Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Market Bosworth

Yesterday we stayed put at Stoke Golding, and during the day we took four legs for a walk along the canal to Sutton Wharf, a round trip of about five miles. In the evening, we joined the crew of nb Barolo No.3 at the Mango Tree curry house in the village. At the conclusion of a pleasant evening, we said our farewells for another year and returned in the dark to the boat. Note to self, remember torch if staying out late. This morning as forecast the sun was shining, we commenced our trip aiming for Market Bosworth. First stop was at the Wharf for water. It was around here that we must have picked up something on the propeller. Fortunately, not enough of a problem to stop us, but a trip down the weed hatch was on the cards later. We continued on through peaceful, rural Leicestershire, passing Ambion Wood, the supposed site of the Battle of Bosworth Field and meeting few oncoming boats. On arrival at Market Bosworth we attempted to moor prior to the Marina entrance, but it was very shallow. Pressing on we turned into the Marina for services, then took up a mooring spot 100 yards beyond.
Mooring at Market Bosworth        
Market Bosworth Marina is fairly new, so some of the freshly planted trees have yet to grow, however once established it will be a pleasant setting. Whilst the two legged crew visited the town, a mile up the hill for supplies, me and the furry one acquainted ourselves, with the remains of a pair of ladies jeans that had wrapped themselves round our prop. The next job of the day was to descale the floating element of our holding tank gauge. The gauge has not been working due to the float sticking. I will let imagination explain why this might be. Tomorrow we will aim for Shackerstone, where we hope to spend a few days dealing with some more maintenance tasks, the main being, varnishing the front, rear and both sets of side doors, so fingers crossed for fine dry weather.
  • Totals 6 Miles
  • Running total 143 Miles 41 Locks 5 Tunnels 

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Stoke Golding

Yesterday we had a more leisurely start, moving forward to the water point at the BW yard Hartshill at 9.30 am, and finishing breakfast whilst waiting for the tank to fill. By 10 we were underway, with just Nuneaton to pass through before reaching the rural splendour of the Ashby Canal. At Marston Junction with a blast on the klaxon, we turned left and navigated our way through a small narrow trough. Almost as soon as you leave the Coventry Canal behind it feels different. Our target for the day was three miles away, adjacent to the village of Burton Hastings. On arrival we found several boats already moored in the location, however we were able to find a spot, on the end of the line of boats.
Today started gloomy but soon brightened up. Our first stop was to be the water point at Lime Kilns two miles away. A boat was just finishing as we arrived. Next was our passage through Hinckley, which gave us the opportunity to check out Trinity Marina as we passed. We encountered a few boats on route, but it is not as busy as you would expect at this time of year. Back into open countryside with sun shining, and chugging along at a slow walking pace, what could be better.
Rural Leicestershire in the sunshine
Just under three miles and an hour later, we arrived on the outskirts of Stoke Golding. When we were here in March it was a popular spot, so we were pleasantly surprised to find only one other boat moored. After securing the boat we had lunch onboard, then later we walked back to bridge 23, to visit the canal side farm shop for supplies.
Mooring at Stoke Golding    
Side hatch view to 13th C church    
Side hatch view to bridge 26
  • Totals Friday 11/8.     8 Miles
  •           Saturday 12/8. 6 Miles
  • Running total 137 Miles 41 Locks 5 Tunnels 

Thursday, 10 August 2017


Following the past two days of wet weather, today broke with blue sky and bright sunshine. Unusually for us we were awake at 7.30 am, and with a flight of eleven locks ahead decided to to get up. We were underway by 8 am, closely followed by another Hudson boat, nb Rhea. The water point at the base of the locks was busy so we carried on, and it was a decision that paid off. Not stopping put us at the front of the queue going up, and we benefited by meeting several boats descending, thereby having the locks turned in our favour. Our ascent of the Atherstone flight was pleasant in the warm weather, and at the top we were able to dispose of some accumulated rubbish. We are also pleased with how the new, larger sized Axiom propeller is performing. Beyond Atherstone, we had about a mile and a half cruise to our intended mooring spot at Hartshill. We met several oncoming boats, always at a bend or a bridge 'ole. The moorings at Hartshill were unusually empty, so we had our choice of spot, opting to stop just prior to the old British Waterways Yard. It was by now lunch time, and another reason for stopping here was its close proximity to Dobbies Garden World. During our repaint at Glascote our broom went adrift, so a replacement was needed, they also have a cafeteria. After lunch a snooze was the order of the day due to our early start.
BW yard Hartshill from side hatch
BW yard Hartshill viewing forward
Tomorrow with luck we will be back on the Ashby Canal for the second time this year.
  • Totals 5 Miles 11 Locks
  • Running total 123 Miles 41 Locks 5 Tunnels 

