Category: Boat Update

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Day 10: Thursday 24th June – Bottoms Up

From Cogenhoe Lock to Denford: some fifteen locks, involving a great deal of hard work, and various attacks from nettles, thistles and wet ropes…   Overnight an invasion had taken place: the meadow we were moored beside had become inhabited by calm cows and their young.  Ken thinks they were Herefords (sign of a closet Archers fan.)  What was fascinating though was watching at extremely close quarters (say, about ten feet) a calf feeding from its mother.  It kept banging his...

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Day 9: Wednesday 23rd June: Regulation and Calculation

Moored up late afternoon at Cogenhoe Lock, on the River Nene, east of Northampton.   The engine roared into life early (again) and we were in the Northampton Arm Top Lock by 0715.  Breakfast was permissible after the first 13 (albeit) narrow locks and the “Northampton Lighthouse” hove into view shortly after nine o’clock. It is such a weird landmark that many years ago, overcome by  curiosity, and Ken having flown over it many times when returning to RAF Wyton, we  diverted our...

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Six Locks before Breakfast … and the Mystery of the Missing Boat

0640 departure from Braunston Turn to maximise travelling in the cool of the day (that was the theory!)   It was fascinating passing through the stretch at the bottom of Braunston locks as so many work and traditional boats are tied up, presumably in readiness for the big Traditional Boats Rally this weekend. The locks were quiet, but the gates heavy; eventually we reached the top, cruising past a row of moored boats, the most wonderful smell of frying bacon...

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Day 7: Mad boaters and Welsh folk…

Yes, mad boaters and Welsh folk Go out in the midday sun…   We set off from Hawkesbury Junction (near Coventry) at 0735 this morning and moored up at Braunston at about 1545. En route we passed through several fine tunnels or underpasses: two in the Rugby area depict the history and famous players of that game (no camera in hand at the critical moments, unfortunately) but the one at Newbold-on-Avon is a positive delight, spot-lit in purple and green....

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Day 6, Sunday 20th June

Warwickshire: below Atherstone to Hawkesbury Junction, 5 miles from Coventry Basin   A busy morning followed by a chugging sort of afternoon: 11 locks in the Atherstone flight, generally arranged in blocks of two, but spread out over about a mile.    Today my mind has become aware of how one’s senses become more aware of new experiences when one is travelling slowly (absolutely not an original thought, I know).  Last night, I began to sense a strange noise: drum percussion? South...

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Day 5, Saturday 19th June

  Moored up mid-afternoon about two miles from Atherstone Bottom Lock (so we have the flight of 11 to look forward to tomorrow morning…). Atherstone is in Warwickshire but we didn’t notice any glaring county boundary signs here, or for Staffordshire either.   A day of structures and domestics: The Coventry Canal wends and weaves its way roughly south eastwards; it largely follows the contours, hence today there have been two locks only (at Glascote, Tamworth). For the first time since setting out...

Day 4, Friday 18th June 0

Day 4, Friday 18th June

From sunhats to rainhats, from sunscreen to waterproof gloves: the planning and packing for waterways “climate change” has proved worthwhile! It was a quiet start to the morning as there were few other boat movements. The Trent and Mersey is delightfully rural in this stretch, especially around Weston- upon -Trent and Little Haywood. There are hints of the River Trent to the south, sometimes parallel with the canal, and wooded low hills behind. Cows and sheep graze in the meadows;...

Day 3, Thursday 17th June 0

Day 3, Thursday 17th June

An early (0735) departure so as to get ahead and keep ahead of the queue-jumping convoy and to get some miles south of Stoke-on-Trent. The towpath throughout Stoke is in superb condition, frequently used by cyclists. The water is deep and fast time can be made on the longer sections between locks. The canal passes long empty warehousing, atmospheric as birds fly in through the bare window holes. Some fat bottle kilns are besides old china-loading wharves, others standing either...

Day 2, Wednesday 16th June 0

Day 2, Wednesday 16th June

How fresh the air smelt this morning. Our start at about 0830 was rewarded by masses of sweet birdsong (and one craarching voice on trees just north of Congleton). Six magpies had a mighty squabble at one point: feathers flew and pride was injured! Insects darted and hovered on the offside, all about two feet above the surface of the water. Why only on one side, I wondered. Domestically today saw a personal triumph: the washing machine quietly and efficiently...

Day 1: Tuesday June 15th 0

Day 1: Tuesday June 15th

Our departure from Lyme View coincided with sharp north easterly winds, which meant that it took four attempts to ease away from the pontoon, do the sharp right hand turn necessary to pass the other boats and then make the sharp left to the exit onto the canal. Only fierce activity by Ken with the heaviest barge pole managed to combat the effects of the wind… Our boat trips have rarely been drama-free; three hours into the trip, and only...

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