Sunday, 27 November 2016

Easy does it all

Saturday 19th November to Saturday 26th November 2016

We headed out from Coventry after an enjoyable day or so there – we had previously seen most of the tourists spots, but dare say that there are some that we will have missed, but we do like mooring up in the basin area – and of course it is nice and quiet as well.
There were signs that it had been cold overnight, but no ice on the canal itself ....

It might have been after 8am but the sight of the sun was lovely.

There are a few spots where we needed to be slow – cases where the bottom is too close to the top, but we made good time to be back at Hawkesbury Junction before the rain arrived.

It meant that we could head off to The Greyhound and meet up with Stella and Dave, who advised us that nb Oakapple had moved along and were no longer there – so we couldn’t now see Sharon and Richard – I guess we all have places that we must be!

Diane had cleverly made a booking for Sunday lunch and thus we were able to enjoy some lovely time with the two of them and in a relaxed atmosphere – no rushing about and the meal was very good.
Stella is one of our oldest friends during our time on the canals - we first
met way back in 2011
It was not quite so good outside, with the rain pelting down – certainly would not want to be out there on the back of a moving boat.

There was however, a bit of a beer festival taking place out the back at the smaller pub/brewery behind the Greyhound, called The Whippet, with some entertainment and a couple of guys in a mock sword fight with almost full armour on – fortunately their timing was good both with the break in rain and the knowledge of where each other would be swinging their heavy swords – no damage to either and a bit of enjoyment for the small crowd of 20 or 30.
The medieval way of doing things.

Stella actually ended being the match referee
the four us during a break in the music and ready to replenish our drinks

We had a couple of drinks there before a last one back in the Greyhound, before we have to say goodbye to the pair of them – it was now getting a little dark and we headed back to the boat.

More rain was forecast for Monday so it was definitely a day that we spent not going any where at all – unfortunately for Stella and Dave, they needed to be back at Barby and so they were in the worst of it for a fair length of time – making it as far as Newbold.

Diane had enjoyed the dessert on Sunday – the Chocolate pot – and fancied another, so we only moved as far as the pub and had lunch there again – again the rain continued, but it was cosy warm inside.
The evil dessert - just too good to not have a second one - this is day two
By the time Tuesday had arrived it was definitely time for us to be moving – the continual review of the weather forecast had told us that it was the better day to be going and so we did.
As we had done last week when moving this way, Diane took the tiller, whilst I was busy inside working – she did get a few more breaks along the way, but it was interesting to see the difference that a couple of days of rain had made to the canal depth. Pretty soon – well after 4 hours of cruising – we were moored up again in Rugby at the Brownsover bridge.

We didn’t have anything particular that we needed to do whilst we were here, except that we had Chris Jones, our engineer, coming to fix a couple of problems that we had – one being a leak with the water separator (which had been by-passed) in the meantime and the other was the need to change the rear seal packing (whilst we were in the water).
People had told me how easy it was to change the packing without the need to take the boat out, but I was concerned that if I did remove the packing it would just allow water to rush in – seeing Chris do the job and the tiny amount of water that dripped in, I now believe that if I had to do it I could do it – it is amazing how much you continue to learn.

We did manage to visit the movies again on the Meerkat deal – this time seeing Fanatstic Beasts (and where they come from) – for people used to the Harry Potter series it is worth the visit; even if you are not, it is a good movie and Eddie Redmayne grows in strength as a great actor.

It was also another chance to just relax – i.e. not moving – but we finally decided to continue our progress and get through the locks at Hilmorton and moor just above them.
A visit to The Old Royal Oak on Saturday was worthwhile – lovely and comfortable inside  - but we only went for a drink.

We will move off again on Tuesday – the current plan – but as with most things, that is subject to change – the only thing for sure is that we will have a relaxing weekend.
The final word (or words)!

21 Miles, 4 Locks, 1 Tunnel, 1 Swing Bridge
YTD:  836 Miles (1345 km) , 452 Locks, 12 Tunnels, 21 Lift Bridges, 5 Swing Bridges

Total: 4631 Miles (7453 km), 3151 Locks, 124 Tunnels, 66 Lift Bridges, 172 Swing Bridges

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