Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Still windy but not actually raining

The weather was better today – it wasn't raining. Indeed, the wind was a little less but still pretty challenging. Fortunately, the run from Newbold to Hawkesbury is pretty straightforward apart from the little swing bridge at Stretton Stop, the Rose Narrowboats yard. Sanity Again, being 70' long and comparatively deep draughted for a modern boat, swims well as long as she's moving steadily and so doesn't blow sideways very easily.

It was a case of being well wrapped up and plodding steadily on. Oncoming boats at awkward moments kept it interesting but we had no bumps or bangs. A passing boat fairly early on said that there was a tree down at Bridge 4, Tusses Bridge, adding to the uncertainty. When we finally got there, it proved to be across about three-quarters of the channel from the towpath outwards. There was a guy already cutting it up, and we were able to squeeze by on the offside.

At Sutton Stop, there were two boats waiting for the stop lock but the water point before it was free so we dropped onto that, got the tank filling and, as it was just on 12, made and ate lunch. We'd not long finished and washed up when the tank started to overflow. Sheila worked the stop lock and I took the boat through and round the tricky junction in one move. Sheila afterwards told me that there had been a fair audience outside the Greyhound watching, so it's odd that I didn't mess up the turn. Maybe the fact that I deliberately didn't look that way helped.

There was plenty of room on the moorings round on the Coventry and we were glad to take a bit of time to chill out after the exciting morning. However, steering and keeping look out, whilst tiring in their ways, aren't really physical exercise, so we took ourselves for a walk after a bit. We went on along the towpath to the first bridge, crossed the canal and the remains of the Newdigate Arm just there and walked back through the public open space that's been made of the old colliery grounds.

It was a solid walk, a good hour and over 7,000 steps according to Sheila's pedometer, so we're now entitled to feel weary. Tomorrow, the forecast is for rather less wind but more rain. We'll carry on through Bedworth and Nuneaton, aiming to fetch up at the Anchor Inn. We'll probably stop at Boot Wharf for a pump out on the way. The tank's got a bit of room in it yet, but this is the most convenient service wharf for us now before we reach Mercia.

Location:Hawkesbury Junction

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