Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Return to the Ashby

Saturday 21st May  All Oaks Wood to Burton Hastings, Ashby Canal

We had a bit of a late start today, not leaving until 10.  It rained quite a bit overnight and was quite windy, so we bumped on the rock edge occasionally.  But once we got going we discovered that the one rural spot we could have used if we’d gone on was fully occupied, and the towpath at the Ansty moorings was very wet and muddy, so in spite of the bumps we had the best mooring available.  It stayed dry for most of the morning, with just a few short spells of light rain, though it was very breezy.  As we approached the Pylons of Hawkesbury Junction we spotted a couple of interesting ones for NB Valerie's collection!

                    2 half a pylon at hawkesbury junction  3 and one with baskets

We moored for lunch before the junction, at the start of the grassy area where there are often horses tethered.  But today they were nowhere to be seen, so we could let Meg out for a while and Dave played ball with her before we left.

4 game of ball

We dropped the few inches down the stop lock and Dave turned onto the Coventry Canal smoothly and with no trouble in spite of the breeze.

5 onto the coventry

I walked across from the lock and he picked me up in the narrows at the Engine House.

6 hawkesbury engine house

We waved and exchanged wishes for a pleasant journey with NB Dreamweaver, who you can see moored on the right just beyond the bridge.  We have passed and been passed by them several times in the last couple of days.  They are on their way to Boston via the Trent and so we won’t see them again at least for a few months! 

In spite of the chilly wind the scent of the hawthorn blossom is still filling the air.

7 hawthorn blossom

The gorilla in this Bedworth garden has moved – I am sure he was on the patio last time we passed.  I think he looks good here by the bamboo.

8 gorilla in the garden

Perhaps they should enrol him in Canal Watch.  We met a boater along this stretch who warned us about light-fingered locals – he lost a chair and another boat had a generator pinched -  so although there seem to be several new lengths of Armco piling we won’t be making an overnight stop in this area.  I got my camera poised for Charity Dock. An air hostess has replaced the child and Father Christmas on the climbing frame, and this elegant lady looks as though she’s been partying!

           9 charity dock  10 charity dock

The policewoman on the horse is looking rather coy with her baseball cap but the Stig is his usual inscrutable self.

   11 charity dock12 charity dock

While walking the dog near home last week I met another dog walker who used to live on a boat moored here.  She worked as an artist with schools I think, but they had to sell the boat and move down to Devon to look after elderly parents.  I can’t remember their boat’s name unfortunately.

We were soon at Marston Junction and turning onto the Ashby canal.  We haven’t been here for a few years.

13 Marston junction

There was one boat in front of us but they soon moored up and we continued almost as far as Burton Hastings.  Dave immediately got the TV aerial up for the cup final – phew the signal was good enough! We were visited by a father swan and his three recently hatched cygnets.  They obligingly came to the side hatch for a photo-shoot.

14 bold cygnets with dad

The mother was nowhere to be seen – maybe she is still sitting on eggs?  The rain set in around 5 and it was very windy.  Only a few hire boats on the move now.  I felt very sorry for them.

15 poor souls

1 little stop lock today, and nearly 14 miles.

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