Tuesday, 23 February 2016

In the Footsteps of Kings

last week we found ourselves moored at Stoke Golding. The weather showed its teeth again, with one day of heavy rain, and two very cold nights which left a thick layer of ice on the canal.
Taking advantage of the towpath mud being frozen solid, we took a walk up into the village to find a post office. Our way took us up Crown Hill, the scene of the improptu crowning of Henry Vll after the battle of Bosworth. As we plodded up the hill, with views of the surrounding  coutryside, it gave us a great sense of the past and the history of the area.
As the weather improved we moved on to Market Bosworth, where they do super chip butties in the Red Lion. We also caught up with NB Yarwood and have traveled in their wake since. on Sunday we shared a quiet mooring spot near Congerstone. The Captain joined Lesley & Joe in the 'Horse & Jockey

y for a Sunday lunch. Unfortunately I have caught a throat infection and had to be left behind, somewhat in the manner of Cinderella. (It is slowly getting better but is being a bit persistent).
Yesterday it was a bright fine morning, so, dressing warmly, with the back cabin stove lit, we carried on the last four miles to the the canals terminus at Snarestone.
Well, actually it is no longer srictly the end. The restoration work has been progressing well since we were last here. There is now another 3/4 of a mile of canal, heading for Measham. After years of inactivity it is now possible to picture the eventual reconection with the isolated section already restored past the Moira Furnace.
It is a lovely mooring at the terminus. The sun has beeen shining and the amps have been pouring into the batteries from our solar panels. Last night there were owls hooting in the trees around us and the full moon shone down with his smiling face.
Oh the joy of winter cruising!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

One of our favourites.

We are slowly making our way up the Ashby Canal. It is one of our favourite canals, especially in the winter, when there are few boats about. With Oakapple being quite a deep boat and this canal being shallow, it is much easier if you are not passing other boats all the time, especially inexperienced hire boats.
After a few days in the south to catch up with family we left Brinklow on Tuesday. The winter has been mostly kind so far, and this has continued for the couple of days we spent at Hawksbury. After spending a day in Coventry we returned to find our friends on NB Yarwood moored nearby. Regular readers may recall that this boat, like Oakapple, was built by Barnowl narrowboats and is another example of the quality of their work.
After a get together in the Greyhound, Yarwood set off, also heading for the Ashby Canal. We were keen for them to leave first because there is a boat sunk in the middle of the canal near bridge 4 and us being deeper, we wanted a report back about the situation. By lunch time we got the thumbs up, and we followed in their wake.
Through the stop lock and making the very tricky U turn under the bridge opposite the Greyhound, we were soon on our way past charity dock and onto the Ashby at Marston junction.
It is sad to see a boat sitting on the bottom, even a derelict like this was, however, with care we crept past it and carried on, passing Yarwood moored near Hinkley and finally stopped ourselves near the Lime Kilns pub ( no we didn't go in ) .
It was a lovely cruise from Hawksbury, calm, sun shining and the back cabin stove supplying constant hot drinks from the kettle simmering on top. Who wouldn't want to be out here in the winter?

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

A Busy week in Braunston.

It's been non stop this week. In between socialising with the crews of 'Inca', ' Muleless' and 'Yarwood', we found time to bus into Rugby to collect some train tickets for a trip back to Stafford where we had left our car.
We always enjoy a train ride and the journey back to Stone on Friday gave us an oportunity to see the gang from Aston Marina and to meet up at the Royal Exchange pub for the traditional happy friday gathering. Saying our farewells, we set off for the 70 mile drive back to Braunston. Not a pleasant drive down the M6 in the rain but we got back safely on board by 11.00 pm. A long day!
Sunday saw us back in 'the Boathouse' for another Sunday roast. It's such a good deal, (two roasts and puddings for 15 quid), it is difficult to resist! Of course there were a few bottles of wine went down the same way.
Now, the Captain had promised the boys he'd get the 'Jamesons' out so we all gathered up on board Oakapple yesterday evening, our last chance before we started going our separate ways this morning. It turned out to be a long session, after midnight before turning out into the dark. That's the advantage of being host. Bed is only a few steps down the boat.