We had a few
hours days to kill, so we took a slow cruise back towards Willow Wren Training Centre for John’s date (Saturday, 29th) with his ‘day course’ on maintaining marine diesel engines.
We had phoned Willow Wren Training Centre, and said we would be arriving by our boat Cyan on the 28th; Willow Wren offered us mooring in their ‘arm’. We were delighted to see a huge board on the side of the canal saying “Welcome NB Cyan” (nice touch Willow Wren!).
John was one of 8 or so students. After his course, at the end of the day, John was buzzing with ideas, and he had a confidence boost in his technical abilities. He was able to ‘bounce’ his technical worries regarding Cyan off the tutor; which was a huge relief for him.
On Sunday morning (30th) we set off on our trip to Trinity Marina in Hinckley. There’s a fantastic website we use to plan canal journeys (canalplan.org.uk/), the website advised that we need to travel just over 39 miles miles to our destination. Travelling for just 5 hours a day; the journey will take 3 days! This is us from now on….. such is our pace of life!
We cruised back to the Braunston turning, where we left the Grand Union Canal, and joined the Oxford Canal.
The Oxford is such a beautiful canal, and as a special treat it was clothed in beautiful autumn splendour!
Pictures (especially taken by our old camera) do not do justice to the pleasant views we’re lucky enough to experience. It’s magic, like a world time forgot!
It was great to see canal-side pubs, boaters, and boatyards entering into the ‘spirit’ of Halloween!
Here’s a ‘traffic jam’, boater style! The boatyard was totally full of hire boats, and boats for sale, in fact they were moored up two abreast. So when a ‘customer’ needs the services of the boatyard, they have to moor up ‘three abreast’! On this occasion stopping the traffic on the cut, which is frowned upon by the C&RT (Canal & Riverside Trust)!
We had the option of chilling out and ‘going with the flow’, or getting ‘excited’! We chilled!
Eventually we arrived at Hawkesbury Junction, where the Oxford meets the Coventry Canal. Before we could enter the Coventry we had to go through a lock. After the huge flights of locks we’ve been through during our ‘October Cruise’, this lock was minuscule! The levels of the canals was less than a foot! Reputedly so the canal authorities could charge a toll for ‘barges’ entering ‘their’ canal.
This wasn’t the only ‘minuscule thing’ at this junction, we’ve also been told the smallest police station in Britain is built here!
Here is where we left the Oxford behind us. The history of the canals is so fascinating, for example this bridge was built just after Wellington had defeated the tyrant, Napoleon!
At Brinklow, on the Coventry Canal, we saw a mother duck with a brood of about 8 day old ducklings. Lovely to see, but so sad to think that their survival prospect is practically nill due to being hatched so late in the year. The mother duck no doubt has been confused by the mild autumn we’ve experienced.
At Marsden Junction, we turned right onto the now familiar Ashby Canal.
We arrived at Hinckley Marina during Tuesday afternoon. We will be moored in the Marina for the month of November, though we’ll probably pop out of the marina several times during the month. We’ve got the option to stay here during December, which will depend on how cold the weather is, and whether our newly discovered ‘wanderlust tendencies’ need exercising.
We’ve got several jobs to do on the boat, and being on shoreline electricity will help.