Wednesday, 24 September 2014


Well this morning after five days it was time to move on. We had exhausted our water supply, so we now know that we can go six days between fill ups without having to be careful with our usage. We set off for North Kilworth Wharf to obtain water, and we also took the opportunity for a pump out. After concluding our business we continued heading roughly north east, and soon entered Bosworth Tunnel. This is a relatively short tunnel at just over 1000 yards and took us 12 minutes. Once through the tunnel it was only five miles or so to the famous Foxton flight of locks. There is a winding hole just before the flight, which was handy because we do not intend descending the locks until December when we head for Market Harborough. We had spotted a nice, sunny, south facing mooring on the way to Foxton, and it was still vacant on our return. This was another first for us using mooring pins instead of the chains. I just hope I have banged them in well, or we may float off during the night.
Anyway now some pictures of our garden for the next few days.

Finally the solar panel got a polish ready for tomorrow because if the weather reports are to be believed, we should get quite a bit of power produced over the next few days with the sun on the panel all day.

Totals 8 Miles 1 Tunnel

Friday, 19 September 2014

Bridge 43 nr North Kilworth

Well after posting last night two boats turned up where we were moored so we were not alone for long.
Stayed in bed this morning as we could hear it raining outside. This stopped however after we got up so a quick breakfast then a short walk past the junction towards North Kilworth. We noted some mooring places but as we got to bridge 43 there was a secluded single spot available. A quick check with the compass showed that there were no trees in the line of sight to the sky satellite. We returned to the boat and brought her forward the half mile or so to what will be recorded in our route guide as a good spot.

                  Signpost left to Foxton,right to Welford and return to Norton Junction.

                              Oscar being walked to our next location.

                        Looking forward towards bridge and North Kilworth.

           View from above. No neighbours for the next few days unless on a small boat.

After securing the boat and lining up the sky dish it was lunchtime. Both of us are surprised how quickly the time seems pass. In the afternoon we walk upto the boat yard at North Kilworth to see what the facilities are like. We will need some of their services in few days time. Once back at the boat I put the chimney up just in case the stove needs to go on this evening. Oscar went to sleep on the sofa.

Totals 1/2 Mile

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Welford Junction

Set off this morning at 10 am with grey sky and a chilly breeze. The intention was to continue north towards Welford Junction. This is where a short one and a half mile stretch of canal leaves the Leicester arm and terminates at a wharf in the village of Welford. Just prior to the terminus is a single lock. We moored before the junction as it is our intention to continue our journey north for a while and there where some handy mooring rings where we were stopping.

                                         Welford Junction ahead in the gloom.

                                 Our mooring - As you can see all alone for now.

The trip took took two hours and on route we noted some very nice secluded moorings that we shall use in the future. After lunch we walked upto the junction and then down the Welford Arm to the terminus and the pub. The Wharf Inn had been recommended so we rested there a while before walking up to the village shop.
On our return Oscar saw another dog on the opposite bank of the canal and this dog was playing with a frisbee. Now Oscar has one of these and he decided to play as well only between him and the other dog was about 20 feet of canal. The obvious happened whilst running full speed and unable to stop Oscar ended up 7 or 8 feet from the bank in the canal. His head disappeared and when it bobbed up again he swam for the bank. He looked like a drown rat when first pulled out.

                    A dripping wet Oscar.

Still at least we now know if he falls in that he can swim ok. Fortunately the sun was now shining and our walk back was in the warm giving him time to dry before we got home.

Totals 5 Miles

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Leicester line GU nr bridge 28

This morning was very misty when Oscar got up for his breakfast, so I am told. By the time I awoke the mist had cleared over the marina but it still looked grey and overcast, not the fine weather promised in the forecast. Still at least we could now see the exit onto the canal. After moving the car to the long stay area and refilling the water tank we departed the marina at 11 am. We had been in the marina since Friday and although it is very nice we definitely prefer to be out on the cut.
An hour and half later we had travelled the 3 miles to our mooring spot. Today is the busiest day we have seen on the canal. We had at least 6 boats opposing us and someone told us we were the fifteenth to pass them that day.
As we moored the sun came out and so we had an enjoyable afternoon chatting to other boaters on the towpath. Oscar was also able to try out his sun hat which had arrived in the post a few days ago.

                                                Oscar wearing his new hat.

                                             A couple of photos of our mooring.

We will probably stay here for a few days before we continue our journey north towards the Welford arm.

Monday, 8 September 2014


We set off this morning at 7.45 am. You could tell the weather was going to be good as the sky was crystal clear blue and mist appeared to be rising from the canal.

                                                The start of a glorious day.

