made an appearance.

The lockies were on duty, with the fellow at the top confirming to us that Holme Lock in Nottingham likely to be closed until the end of May - this would now require a re-think on our cruising plans for the summer.

We only needed to go down 5 locks before mooring up; Diane took advantage of the sun and wind to have the washing out the back, whilst we took off into town to the Post Office (2 parcels down, just 1 to go); a relaxing coffee (Costa); then off to the bank for funds for the solar panels; then some shopping at Aldi and the Co-Op (she doesn't miss a chance to replenish the milk stocks.

The smile was for the washing drying nicely
Diane also purchased a child's small fishing net - some talk about tadpoles and ducklings - maybe an exotic escargot/canard pate.

The cash from the bank (we needed to seek teller assistance) was given to us in an envelope; the teller not counting it in front of us, and we not checking; so I decided to make sure - ₤40 short - we stared at each other as we always check cash like that - so back to the bank and explained the problem - there were virtually no problems and the balance was given to us.

If I was a suspicious person then I would be thinking something not at all nice - wait! I am a suspicious person and I was thinking of a few things that indicated something was amiss with the bank's procedures.

Anyway, as we headed back down the main street, it was about time for package number 3 to be available - and it was. In the end it was a good result.

A bite for lunch and we decided to head off to finish this flight of locks and moor up near Bradley Green which has always seemed a nice place to stop and so we did.

Lock 10 on the flight was slow filling on our way up 12 days earlier and so it was again - seems from what another boater told us, it has been this was for quite some time.

We are still travelling roughly 3-4 hours a day and then mooring; Thursday was similar with the exception that Diane wanted to get to Sutton Road Bridge which allows better access to Tamworth Retail Park - she would shop whilst I finished working.

We were carefully navigating our way past the moored craft at Polesworth when another boat was approaching - a familiar boat at that - it didn't take long to realise that it was Mick and Elly on Parisien Star on their final voyage; we helloed and good-byed almost in the same breath, there being no possibility of mooring up and both steerers negotiating a narrow piece of canal without any hitting of boats; it was not possible to avoid getting grounded and Mick being on the outside met this fate, but they were soon away.

Elly and Mick (Parisien Star)
It is a lovely stretch of canal from where we had moored through to Glascote Locks - depth of water was fine and free of rubbish.

gave her the chance to do one lock today and here she is -
sitting down on the job

Canal protection system
We arrived with a boat leaving the top lock and one coming up in the lower one, so we were through both in 15 minutes.

The sun was out and it had turned out to be a most enjoyable afternoon - even the shopping bill was pretty good.

33 Miles, 13 Locks

Totals: 2355 Miles, 1695  Locks, 77 Tunnels, 32 Lift Bridges, 146 Swing Bridges


  1. Just checked with CRT - Holme Lock closure only until 16th May. Naughty lockie told you porkies!

  2. Thanks for that Big John - I will give them a call as well.
    It may still be that we change our plans anyway as we have a time constraint at the end of the summer, but it is worthwhile having your information