Summer Cruise – Day 83

Sunday 30th August – Day 83

Hawkesbury Junction Layout

We left last night’s mooring at 9:00 this morning, through the stop lock and swung through the bridge making the 360° turn onto the Coventry Canal perfectly, if there had been a crowd outside the Greyhound Pub I would have messed it up for sure!

The weird layout is an improvement on the original route where due to a disagreement over tolls both canals were built parallel to one another for some distance.

Rick on Auriga

From here on, the canal is, again, lock-free until Atherstone. We had just seen Fuelboat Auriga again and gone into the countryside when a hire boat approached, there was an overhanging tree on their side, so I tried to keep as near the towpath as I could but went aground on a large rock which tipped us at a crazy angle, instead of stopping the hire boat went straight into the tree and I was seriously worried that the steerer was going to be knocked off the back by a hefty branch.

That drama over it was past Charity Dock, Marston Junction where the Ashby Canal joins and through Nuneaton. We had just been saying how there had not seen any boats coming toward us recently when we met three at the congested section at Boot Wharf.

See what you can spot in the background at the incredible Charity Dock

We considered stopping for lunch near Springwood Haven but decided to have lunch on the move and press on for Atherstone. We passed another hire boat aground near one of the bridges, I asked if they needed a tow off but they said they would be fine.

We thought we might do the first five of the Atherstone locks and the volunteer lock-keepers were on duty and we did them easily, so we decided to carry on. The hire boat had caught us up and one of their crew who was ‘setting ahead’ (walking ahead to prepare the locks) helped us down all the remaining locks (bless her).

On the way we saw a boat I recognised from Banbury and met the owner walking back up the towpath, he obviously recognised our boat too and said he had just called on his sister who had a mooring at the bottom of the locks. Yes, we knew her as we used to moor there too!

We called it a day and moored opposite the service area, or Sanity (Sanitary) Station as some of the old boaters called them!

I thought we had done rather well today so had a rather disappointing Indian Takeaway delivered, I think I’ll take a break from Lamb Pasander for a while but Joy enjoyed her Stuffed Peppers.

We have been invited to lunch by one of Joy’s friends tomorrow, so maybe a short journey tomorrow, or none at all.

Today’s Totals

  • Total distance:13.23 miles
  • Time:6h38m
  • Locks:11
  • Bridges:46
  • Average speed:1.99 mph (3.65 lock/mph)



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