Having spent a couple of days at Hawkesbury Junction, we capped it off on Sunday 22/4. with a roast dinner at the Greyhound PH. The following day, Monday 23/4. we set off for the Ashby Canal. We manoeuvred the boat from the mooring and through the stop lock, then turned right onto the Coventry Canal. Stopping to refill the water tank took about 40 minutes, then we continued heading north towards Nuneaton. After a couple of miles, we reached Marston Junction and turned right onto the Ashby Canal. We soon relaxed into gentle cruising mode as we passed through rural tranquility. This was soon to be brought to an abrupt halt with a big bump. As we passed under bridge 4 we saw a hire boat approaching a sharp bend at speed. Not wanting to encounter this boat on the bend we slowed to a stop, holding a position just off the centre line towards the offside of the canal. As the hire boat rounded the bend, the steerer over steered the boat due to the speed, and we were now confronted with an impending ramming. I was able to put our boat into a hard reverse, which managed to take some of the sting from the impact. To make matters worse, despite having just rammed us under full power, the steerer of the hire boat made no attempt to slow down, but continued on bumping along the side of our boat. To describe the next 30 seconds of our encounter, would require an 18 certificate to be applied to this post, so I will leave it at that, but needless to say, we were not happy, mainly by his attitude, rather than the initial contact. We found our usual spot at Burton Hastings vacant, and secured the boat. We would stay here on Tuesday also due to inclement weather. Wednesday 25/4. After breakfast we set off for Stoke Golding, a little over six miles away. We passed through Hinckley, paying attention to Trinity Marina as we did so. We are booked in here for a couple of days next month so we can attend a family event. The remainder of our cruise was uneventful, and we arrived at Stoke Golding about two hours after we had set off. After securing the boat, the crew wandered off back towards bridge 23, where there is small farm shop for fresh meat and vegetables. They also do a nice line in pies. In the evening, we strolled up into the village to the Mango Tree Indian Restaurant for our evening meal. Fortunately after eating too much, the walk back to the boat is downhill all the way. Thursday 26/4. We departed Stoke Golding aiming initially for Market Bosworth. We needed the services at the Marina, and our arrival would around lunchtime. The Marina has a nice little cafe which would be perfect. You can imagine our disappointment when we found it closed, due to suffering a fire in January.
Approaching Market Bosworth
The wind had been quite blustery all morning, but as we turned into the Marina it picked up even more, and I am sure we encountered small waves once through the narrow entrance. Once on the service pontoon, we emptied the waste tank and filled with water, then unable to use the cafe we set off again, heading for Congerstone. This final half of the Ashby Canal is the most picturesque, and the bit we enjoy the most. We found a spot just prior to bridge 50. It is a quiet rural spot, midway between the Horse and Jockey PH in Congerstone, and the Rising Sun PH in Shackerstone, so perfectly positioned. We planned to stay put for a few days, due to some heavy rain being forecast, and also to sample the roast dinner in the Rising Sun PH on Sunday. Today, Monday 30/4. We took the furry crew for a long walk, to make up for the short excursions he has had to put up with, over the last couple of days. This evening, the skies have cleared and the sun is making an appearance, so hopefully tomorrow will be a pleasant day for our trip to Snarestone, the terminus of the canal.