Polesworth to Sutton's Stop, Hawkesbury.
Junction 12.12 miles 12locks in 7 hours, 10 mins.
Another early start, because we wanted to get to the bottom of the Atherstone flight early as we knew with the restrictions in place it would get busy. When we woke up it was throwing it down with rain yayyyyy I thought this is exactly what we need, because we do need lots of rain right now. By the time we left at 6am the rain had stopped, but we both still put our wet weather gear on just in case.
There were blue patches of sky trying to show through, but we were plagued by low cloud and some rain whilst we cruised to Atherstone bottom lock.
We arrived at the bottom of the Atherstone flight at 7am and moored up on the lock moorings, we had to wait for the lock keeper to arrive to unlock the gates at 8.30am. The only other boat there was a hire boat on the 48 hour moorings and they were all still in bed. Moored up I made us some coffee and toasted Muffins. Just as I stepped off of the boat another boat pulled in behind us called Waffle, they moor in the marina at Crick over the winter. So we had a few things in common to chat about. The lock keeper arrive just before 8am and unlocked the gates, at this point the gentleman on the hire boat asked if they could go first because they had been moored up overnight. I told him that mooring up overnight does not mean you get to go up the flight first, not only that his crew were still in bed. I told him if he wanted to go first he should have been on the lock moorings earlier. The lock keeper then waved us in and we were on our way. Soon after setting off a hire boat pulled out in front of us in one of the pounds. They were so slow Keith thought we were going backwards. At times it felt like we were pushing them up the flight. 3 hours to do the flight says it all really.
I know they were on their holiday, but when you have boats waiting top and bottom of locks you do have to get on with the job in hand. Once we were clear of the locks we were moving more freely.
But as we approached Hartshill, we found ourselves in a convoy of 4 boats in front of us, with the hire boat in front and slowing everyone up. Due to the slow pace by the time we reached Nuneaton we had at least 2 boats behind us.
It seemed that we all met every oncoming boat in a bridge o'le which made for some fun. Because we were going to have a longer day, I made us some sandwiches and a cold drink for lunch, so we could keep on the move.
Eventually the hire boat moored up, as did one of the others, then the other 2 turned onto the Ashby Canal at Marston Junction, for ages we thought we would all be heading for Sutton’s and that would mean queuing for ages.
We passed by my favourite boat yard Charity Dock, with it quirky manikins around the yard.
For once there was plenty of room to moor before the junction, but we thought we ought to get through the turn and lock today rather than at 6:00am in the morning, I don’t think the householders would be too pleased with Hadar’s engine working hard to make the turn that early in the morning, you see we do care about others, which is more than some do.
We made the turn on to the Oxford and said goodbye to the Coventry for at least another year.
At that point The Greyhound was looking inviting for a pint after the day we had just had. But we still had the lock to do and to hopefully find a mooring, both were achieved I am pleased to say.
We are moored on a bit of a bend on the 7 day moorings, but it will do for tonight, we will be off again tomorrow morning at 6am. Right now I have to think about tonight's dinner and then I am going to put my feet up with a beer. I am so glad I have some cans on board because I could really sink a pint right now.
Chat soon xx