Saturday 27th August
You know it’s going to be an ‘interesting’ day when you start it playing top trumps using the nutritional information on our cereal packets. As we tidied breakfast away and prepared to set off from the Bridge 5 moorings on the Ashby, it started to rain. The BBC weather app said the rain would stop at 10 am so we waited and sure enough, it did!
Down towards the junction with the Coventry canal and we picked up a passenger who happily wandered around Jannock’s roof until the shadow of the next bridgehole frightened it to flight. At the junction we met an Ashby hire boat trying to enter the canal as we were leaving, It’s not very wide here as it used to be a stop lock but luckily the hire boat skipper knew what he was doing, he went slightly past the junction to allow us out before reversing to make his turn onto the Ashby. Well done Sir, you made a tricky manouvre easy.
On up through Nuneaton where the offside blackberries that have escaped from the allotments looked very big and juicy. Having harvested from here before we know they are a cultivated breed that has spread onto the canal bank – we didn’t stop today as we didn’t need any. We also spotted a St Johns Ambulance tardis – is it more Doctor than Who?
After Welford Haven we passed the Hook Norton boat – we were glad it was sign written with the brewery name as it stopped dead our discussion as to whether the boat was named Maris Otter after the barley strain or the potato. As it turns out the spud is Maris Piper.
As we approached Hartshill yard we decided to stop on the 7 day moorings for lunch and then I took did a car shuffle. Whilst there we heard the guy from the cottage playing his banjo on the bridge, it reminded us of the time he showed us around his little undercroft. Once back on Jannock we then continued North to Mancetter where the heavens opened and the rain was accompanied by thunder and lightning. We peeped through Taveners bridge to see the Atherstone moorings were all full up so reversed back and moored for the night alongside the playground between bridges 39 and 40. The bank is cordened off here where the stone edge is collapsing into the cut but we managed to fit in a gap between the DEFRA tape.
Once the rain had stopped I did a quick wipe-down of Jannock’s paintwork as she was looking very dirty, checked the weedhatch but we had managed to throw off whatever it was that we picked up in Nuneaton and then refilled the stern tube greaser. After dinner we had planned to go for a wander around Atherstone but the heavens have opened again so the TV aerial was rigged instead.