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 

Whittington

We only stayed one night by the pig farm, so on Thursday 29/9 we set off for Fradley Junction. We had a brief stopover in Rugeley, to stock up on supplies at the large Tesco store by the canal. Then it was on through Armitage, the town made famous for its toilets. The weather was fine for the time of the year, and there was very little traffic. On arrival at Wood End lock we encountered a hold up. The lock has a defective ground paddle, and is very slow to fill. Today it was made worse by a huge island of reeds that had been sucked into the gate paddle reducing the flow further. Each fill was taking nearly half an hour. Once we got through it was only a short hop to Fradley. We dropped down a further two locks and then made our turn onto the Coventry Canal. Once through the swing bridge, we had our pick of position on the visitor mooring as it was empty. It didn’t stay that way for long.

On Friday 30/9 we walked to the canal village of Alrewas, about two and a half miles away down the Trent and Mersey. We can actually return to Yelvertoft that way, but it involves a couple of river sections for which we would need an anchor, and this time we are stopping at Glascote Basin for a few days to have some work done.

On Saturday 1/10, the weather was forecast to rain later in the afternoon, so having stayed our allotted 48 hours at Fradley we moved on. We were aiming for Huddlesford. We needed a pump out and diesel so planned to visit Streethay Wharf on route. Not long after tying up it became apparent the pump out machine was kaput. We continued on to Kings Orchard Marina, and fortunately, unlike our last visit it was not too windy. The forecast rain however had arrived early and as we exited the Marina the heavens opened. Quickly mooring just outside the entrance, we avoided the worst but we’re still soaked by the time we finished.

On Sunday 2/10 we walked in glorious sunshine to Huddlesford Junction where we found the Plough Inn. We have eaten here before and the food is great, today would be our first Sunday roast there. The pub is dog friendly, but four legs had been left behind to guard the boat.

Today we moved just one mile to the spot we had intended to reach on Saturday. The weather is again glorious for the season, but we have noticed that in the mornings the boat is colder now. We have yet to light the solid fuel stove but the diesel heating is getting some regular use.

 

We are only staying here one night as the cuisine at the Tame Otter, Hopwas is beckoning. After lunch we walked into Whittington to visit the local shop. One final point is that google have stopped supporting the app for iPad using blogger. This is a new app so I have no idea how it will appear once posted.  

  • Totals  Thursday 29/9. 9 Miles 3 Locks
  •           Saturday  1/10. 4 Miles
  •           Monday.   3/10. 1 Mile

 

  • Running total 368 Miles 214 Locks 14 Tunnels