With a little sadness I left the Ashby canal behind me...
... and bypassed Nuneaton, alhough I did finally meet a boat called 'Hare' - sadly charging out of a bridge on a blind bend, I'd sounded my horn but hadn't heard theirs - we got away with it, wind notwithstanding.
Atherstone is a sweet little market town full of charity shops (four lovely carpentry books for a pound, in my case) and pound shops in all but name, and a one way main street. Not having studied the journey ahead in great detail, I hadn't realised the Atherstone flight consisted of 11 locks in approx 2 miles - for the last few I knew there was a boat behind me so I was backsetting them as I left, which of course made my steady single-handed lock progress even slower, but they never really caught up. I'm reluctant to backset a lock (start refilling it after leaving it, leaving a paddle or two up as I go) without knowing they're definitely behind me and no-one is coming the other way, but it does help if it works out.
Half way down I passed a lovely 70 year old woman bringing her new pride & joy - a 26' Springer - home, and loving every minute of it. Whilst most people are friendly on the canals, some are distinctly po-faced, and some are loving every second. But that's another post, one day...
Gratuitous evening swan shot:
I moored for the night in Polesworth where a mention of music 'in church', turned out to be a stage behind the church, complete with bar & food stall - and very happy vicar (very sweetly called 'Phil' by all & sundry). Got there, they told me the box office was closed but let me in anyway. Didn't take camera, but I saw the 'Polesworth Rythm and Blues band' - must have been 12 piece plus, all apparently local musicians put together for the event every year. Chatting to the viacr I suggested he put up a banner or poster for passing boaters to see - so many must have passed through or moored up that weekend without knowing anything about the weekend festival.
I walked back to the boat (past the fire station hosting a quiz night, apparently being taken very seriously from what I could see) still appreciating that full moon, lighting up canal from the clear sky - there's something quite magical about moonlight shadows (and the Mike Oldfield soing isn't that bad, either).
Norton Canes on test - The December Canal Boat contains my boat test on the latest offering from Norton Canes Boat Services.
3 days ago