Thursday, 22 September 2016

East Mids Exploration: Day 22

It was raining when we woke up, and still damp and drizzly when we left at 8am. There wasn't much else moving -- in fact we were at Hinckley before we passed a boat going the other way. Not meeting boats at every other bridge hole did wonders for our progress: we were at the water point at the Lime Kilns in an hour and a half -- that's just over four miles travelled. We filled the tank and started a wash load. The Lime Kilns pub has guinea fowl and Cayuga ducks, one of which came to see us.

The weather cleared up a lot as we carried on. One of the bridges had a horse standing guard.

I sounded my horn as we approached Marston Junction, and then went into the narrows, a former stop lock, which lead up to the bridge. An Ashby hire boat then appeared, trying to make the turn into the Ashby. Adrian was at the bow being lookout, and got off to point out to them that we were right there. Fortunately the helmsman knew what he was doing, just pulled back slightly to give me room to get out, then went through into the narrows.

Charity Dock appeared to have more boats than in the recent past, but also just as much junk and as many manikins.

As we approached Hawkesbury Junction an Viking Afloat boat pulled off the water point right in front of us. I paused in the narrows while he made his 180 degree turn through the junction, and Adrian got off with the rubbish. I then followed the yellow peril through the bridge, and waited outside The Greyhound.

Having made a point of getting to the junction ahead of us, you'd have thought the hire boat would have sent someone the few yards to the lock, to make sure it was ready. But no. Even though Adrian had been over the junction bridge to the bins and then walked back round by the pub, he got to the lock before any of the Viking Afloat crew. He saw them through the lock up onto the North Oxford Canal, and then we went through. The rise seemed even less than usual today, at just a few inches. We caught up the Viking Afloat fairly soon, and after a while on tickover, they let us pass.

The section with the railway line running alongside, after Ansty and before Stretton Stop, has really black, oily water, which had stuck to the plants at the edges and smelled terrible. I tweeted CRT to ask if there had been some sort of pollution incident; they replied saying they knew about it and were investigating with the Environment Agency.

Approaching Stretton Stop, we weaved our way past a boat which was trying to moor -- a process which left the couple on board having a domestic. Rose Narrowboats seem to have updated their polytunnel since we last passed: it now has sides which look like one of their boats.

At All Oaks Wood I spotted Inca moored up, and gave Gary and Carolyn a toot. They came out to say hello -- it was good to finally speak to them, if only briefly, having not seem them the other day when we passed.

There's a lot of work going on in the cutting between Lyme Farm Marina and Bridge 44. A channel has been dug out of the far side of the towpath, presumably to take rain water from the cutting and stop the path being a quagmire. I wonder if it has always been there, as it appeared to be lined with cobblestones.

We moored up at a little past 4pm at Newbold, and went down to the Co-op, as we seem to have less food on board than we'd thought. While this avoided having to stop in Rugby tomorrow, it wasn't entirely successful as some of their fridges are out of action, so supplies are a bit limited.

24 miles, 1 lock. (361 miles, 158 locks)


1 comment:

Halfie said...

On occasion I wish I had Twitter. I phoned the Environment Agency's "pollution hotline" the other day to report what looked like raw sewage entering the Stratford Canal near Brandwood Tunnel. It took ages. First I had to navigate through a series of multiple choice selections, so it was not a "hotline" at all. When I eventually got to speak to a human being I was asked lots of questions, many seemingly irrelevant, such as my home address, and then they couldn't find the canal, let alone Brandwood Tunnel. It has really put me off ever trying to contact them again. It was a lot simpler when I phoned CRT - they even promised to send someone to investigate. The EA didn't seem bothered.