Heatwave in Yelvertoft 

Phew, ever since we’ve back it’s been Scorchio! 32 degrees in the boat right now.

Time to do lots of boat chores, wash the car (3 months of crust), de rust bits of boat, buy stuff – yes, Steve always wanted a sound bar for the TV as he no longer has his hifi on board. So he’s bought this Azatom thing (see Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B014O6OHPY) through which we can play the TV as well as stream radio and music via Bluetooth wifi etc. Viv’s got a bread maker coming as we do miss making our own breads. Another arrival was a strange box from Penny & Jenny – Plymouth gin and tonic! What a nice home coming present!

They are currently unwell at the moment – so get well soon! Cheers

Day 71 – Yelvertoft

Yes, it’s Sunday 14th August and we’ve done 417 miles and 2.25 furlongs (at least) plus 206 locks – know back at “home” in the marina. An early start at 0805, chugged up to the Watford flight of locks and there was just one boat waiting. So fairly soon we were on our way through the last of the locks.  Touch n go as one of the big wooden beams on the first staircase lock had been broken! Wasn’t reported but the CRT guy said they just found it like that on Wednesday morning . . hmm, could’ve been “how many people can we get standing on this beam?”

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Back before midday! The wonderful marina manager, Neil, was there to greet us. Well, to take £133 of us for fuel, pump out and cards for the electric! Everyone was keen to ask how we’d got on. Which was nice. Absolutely shattered now so time to do a very small amount of essential boat stuff then . . . take it easy.

The end of the odyssey for 2016?

 

Day 70 – Up the (Norton) Junction!

Bimbling through Braunston. Bracing up in the 6 big locks. Terrifying through the tunnel. Muppet hirers going soooo slow we kept losing way. Then into Norton Junction, past the network’s smallest welcome sign . .  that’s it. Six miles, six locks and one long (2042 yds) tunnel – enough, let’s moor here. Just a 40 minute chug to the Watford flight (mind the gap!) and then home . . .

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If you don’t turn left here, you’ll be on the way to London! Here’s Adagio . . 3rd along. Some nice boaters on Alpenlode and Serafina.

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Same shot, zoomed out . .

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Another Aqualine boat – must get one of those signs!

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Day 69 – Bit of a Breather

We only wanted a short trip today so only 6 miles and 3 locks at Hillmorton, which went very smoothly, now that the duplicate locks are all in good working order. Unfortunately Steve’s hat got lost – did it blow off, drop in to a lock or was it nicked? Dunno. This is the second cap to go missing . . .

Hillmorton top lock – in tandem with Lady Godiva (!)

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A big board advertising yet another marina, just a few miles away from Braunston. Dunchurch Pools.

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It’s a lovely stretch and the complete opposite to the buzz of Braunston.

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Our final mooring spot, after bridge 87 (52’18’8.8, 1’13’21.11 to be precise!)

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Table up and green chair deployed in the cratch – nice spot to read

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That’s it for today!

Day 68 – Hillmorton, nearly home

A lazy start, 10 o’clock , off to Hillmorton. We skirt around Coventry and then skirt around Rugby. We said Hi to David Johns, now ensconced in Clifton Wharf, doing his video work. Finally moored up at the lovely Hillmorton visitor moorings. We popped into the cafe, a quaint piece of canal history that serves Church End beers! Only a few days left. The whole trip will work out at 417 miles and 206 locks, all at 3 mph, or less!

I think Toby wanted a duvet day – no chance . .

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But he is getting more bold – actually sleeping on the stern!

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And who should we espy at Clifton Marine  – one vlogger himself, David Johns.

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Not too busy – the delightful Hillmorton visitor moorings.

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The rather quaint cafe – quite an amazing little place.

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Day 67 – Back into Warwickshire

Even though we were moored up beyond two locks, we still had a boat chug by before 0700! With that in mind and the thought of a queue of boats at all these locks (7 still to do!!), we got moving by 0800 and up we went.

Viv's ready on the paddles
Viv’s ready on the paddles
Toby's, um, just being Toby
Toby’s, um, just being Toby
The view looking back down the locks
The view looking back down the locks
Going up - mearing the top ock with several CRT volunteers - always helps!
Going up – nearing the top lock with several CRT volunteers – always helps!
Chatting with the volunteers - Steve's paddle's up!
Chatting with the volunteers – Steve’s paddle’s up!
Many interesting boat names - this one's for Mum & Dad
Many interesting boat names – this one’s for Mum & Dad
Back into the countryside
Back into the countryside and over into Warwickshire
Judd hill - formed by the quarry works
Judd hill – formed by the quarry works – near the very nice (and new) SpringWood marina
Many unusual things to be seen on the canal
Many unusual things to be seen on the canal
Another nice boat name!
Another nice boat name!
Steve's happy - nearing Hawkesbury Junction and the Greyhound pub
Steve’s happy – nearing Hawkesbury Junction and the Greyhound pub

Quite a long day (12 miles and 8 locks), an early start but all done by 4 p.m.