We approached the Watford flight of locks and were first in the queue for going up. After checking in with the lock keeper we waited until the two boats descending the flight had finished. Then it was our turn. Each lock had two set of colour coded paddles, red and white. You open the red ones first then the white which balances the water in the side ponds, so the lockie told us.

                                  Entry point to the first lock of the Watford flight.

                                  Waiting for boats in the staircase to exit.

                   Halfway up the red paddles being opened with lockie looking on.

                                             Top of the flight looking back.

Having ascended the locks it was not long before we entered Crick tunnel. We were nearly through thinking we had got away without a drenching and then it happened near the northern end of the tunnel. Oscar had sat just inside the boat rather than in 'his spot' but he seemed ok with it. Once clear of the tunnel we passed the marina famous for the annual boat show and pressed on towards Yelvertoft.
We needed a pump out and also took the opportunity to refuel. We had used 56 litres of diesel on our journey from Tamworth. After re acquainting ourselves with the staff at Yelvertoft marina we continued heading north on what is going to be our home water for the winter. It is very tranquil a little overgrown and shallow in a lot of places.

                                 View from side hatch of night time mooring.

We are planning to stay put for a few days maybe only moving for a refill of water when needed.

Totals 10 Miles 7 Locks 1 Tunnel

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Norton Junction (day two)

We stayed put today for our day of rest. It started by us laying in till 10 am. After breakfast we decided to walk to Whilton Marina as they have a chandlers there. The walk took us down the Grand Union mainline passing the 7 locks of the Buckby flight. At the marina we found the chandlers well stocked. On the counter by the till was a large bucket of hose connectors with a note saying 'carry a spare'. Clearly I am not the only one to misplace this thing, so I bought two. I have also decided to try and limit my visits to chandlers in general as they are like toy shops for grown ups, and I always seem to spend more than I intended before entering. After brief refreshments of an ice lolly each we returned towards Long Buckby. At the top of the flight is the pub we visited yesterday, so a return visit today for lunch seemed a good idea. The day had warmed up so on return to the boat the afternoon was spent lazing about in the sun.
Tomorrow we plan to set off early to tackle the staircase locks at the Watford flight, which happen to be very close to Watford Gap services on the M1, and Crick tunnel, which I believe leaks so raincoats at the ready.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Norton Junction

In Yesterday's post I forgot to mention that at the point we entered Braunston we left the Oxford canal and joined the Grand Union Canal. This is a wide canal and means that all the locks will now be double locks with heavy gates and paddles. 
I was also minding my own business with a side hatch open and nearly lost my left ear to this........

We left our mooring at 7 am and used the water point by the gongoozlers rest. For those not in the know this is a floating cafe next to Braunston marina. A gongoozler is someone who likes to watch activity on the canals.
It was here that we found that someone ( me ) had lost/misplaced our hose connector. The lady at the gongoozlers rest was kind enough to lend us hers so we bought some local honey in exchange. We arrived at the bottom lock of the Braunston flight at 8 am and there was another boat just about to start so we doubled up with them. This not only saves water but also shares the workload. It turned out the other boat was also a Hudson.

We carried on up the flight knowing that up ahead was Braunston tunnel. This tunnel is two way traffic for narrowboats and is 2042 yards long so well over a mile. It took us about 30 minutes to get through and we passed 3 other boats on the way.

The Francis light worked well in the tunnel and we even switched on the port and starboard navigation lights to check they were working. Once out of the tunnel it was only a short hop to our mooring location at Norton Junction. This is where the Leicester arm of the Grand Union Canal leaves the mainline which goes onto London.

                   Left turn for Leicester and Market Harborough straight on for London

This afternoon we took Oscar for a walk to a boatyard to try and obtain a hose connector but no luck. So we found The New Inn P.H. at Long Buckby and had a drink instead. Now back on board for a relaxing evening. Sky dish aligned and curry for tea. Tomorrow we stay put as we don't want to over do it and on Monday we have a lock staircase to deal with but that is another story.

Totals 4 Miles 6 Locks 1 Tunnel

Friday, 5 September 2014


Set off this morning at 7 am and at 8 we were passing through Newbold Tunnel. This is our first on Achernar and it is only a short one at 250 yds long. Still it was long enough to give the Francis searchlight it's initial use. After the tunnel is a water point which was clear so we stopped to refill the tank. Setting off again was another first this time it was using the travel power which is a 240 volt generator. This allowed us to use the washing machine. We continued on passing through Rugby before arriving at Hillmorton Locks. There are three pairs of locks here and we were going uphill. At the first lock (the bottom lock) we were greeted by some volunteer lock keepers who did all the work leaving us only to deal with the middle and top locks. After leaving Hillmorton you quickly pass from the urban sprawl of Rugby into nice open country. We took note of some good mooring spots for future use.

