Monday, August 29, 2016

A short trip on Bank Holiday Monday

Monday 29th August

Today we passed another boater who knew what Jannock meant! His dad used to use the word – can you guess the accent?

IMG_2654A sunny morning with a hint of autumn in the air, we did a quick run through Polesworth to Alvecote where we managed to drop into a mooring that had only been vacated 15 minutes earlier. We found this out when the boat that had vacated the mooring passed us on his way to Shackerstone having winded just beyond the marina. The working boat rally on at Alvecote meant that bankside mooring spaces were in very short supply.IMG_2662

Monday is washing day so I changed all the bedding whilst Graham went and fetched the car from Hartshill yard. Once he was back we wandered over to the marina for a chat with Mike and Krystina on Draco and a look at all of the boats.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

An easy run down Atherstone flight

Sunday 28th August 2016

An easy day today, we set off just before 10am and had completed the first five locks in the Atherstone flight in one hour. They were all set in our favour and we met two boats coming up the flight. We moored up just after the bypass bridge as weIMG_2648 wanted to pop into town for some essentials.

Atherstone had a 10k run, sponsored by local company Badger, today and the last competitors were heading for the finish line to the support and clapping of a jolly band of enthusiastic supporters. When we were out of sight the applause sounded like the competitors were all running in clogs.

We shopped at Aldi but didn’t come away with as much general miscellany as usual. Then back to Jannock for lunch before setting off down the last six locks. At lock 8, whilst waiting for a boat coming up the flight, I passed the time picking nice ripe plums from the trees alongside the lock – our first plum haul of this year. I didn’t get enough for jam but sufficient for us to eat as they taste lovely.

IMG_2649At lock 10 there was a rope jammed under the footboard on one of the bottom gates, it was really jammed in tight so I suspect it is evidence of thumblining gone wrong. There are a lot of working boats about at present because it is Alvecote gathering this weekend and Shackerstone next weekend.

Out the bottom of the flight and onto Bradley Green services where we stopped for a water fill and to dump our rubbish in thIMG_2653e skip. The local moorers there were busy erecting a new security fence and gate. It would appear that the old one was demolished when it jumped out in front of a passing boat, well that’s what the boater told the moorers apparently.

Out past Grendon Wharf and on o a nice quiet overnight mooring, just where the railway line passes behind a small hillock.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Thunderstorm stopped play

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 sureIMG_2642 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.

IMG_2643On 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?IMG_2645

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 IMG_2647for 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.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Today we say Farewell to David Blagrove

Friday 12th August

We arrived at Jannock Thursday evening ready for a three day weekend on the Ashby. ALongWayFromHome

We left Sutton Lane bridge at 9am and continued North towards Snarestone. At Sutton Wharf we spotted Griffin moored on the visitor moorings, a long way from home (like us) as they moor at Cowroast.

TreeDownA bit further on we had our first encounter with the fallen tree. This has obviously fallen recently and some kind soul has removed the top to allow the passage of boats between it and the bank. Unfortunately it is very shallow at this point and even Jannock started dragging the bottom. At Bridge 40 the WRGies are having a summer camp, repairing a bridge, all doing clever and technical stuff in the WRGBridgesunshine, having had a lovely week weatherwise. A WRGies week with no wind or sleet involved – well done folks.

Once past Shackerstone, we tied up for a siesta in the shade of bankside trees. Once G had sat quiet for a short while he then set to cleaning the starboard side of Jannock. Having finished that task we then continued on through wonderful countryside, in lovely weather, through Snarestone tunnel and into the last full length winding hole on the canal. If you are 50foot or less you can continue on down the ShadySpotnew stretch and turn at the very end. We pulled onto the services wharf and Graham filled Jannock’s water tank whilst Brenda mooched in the jumble sale disguised as . . .  a jumble shop. Treasures bought and farm made icecreams stashed in the freezer compartment for our supper we turned Jannock and headed south again to moor in the cutting immediately before the north end of the tunnel.

We walked back up to the very end of the canal to see the new bridge that has beenBridge 62 built since we visited last year. As we approached the bridge site we spotted a very large terrapin, about the size of a dinner plate, basking at the surface but it disappeared before I got chance to get a picture.

GlobAfter dinner (followed by icecream – a rare treat on Jannock) we ambled up to Snarestone, saw the tail lights of a traction engine disappearing down the hill that we’d heard but not seen from the canal, paid a visit to the lovely St Bartholomews Church. Then up into the village where the history of it being wealthy in days of yore was made plain by some fabulous old houses.

