Saturday, 6 August 2011

Early August Weekend - Day 2

Last night, the music being broadcast by the boat permanently moored across the cut got louder and louder as the evening went on, being turned up even further when the three women on board went inside.  By 9.30, Adrian was trying to call to them to turn it down a bit; he was joined by the man from the boat moored behind us -- but they either couldn't hear, or didn't want to.  Eventually the man from the boat behind went to get his bugle (!), and a few blasts on that got them to turn the volume down a bit.  However, it was soon back to top volume again, and stayed that way until well after 10pm.  Surely the same rules should apply to music as to running engines -- in that neither should be heard by anyone else after 8pm.

This morning, we resisted the temptation to crash into the boat opposite as we left at about 8.45.  A boat was in the stop lock as we approached, but the one foot difference in level doesn't take long so we were soon entering the lock.

Once through the lock, Adrian did a great job of getting round the junction in one go.  Of course there was no-one around to see.  As we hadn't planned to come in this direction, we didn't have a firm idea of where to head for.  We considered turning onto the Ashby, but decided instead to carry on along the Coventry Canal.  At Nuneaton, we stopped at Boot Wharf and where diesel was a reasonable price, and they take any split declaration.  It turned out to be a very friendly and helpful place.  While we were there, there was a half-hearted attempt at a rain shower, but before long the sun was coming out.  We stopped for lunch at Hartshill, getting onto the end of the moorings just before Bridge 33.  It was such a nice spot that we decided we'd stay for the rest of the day, so we made a five minute trip to the winding hole just beyond the bridge, then came back and moored in the same place.

I Brassoed the mushroom vents (even though the roof was too hot to kneel on).  We then walked across the fields from Bridge 33, under the railway line, and along the road to Dobbie's garden centre, where we bought a few provisions including some cooking apples to go with blackberries we'd spotted in the hedgerow next to the boat.  We came back via the road, while eating an ice cream, to make a circular walk.  I then picked the blackberries.  I intended to make a blackberry and apple crumble, but it turned out we had no flour on board, so that turned into fruit and custard.

During the afternoon, we achieved one of the main jobs we'd had earmarked for this weekend: an oil change.  Adrian pumped out all the old oil, I got the oil filter off, and we put new oil in.  For a first time, we managed the whole thing without any drama, and without getting too much oil in the bilges.  No doubt the next time will be easier, because we'll know what we're doing.

We've had a couple of heavy downpours during the afternoon, and there's been a steady stream of boats by.  One of the most dramatic was an old working boat, with its unladen bow high in the air.  It certainly scared a group of Swedish people who'd just gone by on a hire boat, who must have panicked as they ended up across the canal.

9 miles, 1 locks.  (26 miles, 1 lock)

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