Thursday 9 September 2021


 Today's Canal - Ashby

We set off slightly earlier because the forecast was for heavy rain and thunderstorms later in the day. Even when we set off, there was little sunshine to be had and the atmosphere was generally murky. Late morning things improved and some quite warm sunshine came through the bright blue patches. By lunchtime heavy showers intervened but the thunder never made its appearance.

Immediately after leaving we crossed the Rive Sence on one of the few aqueducts on this canal.

As we mentioned yesterday, we needed to get nearly a tank of fuel today and so we pulled into the first place that had signs for diesel - Bosworth Marina. We carefully manoeuvred ourselves towards the service pontoon and were nearly there when we checked with a member of staff. "We don't open to 11" was all he said, somewhat brusquely! We made a hasty departure - so disgusted that we forgot to take a photo! As we left the entrance we checked and there was no indication of such limited opening. Customer Service?

As we crossed the Shenton Aqueduct, this time over a narrow lane, we realised that it was part of a long embankment which falls quite sharply on either side (the trees make it difficult to see on a photo) We pondered just how much of the total construction budget this must have taken - and since there are almost no cuttings, where did the material for it come from?

It was midday by the time we arrived at Sutton Wharf for rubbish and elsan - water was not an immediate need today. As can be seen,. it was, for a while, much pleasanter weather. With an early start this morning we fell to the temptation of  toasted crumpet with our mid morning coffee. Alas we were now within tasting distance of lunch time so reluctantly had to give the ice cream boat a miss. Sorry, Pip, no useful reports to make.

As we approached the designated moorings near Dadlington we were hailed by a boater who asked for a lift to Bridge 23. We explained that we were only going as far as the bridge before at Stoke Golding but he was happy to be taken at least that far. He had parked by the mooring as he had been asked by a friend who is not well to help move the boat (with dogs!)

Bridge 25 is where the farm shop that Christine favours can be accessed. So, she and our passenger jumped off as we came through the bridge leaving Mike to bring the boat alongside on the opposite bank at the Ashby Boat Company wharf. He filled the diesel tank as full as he could. By the time he had finished Christine was returning from the farm with several bags of goodies - including another pork pie.

The diesel was competitively priced and the friendliness of the staff was in sharp contrast to our earlier experience. no wonder they have been successful over many years of boat hire business. They even allowed us to stay on the wharf for a short period whilst we had our lunch!

When we passed The Barge moorings a couple of days ago we noted this pontoon floating in the main channel. Since then it has moved a little out of the way and grown a traffic cone!

The sun was really shining as we passed the entrance to Trinity Marina on the edge of Hinkley.

We had planned to stop at Nutts Bridge where the road leads from the canal towards Hinkley. from a previous visit we remembered t hat there is a small but good Londis corner shop just a few minutes walk - we only really needed milk and potatoes but it was worth stocking up. Walking along the road, Mike could see that the lake we featured on our way up is now a based for Sea cadets - TS Amazon. Might manage a photo when we leave tomorrow.

We had not decided whether to stay here or move on for a night mooring - although there was not a lot of extra benefit close by. The matter was decided when, as Mike was stepping back onto the boat after his walk to the shop, a heavy rain shower turned up! After all, it was four o'clock already . . . we keep telling ourselves that we do not have to rush . . .

12.4 Miles - 0 Locks

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