Tuesday, 19 February 2008

New territory.

1 lock, 5 miles. Now moored at Bramcote , Ashby Canal

Another cold frosty morning which didn't encourage us to leap out of bed too soon, only -5 degrees!  There was a good sheet of ice on the canal so we waited to see if any other boats would clear a path for us. We didn't have to wait long before 2 Clifton Cruiser's hire boats came through heading south. The first boat, "Mey " was struggling coming in off the Coventry canal to the Oxford so I grabbed his centre rope and helped him negotiate the turning through the sheet ice.

About 11.30am we slipped our moorings and crossed over to the water point. Here I did my bit for BW by spraying WD40 on the waterpoint cover so that it would open fully and we could turn the tap a full 45 degrees.

Once through the lock and the junction we found that canal contractors had also travelled up the Coventry canal with their work boat further smashing the ice. The contractors are repairing the towpath from the junction North for about a mile.


Lovely new towpaths at Hawkesbury Junction 7 day moorings on the Coventry Canal


The journey was uneventful until we reached Charity Dock and boat yard. Here we came across a South bound boat  travelling in the same channel of broken ice as we were.The skipper on the other boat was having trouble steering his boat into unbroken ice but we managed  to get past each other safely. The boatyard was more of a scrap metal yard with at least 4 old dilapidated working boats lying around and a huge pile of scrap metal in the yard. There were some old boats moored alongside and there was a sign advertising a dry dock  and diesel at £1-60 a gallon, I don't think so, but I got the feeling that boats take 2nd place to scrap metal.

At Marston junction we managed to negotiate the entrance onto the Ashby canal which is at an oblique angle as you approach from the South without too much trouble. We were joined by N/b Northumberland who had been moored just North of the junction on the Coventry Canal. We travelled to between bridge's 6 & 8 ( bridge 7 is missing) until we found a sunny mooring opposite the Bramcote hospital for the elderly. Once we were set up we walked up to bridge 8 where we walked up Mill Lane to the village of  Burton Hastings.  This typical farming village is basically untouched except for a few modern houses. The village boasts a 14th century church, St Botolph's, which is a grade 2 category listed building. While walking around the church grounds reading the head stones I found 3 Thomas Gilbert's, Gilbert being my mothers maiden name, who had died in 1829, 1848 & 1869. Grandfather, father and son, I wonder?


After we got back to the boat the weather was still glorious so I decided to give my new fishing reel a go. The reel was good but it didn't bring me any fish, still it's early days yet.

894 locks, 1233 miles, 36 Tunnels, 41 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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