Sunday 2nd July
We bade farewell to our mooring and neighbours at 9:30 this morning and started off up Atherstone locks, after an early morning flurry of boats coming down, the first few locks were not very busy so we had to empty each one as we ascended up to town. By the time we reached The Kings Head things started to change and we met boats at most locks and there was a solitary volunteer lock-keeper at the top lock. Although barely over 2 miles this journey took 3 hours 10 minutes and we were not sorry to find a mooring, after lunch we took a walk into town and patronised Aldi and Co-op for last minute supplies. We spent a quiet night here, apart from a boat which went through about 10:30pm and found folk were out walking the towpath from 5 am onwards!
Monday 3rd July
Our journey today was somewhat longer, but there were no locks! There was, however, a pit-stop at The Anchor to chat briefly with Kate Saffin who is on tour with The Alarum Theatre Company’s production of “The Idle Women: Recreating the Journey” and performing at The Anchor tonight.
Then it was on to Springwood Marina were we stopped for lunch and then used their facilities to fill and empty our tanks.
We slogged on through the seemingly never ending ‘delights’ of Nuneaton, past Marston Junction where we were only a few weeks ago on our trip up the Ashby Canal and ended up ‘almost’ in Hawkesbury at the end of the piled section. As we were mooring up a young collie from the next boat decided ours was much preferable and jumped onto our front deck promptly curling up and making itself comfortable much to the embarrassment of its owners. Catty soon discovered that two cats lived on a boat the other side of us and hissed and growled ever time she caught sight of them, so we kept her in. Part way through the evening there was a loud splash from the front of our boat and on investigation one of the neighbour’s cats had walked along the outside gunwale but slipped off while trying to negotiate the cratch cover. I went to rescue it but by the time I got there it had swum to the back of its own boat, and hauled itself up on board via the rudder and the back fender and disappeared inside looking like a drowned rat. The owner came out to check and commented that it hadn’t had a dip for a while but was prone to visiting other boats, sorry no photos!
Tuesday 4th July
This morning we waited until we judged a few boats had left their moorings and made our way up half a mile to moor next to The Old Engine House where we have spent a quiet day watching a pair of coots looking after their baby. Narrowboat Tench (part of “The Idle Women: Recreating the Journey” team) passed us late afternoon and swung through the junction to moor up outside The Greyhound for their performances there tomorrow and Thursday evenings.