Wednesday, 29 August 2018

A Short Day

(Both boats being moved together - posted by Alan)

Typical of the start of the Oxford - the modern bridges are often nor pretty.
We made a deliberately late start this morning, as David wished to visit a shop in Nuneaton that didn't open until noon, and that was little over an hours boating from our overnight stop.  The sole unusual happening before Nuneaton was that overhanging and very low-hanging  branches, (of which there are too many on the Coventry!), managed to sweep my stern rope off the top of the back cabin, and deposit ut into the canal.  We were by no means certain it would not have sunk to the bottom, but after a long and noisy reverse, we found it still afloat, and managed to retrieve it.  At least it will not end up fouling somebody's propeller.

This picture totally fails to show the mass of boats that soon surrounded me!
The canals have been fairly busy much of the day, but it was at Hawkesbury Junction that real mayhem started.  I had to stop just after the old stop lock on the Coventry before attempting the 180 degree turn onto the Oxford, but other boats then completely blocked the old stop lock behind me.  This meant boats that had turned from the Oxford onto the Coventry had nowhere to go, but were also blocking the area I needed to move into before attempting the turn.  Then just as I was ready to go, the steerer of a boat about to come through the bridge told my crew he was heading to Coventry, (so not into the already log-jammed bit of cut).  He was giving us duff information, and actually also turned towards us into an area where there was already no space.  I gave up, and started my turn, despite nowhere to put my back end to have a chance of getting around cleanly.  Needless to say I didn't get around in one!

Cath was round OK, but the other boat didn't do what they said they would.
We are booked to go with Flamingo down the Stretton Arm tomorrow to Brinklow Boat Services, to have another attempt at a welding job that did not succeed last time we were there.  There are few opportunities on this stretch of the Oxford to moor deep draughted boats against the edge, but needed to find a spot before Stretton that would mean only a short additional run tomorrow.  We managed to get in at Ansty, which is quite unusual, though given the state of the bank we have tried to put stakes in to we nay not still be moored by the morning.

Cath worked out what looked like an an excellent circular walk for the dogs, mostly on footpaths mostly through fields.  However the fields had mostly been ploughed, the footpaths  were mostly hard to guess, and there were only about two signs all the way around  We did get back, but could have done with a sherpa!

Springwood Haven (Coventry Canal) to Ansty (Oxford Canal)
Miles per boat: 11.3, Miles both boats: 22.6, Locks: 2
Total Miles both boats: 226.8,  Total Locks both boats: 101

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