Time for a shower and sit down. We’ve been to this junction many times and know it well. Famous for it’s 180 degree turn and of course, the Greyhound pub. Must take Viv out tonight. They do excellent pies and steaks see

http://greyhoundinn.org/   and their menu

 

Day 66 – Atherstone Lock No 9

An 0850 start today, aiming to get thru the Tamworth section (Glascote locks) and moor somewhere beyond – maybe even at the foot of the Atherstone Locks.  The stern gland is still leaking and provides a constant stress but I pump out the plastic container each day. It probably leaks a few litres a day, which, yes is a few litres too many but we can cope. It’s booked in to be fixed next month. A lot of this boating can be stressful – there are tooooo many boats. Next year we’ll hole up somewhere for the month of August! For example, this morning three boats went by before 0730!! And when we got to the locks at Glascote, we had to wait for 2 boats in front of us but when I looked back 5 more had turned up. And of course they all go too fast. Don’t get me started. #grumpyoldman. It turned out to be a lovely sunny, cool and windy day.

Viv gets to drive for a bit - photo shows how long our boat is!
Viv gets to drive for a bit – photo shows how long our boat is!
Alvecote marina & yards
Alvecote marina & yards
Looking back from Glascote bottom lock - more boats arriving
Looking back from Glascote bottom lock – more boats arriving
Viv does the locking
Viv does the locking
Some rather nice graffiti at Fazely junction
Some rather nice graffiti at Fazely junction
CRT office at Fazeley
CRT office at Fazeley
Steve steers in the light rain
Steve steers in the light rain
Marvellous wheat fields
Marvellous wheat fields
It's that boat again!
It’s that boat again!

Day 65 – Monday Huddlesford

Busy, busy, busy. We got going early but still 3 or 4 boats zoomed off before us. Down thru Colwich lock after taking our turn and on to Rugeley. A very fraught day with high winds and us in low morale – the boat seemed unhappy with problems of shallow waters plus stuff round the prop. So we weren’t happy either. We got very fed up and oncoming boaters every 5 minutes didn’t help. Not a good day. We got very dispirited. But by the time we got to Fradley junction – the site of a major confluence and usually hours of waiting, we were ushered straight into the two locks by the smiling volunteers, no waiting at all! A right angled turn and we were back on the Coventry canal – hurrah. Viv loves this canal as it very scenic, well, some of it is. We moored just an inch beyond the junction last time but this wasn’t good – lots of flies and people. So we chugged on, so 2 hours more, to Huddlesford and the Plough. A good mooring and some well deserved beer.

Coming up to Fradley junction and the lock is open and waiting for us!
Coming up to Fradley junction and the lock is open and waiting for us!
Final mooring - close to the pub!
Final mooring – close to the pub!
Nearby is the junction with the Lichfield canal - under restoration
Nearby is the junction with the Lichfield canal – under restoration
The Plough at Huddlesford - they even had some Church End beer!
The Plough at Huddlesford – they even had some Church End beer!
Toby with his new toy - looks like a model prion?
Toby with his new toy – looks like a model prion?
Steve brings in the beers
Steve brings in the beers

Day 64 – Sunday Scorchio at Shugborough 

An earlyish start – away at 0845. Aiming  to do the five hour chug to Great Haywood, pick up water and then moor just beyond the lock at Shugborough. Hmm, very busy today. Well it is Sunday and it is Summer and it is actually very sunny, so they’re all out out. Luckily coming up the cut and not down it with us. Some locks had seven boats waiting. We had to do doubling up manoeuvres at the water point. And all along the Shugborough straight were dozens of boats. I mean it wasn’t like this a few weeks ago, no, sorry, it was two months ago when we came along. It’s the school holidays now. Still it was so sunny, I switched off the 230volt charger and let the solar panels do their job. Brilliant. Moored up before three and time for the local delicacy of those oatcakes with the full monty inside: eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding (the smoked ham and leek one), tomatoes and cheese! Viv took the dog off to the Trent, never far away, for a well deserved swim. Quite a scorcher today.

Busy at Haywood Junction
Busy at Haywood Junction
A view up the Staffs & Worc
A view up the Staffs & Worc
Contently moored up in the sun
Contently moored up in the sun
Lots of moored boats everywhere
Lots of moored boats everywhere
Our view across the Shugborough estate to the Hall
Our view across the Shugborough estate to the Hall