Treading Water Due To C&RT Closures

Shortly after planning and setting off on our journey from Trinity Marina on the Ashby Canal, around the 12th February, we thought it best to check up on the Canal & Riverside Trust’s website, in case of stoppages. Slightly disheartened we discovered that Glascote Locks were closed for repairs, and wouldn’t be open until 10th March. Plus further on with our journey, Tixall Locks would also be closed until 25th March.

This meant we had to ‘slow down’ and take our time.  We had to elongate 5 day’s travel to Glascote Locks, into 25 days!  We had nothing to rush around for, so we took our time.  Spending several nights in places where we’d probably do an overnight.

On the night of 18th and 19th February, we stayed in the area where Queen Boadicea had her last battle with the Romans.

 

Moving slowly on through 11 Atherstone locks.

 

Filling up with water at Atherstone Top Lock

 

Rust found a friend called ‘Coco’ at Atherstone Bottom Lock

Jobs To Do…

We found a lovely spot on the Ashby. Monday, it’s quiet, got good WiFi, and good TV reception.  We decided to stay and do those jobs we couldn’t do while in the marina.  Yesterday John cleaned out the waste  water drainage system, and checked the bilges in case of problems. We also dismantled the Stovex multi-fuel stove to give it a good clean, including sweeping the chimney.

Last week at a local hardware shop, The Tool Box in Hinckley, we picked up a sort of gigantic bottle brush. It must stand about 8ft tall, and it proved to be perfect for cleaning the chimney. After removing the firebricks, the baffler and the log shield, the Stovex was wrapped with an old towel to keep any sooty mess down. Outside John climbed on the gunnels, and rammed the ‘bottle brush’ down the chimney.  Amazing how much soot, tar and dross came down, it was almost a bucketful. Putting the Stovex together again was another matter!  Following lots of swearing and stretched patience, the Stovex was eventually ‘rebuilt’ and lit.

After a good cleanup, including having a shower, it felt so good to sit in front of a roaring fire with a wee dram – toasting a successful day. Amazing improvement to the output from the fire following the chimney clean.

Today, after listening to the weather forecast, and still having jobs to do, we decided to stay for another day (cos we can).  We completed the ‘dodger’ that was started before Christmas.  While in the marina we didn’t have much inclination to complete it.  Being on the canal, we felt the need to help cut down some of the ‘draft’.  You might be wondering what a ‘dodger’ is….. a dodger is a cover at the stern by the tiller secured with elastic ties.

 

 

There was a lovely surprise this evening, it was a beautiful sunset.  The rain was hammering down, yet the sunset was glorious, and was shining through the water.  Wished we’d had a better camera as then the three swans who were gliding in the sun’s reflection on the water would have been clearly shown.  The view was a glorious end to another great day out on the cut.

 

Spring Is In The Air!

We’ve been moored up in Trinity Marina on the Ashby since mid December. Whilst there, we’ve undertaken quite a bit of renovations and maintenance to our now ‘homely’ home afloat.

For the past few weeks we’ve had serious bouts of ‘cabin fever’, coupled with impatience for Spring to arrive.

This weekend we’ve taken the ‘optimistic bull’ by the horns, and planned our escape!  Setting of with a well stocked boat of food, water, and fuel, we absconded from the ‘life in the marina’.

 

On this bright blue sunny ‘end of winter’ day, we glanced back, wondering about the adventures we’re going to experience before we see this sight again.

 

It feels just so good to be travelling once again, this time with the whole of the Spring and Summer stretching before us.

 

The swans were feeling the joy of the warm sun on their backs.  Soon no doubt last year’s youngsters will  be pairing up.  We can’t wait to see the cygnets arrive.

 

Don’t let Rusty’s stern look confuse you, he’s delighted too to be ‘out on the cut’.  As you can imagine he misses nothing!  Funny how the photo managed to muddle his ears with a tree in the background.  It makes his big ears look even fluffier and bigger.

 

We’d forgotten how beautiful and historical our canals are.

 

Being in no rush, we moored up after just 2 hours pootling.  Solar panels facing the sun we’re generating 150 watts, satellite dish aligned, and catching 40 meg of internet…. we’re chilled!