We were up and about early this morning since we wanted to get close to home before the temperature drops in the next few days. A few months ago! we found out the hard way that it is not possible to wind Caxton at Wash Lane in Nuneaton so it was on to Springwood Haven before we could turn and head for home.
It was 10 am before we returned to the spot where we had been moored for the previous two nights. We turned on to the Ashby just before 11am and cruised northwards in the sunshine. It was cool and windy but under blue skies, our journey was very enjoyable. We pulled up opposite the Lime Kilns pub where we have moored for our last evening out on Caxton. The wind is forecast to drop overnight so first thing in the morning we will return to our berth in the marina.
Happy New Year everyone!
It was misty and chilly when we set off from the Lime Kilns this morning. Visibility wasn’t great either as we navigated our way around the outskirts of Hinckley but as and when we met other boats, it was always on nice straight stretches. When we reached the Barge moorings near bridge 21, we had to stop to let a boat sort itself out after getting grounded and then wrapping something around its prop. The sun was doing a good job of burning the mist off and by the time we passed Dadlington, the skies were blue and the temperature was rising. The Ashby canal is shallow in many places between Sutton Cheney and Market Bosworth and we foundered a couple of times as we passed the steady stream of boats heading south. We didn’t lose any time and we were soon pulling into the marina where we reversed Caxton on to its home pontoon. After lunch it was simply a case of carrying out the usual chores before loading a couple of bags into the car and heading for home. The first bank holiday monday of the year has been a cracker, lets hope it’s a sign of things to come.
Happy Easter everyone!
We got up at half past seven, had some coffee, emptied a couple of cassettes, untied and left Coventry basin. Facing blue skies and moderate temperatures, we enjoyed some reasonable conditions as we threaded our way out of the city and into the countryside. It was an uneventful trip, we only saw three boats on the move and they were all in convoy. A few pedestrians and dog walkers passed the time of day otherwise it just the two of us travelling in the April sunshine.
Two hours after setting off saw us passing through Sutton’s Stop and another hour brought us to Marston Junction where we turned right on to our beloved Ashby Canal. The sun came out again and accompanied us as we picked our way around the bends of the Ashby until we reached the Lime Kilns where we tied up on the garden mooring before going in and having our Easter Sunday lunch. After that we retired to the boat and flopped in our chairs, listened to the radio and let our dinner go down.
We were resigned to yet another day iced in at the Lime Kilns when we went to bed last night. During the day I had carried a cassette to the elsan at Trinity marina and the prospect of making the two mile round trip again today didn’t exactly fill me with enthusiasm. At eight o’clock, everything changed when a convoy of five boats crunched through the ice heading north. It seems that they had smashed their way off the Coventry canal yesterday before mooring on the other side of the A5 for the night. It seemed a bit pointless to resume our journey towards Marston junction since we would only have the benefit of the broken ice for less than half a mile. The two remaining options were to stay put or to reverse Caxton all the way back to Nutts lane and attempt to wind in the entrance to the brick wharf. I decided to try the latter with Sue walking ahead to warn of any oncoming boats. In the event, there weren’t any and the trip was fairly easy. Turning around wasn’t so easy because the entrance to the wharf was frozen still but with a bit of manouvering, the ice broke and Caxton was pointing in the right direction again. We stopped at Trinity marina where we emptied the rubbish and the cassettes but failed to fill the water up because the supply was either turned off or frozen. The shop was shut so I wasn’t able to buy gas. As we were about to get underway again, I was approached by another boater who had seen me lift the empty gas cylinder out of the locker and then put it back. He told me that if we were desperate for gas, he had a full spare that we could have and he would buy another when the shop opened on Friday – how kind! The great boating camaraderie is alive and well and living on the Ashby canal. We have enough gas but I thanked him for the offer anyway and we restarted our journey. We met a couple of boats along the way but it was otherwise a lonely cruise in the sunshine. At duck corner, I could see the five members of the ice breaking convoy tied up but facing south. When I questioned the captain of the lead boat, Sextans, he told me that they had turned at Sutton Cheney because the ice was too thick to carry on. We reached the wharf about an hour later and could see that they had given up just after the water point. We struggled a bit to get alongside but eventually made it and filled the water tank before reversing on to the visitor moorings and tying up for the night.
The temperature is predicted to keep rising through the night until reaching 12 degrees tomorrow afternoon, what we don’t know is whether it will be sufficient to melt the ice. With the temperature set to drop again on Friday, we will have to pick our time well for the short hop back to Bosworth marina.
I don’t mind mistakes as long as lessons are learned.
The sky was blue and the sun was shining, there were odd patches of snow but in essence the day had the makings of being a good one for cruising. The first thing I did was to wrap up warmly from the outset, adding yet another layer than I had had on the day before, this was lesson one! With the usual checks done, we were off into the sunshine once more. Sue was working away inside Caxton and soon produced a sausage sandwich for me and a mug of tea to wash it down with.
The entire Ashby fleet was present when we passed through Stoke Golding wharf and we only passed two boats travelling in the opposite direction before we reached Trinity Marina at Hinckley. Every so often in a boater’s life, there comes that dreaded day and today was that day, yes the filling of the diesel tank! We took the opportunity to do the other services while we were there in the hope that it would take my mind off the fuel bill but 220 litres of diesel is 220 litres regardless of the price of a barrel of Brent crude!
Everything done, we pootled on to the mooring opposite the Lime Kilns, passing Stu and Treena on Carpe Diem along the way. Jim was tied up outside the Brewers Fayre but was nowhere to be seen.
Once secured, I remembered my second lesson and sorted out the satellite dish before fixing the canvas cover over the rear deck of Caxton.