Then into the pub and a selection of draught, sorry Daft spellings. We presume ‘The Glob’ is a joke but the advertising of their summer music event is appalling (sic). Sally Barker was indeed staring at us from posters within the bar.MusicFestPoster

And back to Bulkington

Saturday 13th August

A grey drizzly start moved along nicely to reveal a temperate day. We pulled the pins, passed through Snarestone tunnel and joined an increasing level of southbound boats. The shallow water and silted edges made passing some Northbound craft quite difficult if you wanted to avoid going aground.DSCF2322

I think the WRGies are using the CaRT workboat as a buffer zone to protect their scaffolding – doesn’t do much to help hirers get through the bridgehole though.

As nb “famous mattress maker” approached us, G moved as close to the towpath as possible as he was aware that the offside was very silted at this point. nb Mattress continued on determined to give a good eight foot gap between us. The obvious happened and they grounded at the bows. Because he was still going quite fast, the boat tipped right over as it went fully onto the mud and we heard crockery hit the floor. G offered to take a rope and pull them off but with a scowl that appeared to say “That was your fault” the offer was refused.  We were happy that they were fully floating again before we lost visual contact. We are not aware of our status as a ‘plague ship’ but casn imagine no other reason for needing to leave ConsiderateMooringsuch a large gap between passing boats.

Nice to see the Ashby day boats tied up and locked up on the Battlefield waterpoints blocking all access. That’s considerate.

We passed nb Waiouru again today. They informed us that a car was submerged by the entrance to the Ashby canal and so they were staying put for the weekend so CaRT could clear it. Other northbound boats we passed said that it could be passed with care as it was not fully blocking the junction. Since we travelled up the Ashby nb Earnest has returned to it’s mooring after Neil’s trip on the upper Thames.

DSCF2326We moored on the end of the 48hr moorings at Bulkington bridge (5) so that we could return home Sunday morning – we have a very important kunch date with our Grand-daughter (and her parents)

Sunday 14th August

G did a car shuffle on the Di Blasi while I tidied and packed up ready for going home. Jannock will be here for two weeks as we’ve got an important family birthday to deal with next weekend – G’s dad is 93.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Ashby is very shallow.

Sunday 7th August

Wildlife of the day – Watervoles

We awoke to another lovely day. Just like yesterday but with an increasing breeze, nice and cooling, but the short sharp bursts were enough to put Jannock’s bows where you didn’t want them, especially as the Ashby canal is so shallow in the lower half.BoatClub

At Hinkley wharf we passed nb Waiouru, where Tom was busy erecting their rotary washing line on the back deck. We passed the time of day as we continued on but didn’t get chance to stop. As we passed Hinkley Marina, the local model boat club were out in force entertaining the patrons of the Watergate next door.

On past Stoke Golding and Dadlington to bridge 32 where we tied Jannock onto the bank and then went home for another week at work.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Only one very shallow lock today

Saturday 6th August 2016

Having arrived at Jannock on Friday evening, we awoke after a lovely peaceful night to glorious weather.

Observation of the day – ying & yang, plus and minus, positive & negative; so it’s innevitable that there is an opposite to the boater who rushes past moored boats with little regards for peas on knives, soup in laps, slack ropes or mooring pins in soft ground. As we set off, gathering speed to almost warp factor tick-over, we were yelled at in fluent fish wife to “Slow Down!” Any slower and we would have stayed level with her side hatch and we’d have been able to discuss Einstein’s laws of motion – if he had any. The gent pottering on the rear deck appologised for her stating that she shouts that at every boat IMG_2621that passes regardless.

We cruised North on a lovely summers morn, and it stayed that way all day. It’s how cruising should always be I reckon. At Ansty, a tree has fallen across the canal almost blocking passage, luckily we didn’t meet someone coming the other way.  G. got round Suttons Stop with a degree of elegance that didn’t hint at two boats in the basin waiting for the lock, a tricksy quarter wind, another boat coming South through the narrows and a pub-patio full of gongoozlers.

IMG_2625We stopped at Grace’s mooring and left gifts of a plant and beer for Terry and Christine. G and I had a discussion entitled “Coventry or the Ashby” and so G had the job of navigating around another tricksy corner onto the Ashby. Just as well there was no wind here as nb ‘Muppet’ had moored between the bridge and the junction reducing the manouvring area as well as the ability to see if anything was coming out of the junction.

At 2pm we decided that getting out of the sun was a healthy option and so we found a shady tree and pulled over to rest and cool down. G did not fancy a siesta and so did a little paint damage repairing before going off to do a car shuffle. It appears that our stern has taken a hefty clout from another boat whilst Jannock has been moored up somewhere in the last couple of weeks IMG_2630and a large chunk of paint had become detatched from the steel. G said that speeding along at 30mph on the Di Blasi was a good way to keep cool.

Then on towards Hinkley, however we moored for the night, out in the sticks between bridges 11 and 12, before we got there. A dinner of Chicken Tioli (Take It Or Leave It) was taken in the front well seated at Jannock’s cratch table.