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Shenton

Wind, leaves and a loose boat

After a very quiet night on the Shenton mooring we dragged ourselves out of bed and had breakfast which in my case was this bacon and egg sandwich created by chef Susan.

She makes a good sandwich!

Streaky bacon and a free range egg

Goody two shoes Sue had a vegetarian breakfast which I’m sure was very nice but didn’t warrant a photo. By ten o’clock we were ready to face the world and the first person that we saw was Rick on nb Auriga so we flagged him down and bought four bags of coal from him.

Rick, the friendly coalman.

Rick, the friendly coalman.

With the coal safely stowed away, we untied and headed off in the direction of Sutton Cheney. This section of the Ashby is shallow and at the moment, like all canals is full of leaves which do their best to wrap themselves around the prop so with the strong wind thrown in for good measure, progress was slow. The water point was clear when we reached Sutton Cheney wharf so we pulled up and did the usual emptying and filling that we needed to do. Once serviced, we turned at the wharf and started our journey back to Market Bosworth. A boat moored on the towpath side of the battlefield mooring had come undone as an oncoming boat passed it and by the time we got there it had completely blocked the canal. Sue got off and helped the steerer from the oncoming boat to secure the wayward vessel. They soon discovered that the boat had been inadequately moored in the first place so it was hardly surprising that it had broken free. They soon had the situation under control and we were able to get underway again. Our escape from the scene was difficult, the wind pushed us into the shallows and the prop became clogged with leaves, the breakaway boat was still impeding our progress even though it was now securely tied. Eventually, after reversing until we were back alongside that bloody troublesome boat, we were able to get into the deepest part of the channel and then slowly make our escape. The rest of our journey was straightforward but by the time we reached the marina, the south westerly wind was blowing hard across the entrance with the result that no amount of bow thrusting, tiller or throttle could prevent us brushing the rubber buffer on the way into the basin. We were able to get on to our pontoon without any further trouble and were soon securely anchored in our berth.

A breath of fresh air

After a couple of weeks away from Caxton it was good to be back on board on Thursday evening. I went to work on Friday morning while Sue walked up to town and caught the bus to Woodlands nursery and did a bit of shopping. When I returned in the afternoon, we pondered over whether to venture out or stay put until Saturday. A heavy rain shower made the decision for us and we settled in for the night.

A clear blue sky greeted us on Saturday morning so we got showered, dressed and had breakfast before setting off just after ten. It was quite breezy when we left but there is so much space at Bosworth Marina that manouvering in and out is no problem. Thank you Helen, we are eternally grateful for the generous design.
We made the short trip down the ashby to Shenton aqueduct where we tied up to the armco on the offside.

Shenton Aqueduct

Shenton Aqueduct

It was then a case of getting the walking boots on and striding out in the direction of Shenton station. We spent a bit of time in the glass blowing studio there, admiring the work of the resident craftsman before walking up to the battlefield centre at the top of Ambion hill. It was still bright and sunny when we reached the large Sundial memorial next to the huge flags of the houses of plantagenet and tudor.

Sundial

Sundial

The Crown

The Crown

Battle flags

Battle flags

We plodded on to the centre itself where we hoped to get a cup of tea. As it turned out, the cafe is licensed so while “goody two shoes” Sue had a pot of decaf tea, I availed myself of a nourishing pint of Stella Artois.
Well refreshed, we continued with our walk, this time skirting Ambion wood and eventually reaching the old track bed of the dismantled railway. We followed the path until we were back at Shenton station and then it was back on the road to the aqueduct and our mooring.

Caxton nestling on its mooring.

Caxton nestling on its mooring.

Despite the time of year, it was still pleasant enough to sit in the cratch in the afternoon with a lovely view along the tree lined canal, the section that used to be the battlefield mooring before the Stoke Golding discovery was made.

Tree lined Battlefield Moorings

Tree lined Battlefield Moorings

After two weeks driving and spending hours in one office or another, it had been so good to get out and get some fresh air – the perfect tonic!

Lunch at Shenton

It was quite late on Friday when we arrived at Bosworth Marina and by the time we had unpacked our bags it was dark. We awoke on Saturday to the sound of rain on the roof and when we looked out, we saw that there was a strong wind blowing across the marina. After a lazy start, Sue made breakfast sandwiches for us both but the rain continued to lash against the outside of the boat so we amused ourselves indoors. Sue read and knitted while I wrote a blog post. When the rain eventually stopped in the early afternoon, we jumped in the car and visited the garden centre at nearby Stapleton where we bought a few bits and pieces for Caxton and some bacon and sausage from the butcher there.
After returning to Caxton, we awaited the arrival of Martin and Caroline who are currently on holiday, cruising the Leicester ring on a Napton narrowboat. They are having their own boat built next year and will moor in Bosworth Marina when it is ready but for now they will have to make do with a couple of nights there on holiday. They arrived just before four o’clock and despite the strong winds, pulled on to their berth just a few pontoons away from Caxton. Naturally we invited them on board and we spent the next few hours having a drink and chatting about all things boat related. It was after seven when we parted company, after which we had a light supper before turning in for the night.
It was a bit chilly on Sunday morning but once the hurricane had been fired up, that soon changed. We got up, showered and had breakfast of bacon and egg with Sue having mushroom as well. In stark contrast to the day before, the sun was out and it was quite warm so we decided to get out and take Caxton to Shenton. We topped the water up outside the marina and then got underway. It’s hard to believe that it was possible to go boating in short sleeves in October but that’s exactly what we did, enjoying the autumn sunshine. It was a very relaxing trip and after we had winded at the end of what used to be the Battlefield moorings, we returned and moored next to Shenton aqueduct. We then walked to the village and paid a visit to the Whitemoors antique centre and tearooms where we had lunch and very enjoyable it was too.
We strolled back to Caxton and started our return journey, a journey that ground to a halt ten minutes later when we got stuck in the shallows after meeting a boat as we both passed a moored narrowboat. It proved impossible to re float Caxton without the help of the long pole but a few minutes later we were underway again.
It was just before four when we got back into our berth and tied Caxton to the pontoon. After emptying the cassettes and packing our bits into the car, we said our goodbyes to Martin and Caroline, wishing them well for the rest of their holiday and the building of their boat.
All that remained was to drive home and prepare for the week ahead.

September 2017
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