Ashby and Oxford canal back to Napton

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Ashby Canal once you get past Stoke Golding is really lovely and remote-its a real pleasure to cruise although a little shallow in places.We managed to get out for 2 weeks of very mixed weather, we only cruised in the rain three times,and on a few occasions we had warm sunshine.

A nice group of canal cottages as we approached Snarestone

Our mooring at Conglestone a really lovely spot with the sound of steam trains on the Battlefield Line

A mobile chicken run which I assume provides fresh eggs.

An interesting structure  which I think is made from willow,its at the entrance to the old goods yard,now an industrial estate, at Stoke Golding.

These two male Mallard ducks were fighting next to the boat for about 20 minutes. 

This female mallard duck has decided to nest in a plant tray on the roof of the boat moored near ours at Wigrams

Nine hours to Hinckley and beyond

I had problems trying to post entries to the blog after Hillmorton so have had to post a few now we have got back home. Don't know what the problem was but it seems ok now.We had after we left Hillmorton a really long day for us- it was 9 hours and we covered 22.5miles and 1 lock- to Hinckley Bridge 16 on the Ashby canal where we met Pip and Richard.The weather has been very changeable- heavy showers,sunshine,cold winds and the odd sleet shower.- ah proper spring weather at last. The water levels from rain run off are going up -but probably only in the short term.

A lovely Mural on an old railway bridge as we passed Rugby

A swan nesting on an old wooden narrow boat hull near Charity Dock at Bedworth

If only more tunnels on the canal system had lights like Newbold Tunnel

It was a cold damp morning and this donkey seemed to sum it up well- I do hate mornings!!!!

Following nb Fino on the Ashby Canal
Another boat caravan

Big brother is watching

The end of the Ashby just north of Snarestone.It finishes just past the swing bridge although they are very well advanced on restoring the next section

Hillmorton Locks

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

We have managed to get out for a couple of weeks as our plan for a 3 month trip has been put on hold. My brother had a serious operation in March and was in ICU for 4 days- the NHS have been wonderfull, in a crisis they cannot be beaten. He is now home and making good progress but Anne and I both feel we need to be able to get down to Somerset if we need to.The other issue that I need to resolve is my right eye. Its still not right (sorry) in that there is some scarring following the cataract operation that needs to be lasered away.Hopefully this can be resolved in the next few months as it has gone on since May 2008 and is part of the detached retina saga.

Well thats our woe at the moment but it was lovely to get out boating today in the sunshine although a bit chilly in the wind- but that is the pleasure of spring boating and seeing everything coming alive.Had planned to leave yesterday but the engine battery gave up the ghost.I had planned to change it anyway and managed to rearrange the engineer to come to the marina this moring to do it and we were on our way by noon.

We are heading to the Ashby Canal to meet with our friends Pip and Richrd on their boat and have managed to get to Hillmorton locks near Rugby ( a long day tomorrow of 9 hours should get us to them). The locks are interesting in that they are the first set of working paired single locks to come across going north.The Trent & Mersey canal north of Stoke on Trent has some as you drop down onto the Cheshire Plain.

The canal from Napton to Hillmorton is about 5 inches lower than normal with volunter lock keepers on hand to ensure best practise at the locks with one set closed overnight. Its going to be a long hard summer.

The double Hillmorton locks

A new Barn Owl nest box which has a good view over the surrounding fields

Bridge 80 on the North Oxford canal which needs some much needed tlc from the new Canal & River Trust