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Back on board, Polesworth

Several months have passed since our last post. Having spent three months in Somerset whilst our boat was shot blasted, and having a full repaint at Glascote Basin, we returned to Tamworth in mid July, to a nearly finished project. Although not quite complete, we were able to move back on board briefly, for the Hudson owners gathering over the weekend of 22/23 July. This year more boats and owners turned up than previously so, despite some torrential rain a great time was had. During our period away, we had ordered a new set of fenders, to adorn our newly painted boat. These were made and fitted by the Glascote fender maker, whose website is fendermaker.co.uk. Rather than having a standard button fender on the stern, we opted for a more decorative Barlow Button, however this caused a bit of fender envy, (you know who you are) so we are now not the only ones, sporting some fine rope work. After the weekend event, we handed the boat back to the boatyard for the works to be completed. On Friday the 4th August we returned to Glascote, and started loading the boat with our worldly goods. The weekend was spent dealing with some final snagging, then on Monday, after having a pump out and filling with diesel, we were ready for the off. With some expert use of the bow thruster, we reversed from the Basin onto the Coventry Canal, and headed gingerly in the direction of Polesworth. The reason for the extra care is, whilst the paint is dry, it will be a few months before it has fully hardened, so keeping away from overhanging vegetation is the priority. The trip to Polesworth was pleasant enough, although rain did threaten, it failed to materialise. The canal was fairly busy though to be expected, as we are now at the height of the holiday season. We found a spot at a usual mooring site for us, about a mile from the foot of the Atherstone lock flight. The next couple days are forecast to be wet, so we will probably stay put until Thursday. Now for some pictures,  
Newly painted bow and button fender    
Side view    
Sign writing by Dave Moore    
Hand painted pigeon box    
Rear fenders with Barlow Button
  As can be seen from the photos above we are pleased with the end result, and especially the work done by Dave Moore on the sign writing, and painted pigeon box. What all but the most eagle eyed observers will miss, is the small detail in his work. In the photo showing our rear panel, if you zoom in on our boat number, you will see that the 2's are in fact little swans. 
  • Totals 5 Miles
  • Running total 118 Miles 30 Locks 5 Tunnels 

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Glascote Basin and Exmoor

So, it has been a while since our last post, and we have moved on a bit from Dadlington. After departing the Ashby Canal, we turned right at Marston Junction, and over the next four days, we travelled to Achernar's home port at Glascote Basin. We broke the journey with stops at Hartshill, where we visited the largest garden centre I have ever been to, and half way between Atherstone and Polesworth, having descended the eleven lock flight. Glascote Basin was very busy on our arrival, but we managed to shoehorn ourselves onto a berth. Over the next couple of days, we packed up our things, as we prepared the boat for its impending paint job. The boat colours will be remaining the same with only a few subtle changes, and we will be having a couple of smaller jobs completed whilst there. All in all, we will be living off the boat for twelve weeks. We have therefore rented a cottage on the edge of Exmoor for the duration, which allows for the exploration of an area of the country, distinctly lacking in canals.
Whimbleball Lake    
The Dam
A Long Way Down
Walking on Exmoor
On top of the moor
The above are just a few snaps of our local area, and the walks that we will enjoy. We have also introduced the furry crew member to the seaside, and he loves the beach. So this is us until mid July, when hopefully all the works will be completed, and we can once again move back on board. Otherwise, we will be sleeping in the beer tent, during the Hudson Owners gathering in July. I will run through all the jobs we had done, and how the end results are, once complete, but just one mention of some excellent customer service. In a previous post we wrote about changing our propeller to an Axiom. When we ordered the new prop, I gave the size needed to Axiom, using the paperwork supplied with the boat. Unfortunately the paperwork was wrong, and instead of getting a prop sized the same, we ended up with the next size down. During a phone call with Axiom, they suggested I try the new one, but if unhappy they would swop it. Well I can report that with the Axiom fitted, many of the benefits claimed are evident. We now stop quicker, but more importantly maintain a straight line. Reversing is easier, and the stern of the boat does not dig in as much when underway. I have also noticed a significant reduction in tiller vibration and wash. The only downside is, that with the smaller prop, the engine revs are higher now to achieve the same cruising speed. True to their word though, despite it being my error in the initial ordering, and the fact that their prop has had a couple of months of use, Axiom have supplied a new one, now correctly sized. This will be fitted during the course of all the other work. So, anyone thinking of an Axiom for their boat, I can certainly recommend them and their customer service is excellent.
  • Totals 24 Miles 11 Locks
  • Running total 113 Miles 30 Locks 5 Tunnels 

Sunday, 16 April 2017


On Wednesday 12/04 we travelled four miles, and took a mooring position between the villages of Dadlington, and Stoke Golding. I had issued the crew with a brief liberty pass, in order to pop home for a couple of days. Today we walked into Dadlington, to visit the Dog and Hedgehog P.H. for our Sunday lunch. The menu was very extensive and the quality of food superb. We will definitely visit here again. Tomorrow we should make Burton Hastings, after which our brief period on the Ashby Canal will be over. 
  • Totals 4 Miles
  • Running total 93 Miles 19 Locks 5 Tunnels 

Tuesday, 11 April 2017


Yesterday we travelled five miles to the outskirts of Shenton. Prior to arriving at our destination, we had a brief stop at Bosworth Marina for diesel, and a pump out. As predicted the wind was howling across the Marina, which as relatively new, still does not have any trees or shrubs to act as a wind break. The wind was also blowing, in a direction that did not assist, with our attempts to dock on the services pontoon. On arrival at Shenton we secured the boat, and then walked into the village about a mile away.
Village of Shenton
The village is part of the estate, clustered around the 17th century Shenton Hall, and associated church. The reason for our visit was, that it is also home to the Whitemoors antiques centre. There is a small tea room there, so we had lunch. Back at the boat we settled down for a relaxing afternoon.
Mooring at Shenton
Today we walked a couple of miles along the towpath, passing Ambion Wood and the supposed site of the Battle of Bosworth Field, arriving at Sutton Cheyney Wharf. We will stop here for water when we move off tomorrow, but today we had lunch in the cafe. Tomorrow we head for Dadlington and Stoke Golding.
  • Totals 5 Miles
  • Running total 89 Miles 19 Locks 5 Tunnels