Saturday, 15 June 2013

Going south to go north????

Life is simple in a get in it and basically just head in the direction you wish to go and you'll get there......simple! On a narrow boat it's so different. We left Crick and had to go south to head north....for instance to get to Rugby by road from Crick is 9 mls but to get to Rugby by canal it is 19 mls including 16 locks and 2 tunnels (both over a mile long) by road it takes 15 mins to do the 9 mls. By canal it took us 4 days.......big difference eh?

Anyway.....we leave Crick after spending a pleasant evening with Kate owner of NB Priscilla and head south through Crick tunnel and head for Braunston (via the kinky tunnel) and then branch off the GU and up the Oxford north heading for Rugby where luckily there is a large Tesco 200 yds away from The Cut. We stay there overnight and meet up with a nasty man.....we do seem to attract them! Because we are new to this life we are cautious more often than not. We go real slow around other boaters, round blind bends and through bridges so when there are moored boats either side of The Cut I go real slow as chances are another boat will come along in the opposite direction.....sure enough along he comes...he stops to allow me through and then because I am so slow (the only reason I can think of) he decides to come through too smacking straight into the side of us!!!! "I thought you were letting me through" I say......"Nah, that's what happens when you've got a shiny new boat mate" he said laughingly. Now, we know our boat is new but we do understand that it will get "knocked about" and that's fine but me thinks he was in a bit of a rush and just barged his way bit was that Suzie heard the sound of breaking glass.....but not on our boat...hehe!

We get back out into the countryside which we both love and Suzie managed to capture this....
click on the picture and you'll see the little fellow!
Onwards in a kind of northerly direction we moor overnight in a place called Ansty....there is not a lot there but it does get mentioned in the doomsday book of 1086 and it's main land owner was once Lady Godiva.

We leave Ansty nice and early and head for Hawkesbury Junction where the Oxford and Coventry canals meet.
On the right is the Oxford canal and the left is the
Coventry canal
Hawkesbury pumping station built in 1821 and housed a steam engine
that was built in 1720. This was used to pump water from local coal mines
into the canal.
So up the Coventry we go past Bedford, Nuneaton and moor up at a village called Hartshill between Nuneaton and Atherstone.....erm.....not a lot to say apart from as the weather was glorious we stayed here for 4 nights just enjoying the sunshine and our freedom. We did speak to David and Karen owners of The Wessex Rose who are now on the K and A canal waiting for channel 4 to complete the filming.......Suzie emailed them a picture that Channel 4 might use......I think they will decline but we think it's a good one!
I felt it would be a better shot if Suzie was canal side
and not towpath side but she was too scared of
falling in! (it's gonna happen one day darling)
Whilst here a couple of things happened.......a couple came and knocked the door (sadly we didn't catch their names) they had just moored next to us and they own NB Cherry which was built by Milburn's 7 years ago.....they are so happy with their boat and we hope we will be as happy in 7 years time.
Shortly after that along came a boat and stopped along side.......It was Paul and Elaine from NB The Manly Ferry aka Caxton. If you have read the blog you will know that we met Paul's sister in Weedon back in April......we very quickly grabbed some cash, locked the boat and hopped aboard their home (including 2 dogs and 3 cats) and cruised down to the pub where we sampled the local beer for the evening. We also met Dave and Debbie who own NB Chuffed, lovely couple and we will sure to bump into them again as they are heading north.........we did however after a few beers have a 1.5 ml walk back but it was fine, albeit a little wobbly. Thank you guys for a great evening!
We were in a position where we needed a pumpout within the next few days and as we plan to stop at Polesworth there doesn't appear to be anything in between so we had no choice but to turn the boat around and travel back 2-3 mls to Springwood Haven Marina to do the pumpout and fill up with diesel at the same time.....faced with the choice of reversing the boat 200 yds or travel a mile up The Cut to the next winding hole we took the easy option and chose not to reverse! oo-er.....the winding hole was rather tight, on a bend and very shallow.......yep we got the boat stuck across the canal and it was funny watching Suzie try and lift our pole off the roof to try and push the boat off the mud.....NO CHANCE!
Eventually we get the boat unstuck and turned round which was quite stressful......luckily we met no other traffic in our hour of tribulation the only thing was it appeared the rudder had jumped out of it's location on the skeg and it's the same feeling you get whilst driving a car when a wheel bearing has gone.....we slowly make our way to Springwood Haven where they kindly sort the problem out for us....If you ever need diesel, gas, pumpout or chandlery items stop there.....they are lovely people and very very helpful. Cor blimey!!! about this one then.....whilst there I go and chat to the owners (Mike and Heather) of NB Burlisa moored behind us. Very quickly Heather looks up and says....."I know you........your name is Robert and you have a brother called Graham"........stunned by Heather's statement I say "yes, but how do you know"? Heather and Mike were my neighbours where I lived up to the age of 17!!!! I am 55 now but apparently not changed much!!!

All sorted we say goodbye to mike and Heather and to the guys at Springwood and make our way to Polesworth where we are planning to meet up with some friends we haven't seen for over a year....
We come down the flight of 11 locks at Atherstone and carry on and moor up....Roger and Pat owners of NB The cats Whiskers arrive with Paul a friend of theirs they are taking to Coventry. We give them a tour of Swamp Frogs and decide to have a few beers in The Red Lion in the High Street, back to The Cats Whiskers for a good old sing song with Roger playing anything from "Somewhere over the rainbow" to "when I'm cleaning windows"

Great fun......with some lovely friends.

We have to say goodbye to Roger and Pat as they have to get to Coventry to drop Paul there. I am sure we'll meet up again sometime as Roger and pat are looking for a winter mooring down south as we are and who knows.......we could end up as neighbours????
Roger and Pat with Hmmmmm.......
....who else is that in the picture???
No sooner had Roger and Pat left Brian and Irene who own NB Rangitoto moored up wanting lunch. Rather than feed them I direct them to The Red Lion. We were chatting to Brian and Irene a few days ago and I'm sure we'll bump into them again as they, like us are heading north.

So.......onwards north....with a bit of south, east and west chucked in!

Since the last blog we've done 48 miles, 28 locks and 2 tunnels!
This gives a grand total of 120 miles 100 yards, 87 locks and 6 tunnels (tunnels over 1000yds only).

1 comment:

  1. Great to meet you both - the picture I took as we met you on your way back from Springwood Haven is on our blog! Hope to see you again
    Debby and Dave


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