Streethay

Quite a bit has happened since the last post, so here is a quick update. On Bank Holiday Monday 7/5. we departed Shackerstone aiming for Market Bosworth. This was an unplanned move, to facilitate a visit to a dentist the following day. We did wonder if there would be any space to moor at Bosworth, being a holiday weekend and with glorious weather, but to our surprise, we had our choice of spot being the only boat there. Wednesday 9/5. Visits to the dentist complete, our destination was Stoke Golding. The heat of the past few days had reduced, but it was still pleasant cruising weather. It was also much quieter, now all the workers had returned to their day jobs. On arrival at Stoke Golding we secured the boat, and after lunch wandered off to the farm shop at bridge 23 for supplies. Our evening meal was once again taken at the Mango Tree Indian restaurant, I can see this becoming a regular haunt when we pass this way. Thursday 10/5. we had a non moving day, instead taking four legs on a longish walk to Sutton Cheney Wharf for lunch. This is a round trip of about five miles, so it gave our legs a good stretch. The following day, Friday 11/5. we had a short hop of about one hour to Hinckley Marina. We were leaving the boat here for a couple of days, to attend a family Golden Wedding event near Newbury over the weekend. On returning to the boat, we took a further few days restocking the supplies and moving cars around, before finally getting underway again on Wednesday 16/5. Our intended destination was to be close to Springwood Haven Marina. As we navigated through Burton Hastings we spotted Nessie, a couple of hundred miles south of where he or she should be.

Nessie bobbing around at Burton Hastings

Turning right at Marston Junction, rejoining the Coventry Canal, we continued our journey north. We had to pass through Nuneaton, which as per usual meant encountering an increasing amount of rubbish dumped in the cut. As we approached Springwood Haven, we spotted a boat moored in our usual spot so we carried on on a bit. We found a nice spot just prior to a winding hole with some cows for neighbours.

Mooring near Springwood Haven

Thursday 17/5. We had a relatively short distance to cruise, but this did include the eleven locks of the Atherstone flight. We must have been righteous that day. Not only was the sun shining on us, and not so hot as to make it uncomfortable, but at all bar two of the locks we met oncoming boats. This meant nine of the eleven locks were set in our favour. At the bottom of the flight, we plodded on until reaching a usual spot for us, about a mile before Polesworth.

Mooring prior to Polesworth

We only stayed here one night before moving on to Whittington. So Friday 18/5. after breakfast we moved off. The weather was much cooler than it had been for the past couple of weeks. Our journey was going to take us by the birthplace of our boat, at Glascote Basin. We stopped above the top lock of the Glascote pair, at the water point. Whilst waiting we had a look into the Basin from the bridge. We will be back here in July for a boat gathering, which this year includes a hog roast. Once the water tank had been replenished, we set off again descending the two Glascote locks, and then continued on towards Whittington. We passed through Fazeley Junction, bearing right and joining the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. One feature of this canal, is that the bridges are named instead of being numbered. We only had a couple of miles to travel on this canal, before rejoining the Coventry Canal (detached section) at Whittington. Approaching Hopwas it was lunchtime, and the mooring directly outside the Tame Otter PH was empty. This was a sign, so we stopped for refreshments. After lunch we carried on for the remaining couple of miles to Whittington, and found our intended spot vacant. Securing the boat we took the opportunity to try out a new purchase, a sun parasol. Unfortunately, the nice shady seating caused four legs to misbehave, and following a disciplinary hearing, he has been demoted to third mate, for the offence of stealing the captains chair.

Four Legs committing a heinous crime

The demotion in rank also entails a restriction of privileges, meaning no Bonios for a week. A loose plan was to remain here for a week, whilst the crew popped home to do some dog sitting duties. This would give me the opportunity to complete some necessary maintenance tasks, including varnishing and wood staining. Wednesday 23/5. I moved the boat up to Kings Orchard Marina for services and took up a mooring just beyond the Marina entrance. Me and the third mate, will wait here til the crew returns on Saturday.  

