Sunday, 25 October 2020

Back in the marina!

 When we set off at 7:45 (GMT) this morning the weather was sunny and a bit breezy - nothing worse.  I was able to steer Densie into our mooring with just a minor bump.  By 11:30 everything had been packed and loaded into the car and gas electricity and water all turned off so we headed home.

0.5 miles 30 minutes cruising/mooring

Total For Trip

90.84 miles, 8 locks, 2 movable bridges. 40.25 hours cruising in 10 days.

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Stormy weather, but nearly home

 When we got up this morning there was no sign of strong winds or heavy rain so it seemed a good idea to get closer to our marina whilst we could.  Dressed in our wet weather gear we set off at 9:45.  Some light rain and a breeze but nothing to cause any discomfort. 2.5 hours later we had ascended the 3  Hilmorton Locks helped by volunteer lock keepers and moored up about a mile from the marina.

Our hope was to go into our marina in the late afternoon as the weather forecast indicated the weather would be calmer then.  After lunch at the mooring we moved closer to the marina.  However the weather quickly deteriorated with very strong winds driving the rain towards us, rocking the boat.

So the plan now is to keep to BST and move into the marina at around 8:30 our time or 7:30 everybody else's when we are hoping conditions will be better.

6.28 miles, 3 locks, 2 hours 55 mins

Friday, 23 October 2020


 Another 5 hour/12 mile journey today to get to Rugby where we plan to stay until Sunday when we hope the weather conditions at our marina will be less windy.

Passing under the M6

On the Oxford Canal

Moored at Rugby

After starting at 9am this morning the journey was pleasant with a few very light rain showers.  The only stop was at the Rose hireboat centre at Sutton Stop where there is a small swing footbridge, otherwise we were continually moving until our arrival at Rugby soon after lunch.  The most convenient moorings were all full but we found plenty of space further down the canal.

The mooring was still within easy walking distance of Tesco where we shopped in the afternoon for provisions to last us until we get home.

12.4 miles 1 bridge 5 hours 15 mins travelling

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Back to Hawkesbury Junction

 Our plans were to get back to our marina on Saturday, spend the night there and drive home on Sunday.  However Saturday's weather forecast is showing 25mph winds gusting to 40 mph.  In those conditions there is no way we can get Densie into her mooring without banging into the adjacent boat.  Strong winds can easily push a narrowboat sideways across a canal or in this case across a marina as the side acts as a large sail.  So we need to get as far as we can before Saturday, probably moor up for most of the day and go into the marina on Sunday morning.

Another view of the Ashby Canal

Hawkesbury Junction Stop Lock

We set out at 9:00 in pleasant sunny but cold weather. and, after a stop at Ashby Boat Company to empty our waste tank, carried on down the Ashby Canal.  At Marston Junction where the Ashby meets the Coventry Canal we turned east back to Hawkesbury Junction and iand then through the stop lock onto the Oxford Canal where we have moored for the night.

12.18 miles, 1 lock, 6 hours including our stop at Ashby Boat Company

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Cruising in the rain

 The weather forecast for today was terible - heavy rain all day.  However we need to get back home on Sunday so had to make progress today to avoid very long days for the remainder of our journey.

We set off in the rain at 9:15. There are waterproof jackets, trousers, wellies and a large umbrella on board  so we were able to keep dry each taking it in turns to drive whilst the other one held the umbrella.  As the Ashby has no locks there was no need to get off the boat and we made fast progress as the water level was even higher thanon  our journey out.

By lunchtime we were getting somewhat fed up with the weather so we moored for the day at 1pm near the village of Dadlington.

Sorry  no photos!

8.78 miles, 0 locks, 3 hours 40 mins cruising.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Snarestone and now on our way home

 We started early at 8:45 to reach Snarestone in time to meet friends for lunch.

Two views of the Ashby Canal between Snarestone and  Shackerstone

Which is how it all worked out. 3 miles after leaving we passed through Shackerstone along perhaps the most delightful section of the Ashby Canal onto Snarestone.  Here the canal goes under the village through the Snarestone Tunnel.  Despite being very short at 250 yard it manages to include a pronounced S-bend.

Half a mile further on there is a winding hole suitable for turning the largest canal boats and a sanitary station where we filled up with water.  We could have continued for a few hundred yards more to the end of navigation where work is in progress to re-open the canal for a further 5 miles but there is nowhere for a boat of Densie's length to turn around.

We returned through the tunnel to Snarestone and enjoyed a very good lunch at the Globe with our friends.  There was then time in the afternoon to cruise back to Shackerstone to moor for the night.  Tomorrows weather forecast is showing a lot of rain so we may have to stay here all day.  

9.96 miles 0 locks 4.5 hrs travelling. 

Monday, 19 October 2020

North on the Ashby to Market Bosworth and beyond

 As we are due to meet friends in Snarestone at the end of the Ashby tomorrow lunchtime we needed get some miles covered.  We had come concern that we would not be able to maintain the sort of speeds we managed on the Oxford.  The Ashby is well known for being shallow and slow-going.

A typical Ashby Canal grey stone bridge

Ashby Canal scenery

We left our mooring at 9am heading towards the industrial town of Hinckley.    During much of the journey beyond Hinckley the canal is lined with trees which are begining to lose their leaves.  The autumn colours add to the attractive scenary of woods, farmland and gentle  hills. After continuously travelling for 14.5 lock-free miles we stopped at 3pm near Market Bosworth.

It was clear fom the start that we would not be slowed down very much as the canal was unusually deep,  within an inch or two of the top of weirs that control the level.  Over the whole journey we averaged 2.6mph, rather better than on the Oxford Canal where we were delayed at the stop lock at Hawkesbury Junction. 

14.5  miles, 0 locks, 4 hours 55mins travelling.