               Hillmorton locks in the grey gloom with Rugby radio masts in background.

As we continued on towards Braunston the sun emerged and it became quite warm. Oscar has now laid claim to 'His Spot' on the rear deck and he made good use of it warming himself in the suns rays.

We arrived at Braunston at 1 pm the whole run including locks taking 6 hours. We found a mooring space just beyond The Boathouse P.H. It was mutually decided that we would lunch at the pub and have dinner on board this evening as being Friday the pub will probably be busy tonight. We are only a couple of hundred yards from the start of the Braunston flight which will tackle tomorrow. We also have a very long tunnel to deal with.

Totals 14 Miles 3 Locks 1 Tunnel

Thursday, 4 September 2014


We stayed on our mooring today and after conducting some maintenance and cleaning we walked into Brinklow. This is a small village about a mile walk from the canal the main focal point being the church.

There is a small deli a post office and three pubs so this could be a good winter mooring spot for the future. On entry to the village is the village sign and a new war memorial which is due to be unveiled later this month.

On return to the boat it was lunchtime and then later I went foraging for towpath apples and blackberries. These were made into a crumble which will tonight's pudding.

Tomorrow we head for Braunston which is about 15 miles and 3 locks away so we hope to be underway by 7 or 7.30 at the latest.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

All Oak Wood

Only a short cruise today for a couple of hours. We arrived at a good rural mooring spot,next to All Oak Wood,near the village of Brinklow at 12.30 pm. After a light lunch we took Oscar for a walk to explore the surroundings. On return to the boat,some more boats had arrived and the mooring was beginning to look full. Still it is a very pleasant area and we intend to stay put tomorrow. The boat is performing well,but we have suffered the inevitable first scratches to the hull blacking now.

Just a couple of pictures of our mooring at All Oak Wood. Tomorrow we will take a walk into Brinklow for a look.

Totals 4 Miles

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


Today we set off at a more leisurely 10 am. We past through Nuneaton without stopping and continued on towards Marston Junction. This is the junction of the Coventry canal and the Ashby canal. We were planning on an excursion up the Ashby before continuing our journey south. This week however there is a festival on this canal so it will likely be busy. We will visit it probably early next year.

                   Ashby canal which is rural to the left and the Coventry canal straight on.

We continued on the Coventry canal now heading towards Hawksbury Junction. This is where the Coventry canal meets the Oxford Canal which we will join. There is a lock at this junction where the rise in level is only a matter of a few inches. The junction was fairly busy with three other boats going our way and two opposing. There is also a nice pub overlooking the junction so plenty of opportunity for onlookers to witness any poor boatmanship.

                    The approach to Hawksbury Junction left turn towards Oxford Canal

                            Waiting our turn to pass through the stop lock.

We had considered stopping near here but the moorings were quite full so we carried on to the next village Ansty. On route we paralleled the M6 and passed under the M69. Old transport versus modern I know which I prefer. On arrival at Ansty sufficiently far away from the motorway we found a mooring and settled in for the afternoon. This evening we went up to the village and visited the Rose and Crown P.H. for a belated birthday meal. It was very busy and we were lucky to get a table but now we have the number we can book next time.
Not sure what the plan is for tomorrow but possibly a shortish cruise to a nice rural spot and a bit of fishing.
Oscar seems to be learning the ropes well and is now quite happy laying down on the rear deck by the steerer.

Totals 11 Miles 1 Lock

Monday, 1 September 2014


Today as planned we set off at 7am for the water point. At 8 we had filled the tank and approached the first of the eleven Atherstone locks. The locks appeared all set in our favour and everything was fine. Then it started to rain and it continued to rain all the way to Atherstone top lock. Oh well at least we can say that we are not just fair weather boaters.

                                       Just one of the Atherstone flight of locks

                              Oscar popped out to see what was occurring 

On arrival at Atherstone we moored on the visitor moorings so we could walk into town for some provisions. We found a large co-op which was good enough for what we needed then returned to the boat. The VM's were quite busy and we did not intend staying in Atherstone so as we departed another boat was ready to slot into the gap we left.
We continued on passing the old British Waterways yard at Hartshill and were thinking of stopping near to the Anchor P.H. by bridge 29. There were a long line of boats moored here so on we went and found a nice rural mooring just past Springhaven marina.

                             Our overnight mooring just beyond bridge 27

Not sure what the plan is for tomorrow yet maybe head towards Hawksbury Junction (Junction of the Coventry canal that we are on and the Oxford Canal which we are going to join) or stay here for an extra day. Either way hopefully we will see the promised sunshine tomorrow.

Totals 6 Miles 11 Locks