  • Totals Monday      7/5.   3 Miles
  •          Wednesday 9/5.   6 Miles
  •          Friday        11/5.  3 Miles
  •          Wednesday 16/5.  11 Miles
  •          Thursday    17/5.  7 Miles 11 Locks
  •          Friday         18/5. 12 Miles 2 Locks
  •          Wednesday 23/5.  1 Mile 
  • Running total 125 Miles 32 Locks 5 Tunnels 

Hartshill

Following the past two days of wet weather, today broke with blue sky and bright sunshine. Unusually for us we were awake at 7.30 am, and with a flight of eleven locks ahead decided to to get up. We were underway by 8 am, closely followed by another Hudson boat, nb Rhea. The water point at the base of the locks was busy so we carried on, and it was a decision that paid off. Not stopping put us at the front of the queue going up, and we benefited by meeting several boats descending, thereby having the locks turned in our favour. Our ascent of the Atherstone flight was pleasant in the warm weather, and at the top we were able to dispose of some accumulated rubbish. We are also pleased with how the new, larger sized Axiom propeller is performing. Beyond Atherstone, we had about a mile and a half cruise to our intended mooring spot at Hartshill. We met several oncoming boats, always at a bend or a bridge ‘ole. The moorings at Hartshill were unusually empty, so we had our choice of spot, opting to stop just prior to the old British Waterways Yard. It was by now lunch time, and another reason for stopping here was its close proximity to Dobbies Garden World. During our repaint at Glascote our broom went adrift, so a replacement was needed, they also have a cafeteria. After lunch a snooze was the order of the day due to our early start.

BW yard Hartshill from side hatch

BW yard Hartshill viewing forward

Tomorrow with luck we will be back on the Ashby Canal for the second time this year.

  • Totals 5 Miles 11 Locks
  • Running total 123 Miles 41 Locks 5 Tunnels 

Caldecote Hill, Bridge 27 Coventry Canal.

Having spent an enjoyable few days at Hawkesbury Junction it was time to move off. Just as we were preparing to depart, nb Neston passed us and moored a hundred yards ahead. I expect we will be playing leap frog with them for the next week, all the way to Glascote Basin. We stopped on the water point, just prior to the stop lock and filled with water. In the time we were there, four boats passed through the lock, which lowers you from the Oxford Canal onto the Coventry Canal, a drop of about 1 foot. We navigated through the junction, passing the Greyhound P.H. where we enjoyed Sunday lunch, and joined the Coventry Canal heading towards Nuneaton. The rain had been threatening for some time, and just as we approached Nuneaton, the clouds burst. For about ten minutes it felt like we were in a tropical storm, it was torrential. As quickly as the rain came, so it disappeared, and the sun came out. In no time, everything, including myself and the crew were dry again. Nuneaton seems to have cleaned up its act, as the canal was reasonably rubbish free, which was not the case on previous journeys. We passed through the town and head back into open countryside, arriving at our mooring spot just prior to Springwood Haven Marina. This is a nice rural spot and we were alone. We joked about how long it would last. It was twenty minutes. Still never mind, as we are staying put for a few days. After lunch we walked to the marina to check out the services, as we will need these when we depart on Thursday or Friday.

       

Totals 8 Miles 1 Lock
Running totals 203 Miles 129 Locks 12 Tunnels

Caldecote Hill, Bridge 27 Coventry Canal

This morning started with clear skies and bright sunshine. We set off after breakfast and passed through the stop lock. Negotiating the junction there were far less onlookers than when we did It last time. We turned right onto the Coventry Canal and passed the engine house I photographed last night. 

       
       

                                  

We then settled into our journey heading north towards Nuneaton. We planned to travel about 8 miles today, which will position us nicely for the Atherstone flight of 11 locks tomorrow. We passed Marston Junction and the Ashby Canal on the right, and then entered a short section of rural canal between the built up areas of Bedworth and Nuneaton. It took nearly an hour to travel from one side of the town to the other, then we were back into open countryside. It was during this next section I saw an old telephone pole. I had never seen so many terminals on one pole, especially in the middle of nowhere.
       

Rounding a few bends we reached our planned mooring spot, just prior to Springwood Haven Marina. This is a small Marina but it has a shop and chandlers on site and is set in landscaped surroundings. This would be an ideal Marina for us but would add another 30 mins travel time to our journey to visit friends and family. It also looked full so there is probably a waiting list.
       
       
       

After mooring the boat we walked a mile along the canal to have a look at our surroundings. It was hot work as the day had warmed up. On the way back the temptation of the ice cream signs outside the shop were too much to resist.
       

       
After our refreshments we returned to the boat passing a milestone showing we were 13 miles from Coventry, and 14 miles to Fazeley Junction, where the Coventry Canal branches with the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. This is just past our boats home port of Glascote Basin. When we reach here we will be travelling on new water for us.

       

Totals 9 Miles 1 Lock