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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Atherstone to Rugby

I cannot believe how early we set off this morning. 6 30 am is a ridiculous time to get going, but  two boats had come down the locks late in the evening so we knew they would all be in our favour if we set of early. The sun was up, the fields were awash with yellow and with the fragrance in the air from the rape flower, it really wasn't a bad time to go. Various incidents made me smile going up the flight, The moorhen feeding her chicks in the side pond, and the horse that clearly found it to early to get up!


Atherstone lock 9 in the distance.

Not quite camouflaged!!!

Wind turbine lording it over the fields

Made the top by 8.15am although the last three locks were all against us, but all in all, we didn't make to bad a time. Moored at the top,and on the water point , was President and butty Kildare. They are off to join the Canalway Cavalcade Festival in Little Venice before joining the Queens Diamond Jubilee flotilla on June 3rd. We knew they had been at Fradley hours before us when we went through yesterday, so really didnt expect to catch up with them. Shame they had no steam up! Love the sound of the whistle when they get going.

After travelling a few miles,  suddenly Nb Triskaidieka came from the opposite direction. We both realised that we were fellow bloggers at the same time, and after a laugh and a quick hello, they disappeared into the distance. Another time we might be able to say more then just hello.  We sailed past Valley Cruisers and someone who painted this obviously has no idea what a dog looks like!  Made me chuckle but I suppose it gets the point across..

Who else thinks this sign looks like a tortoise defecating?

Onwards into Nuneaton which seemed much cleaner then when we came through a couple of months ago. The sunken cruiser was no longer there and someone has cleared away all those bikes  fished out from the canal. ( either that or they have all gone back in!!)  Cruised past the sunken hull of a working boat in Bedworth, with a swan having made herself a comfortable nest. Good to see the old boat still comes in useful.

Went past Marsworth Junction and the Ashby canal and then about 2 miles further on, did the sharp left hand turn at Hawksbury Junction. Talk about busy!! I followed 2 boats into the junction from the Coventry canal, two boats were moored by the pub and boats were queueing up on the Oxford to join the Coventry. Absolute bedlam considering most of the boats were hire boats. Mind you just before it was our turn to enter the lock and while I was holding the gate open for a Cliffton cruiser, the lady from the hire boat walked over to me and said she was waiting for another boat. I asked if they were friends of theirs  "No" she said "The notice tells us to share a lock with another boat so that's why we are waiting". I nearly fell about laughing and then explained that it was impossible to get another boat in with them. She went bright red and apologised for her ignorance. I just had to show you the lock in question, and the BW notice!

Sutton stop, Hawksbury Junction ( narrow lock )

I appreciate this is a standard BW notice but BW havent taken into consideration that newbie hirer's wouldn't have a clue!!
As the forecasted rain held off all day, we pushed on to see how far we could get by 4pm. Happened to be Rugby. So moored up and I shopped at Tesco while Ian prepared dinner. Miles travelled 24.1,  Locks 10 and cruising time 9.5 hours.

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