Saturday, May 5, 2012

A pleasant day’s cruising !

Elaine here ...

Yesterday, we set off from Hawkesbury Junction - and set off for the Atherstone locks - all 11 of them !  I must say I wasn't looking forward to them because my knees hurt pushing the gates (arthritis and knackered knees - too much Jane Fonda in the 80's!) - it seems that 7 locks in a row is about my limit for my knees, without succumbing to a Neurofen !  I will revisit that number when the sun comes out - it may be that the rain and cold are hindering them too !!

However, I digress, we met a lovely couple in front of us, who we helped when we could, plus they turned out to be single locks - and downhill - which all seems easier somehow !  Paul hopped in and out of the boat when he could to start a lock or help to finish it - so it wasn't all down to me !  Also, I had some help from my boys this time - I tied them to the post at most of the locks and they watched the boat disappearing down into the depths before their eyes !!

Where's Daddy disappearing down that big hole??

We even met a 'canal boat spotter' at one of the locks - so he kept me amused for a wee while !  He was actually writing down the names of all the boats he came across - and was telling me lots of stories while I was waiting at the lock !
My 'canal boat spotter' friend at one of the locks !
Such good puppies .... just waiting - and all kitted up with their life jackets!

The weather yesterday was mainly cold but dry - only started to rain when we got closer to our destination, so that was a big bonus !  On the way we went past some working boats - really pretty picturesque - look like some kind of repair yard for working boats ...



Mind you - I think this boat and house might need a bit of extra TLC !

My arty shot !  How did I do, Barry?!

We also passed through masses of rape seed oil fields - Paul spotted this girl riding through - how my friend in Sydney would love to do this ...

Nice tree !
I hadn't smelt it before but doing the locks through these fields, I smelt and awful 'dead' smell - but Paul reckoned I wouldn't keep smelling something dead for over 100 yards, so it must have been this crop - or maybe something the put on it ... because I definitely didn't smell it in the fields in Yardley Gobion !  Pooh - it was hard to do the locks and hold my nose at the same time !

Paul got me to pose for my new wellies .... whilst doing one of the locks ...

Pretty cool eh?  Not me, the wellies !!
 Along the way we spotted this very des-res .... wouldn't say no ... !
 Anyway - after a quick water stop, we landed at Polesworth last night - just in time to get ready and meet Tracy and Russ at Bridge no 54!  Russ has gotten the pewter coal bucket engraved for Paul's old boss in Sydney - this was one of his leaving gifts.  We are very chuffed with it - just what we needed !

We went out for dinner with Tracy and Russ last night - it was pretty weird to be in a car again!  They picked us up and we seemed to drive miles to a pub that Russ had found on the internet - it just doesn't seem right that we have just spent all those days covering ground that only takes about 20 mins or less in a car!!!!!

So today - we had a cruisy day - we are not moving this weekend - we will leave the bank-holiday-makers to the canal and probably move on Monday.  We had a little walk around Polesworth this morning with the dogs - met some lovely people, got some shopping and headed back to the boat for some lunch.

Doing our tourist bit in Polesworth - at the old Abbey
My union jack fix for the day - in a cake shop window in Polesworth

On the way back to the boat we stopped and had a chat with some fellow boaters - who were fixing up their engine.  Brilliant characters !  When we finally got back to the boat, we did a bit of sorting and cleaning, Paul lit a fire and then later this arvo Paul settled down to watch some football thing while I sorted out our photos and did this blog!  (Oh yes - I remember now - it was the FA Cup Final !).  Dear ol' Paul - he was in his little element - had the footie on, a beer in his hand, the fire blazing, the animals lounging all around him - and just now we are going out for our first Indian in the UK - I am excited about that too !

Toodloo for now !


  1. nice pictures

  2. Neil and I find that if we change over every 3 locks we can get through the day much better. Especially if it's a long flight. The 'driver' gets to warm up and the 'lockie' gets a rest.
    Kath (nb Herbie)

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    2. We have only been cruising for a couple of weeks, so hopefully Elaine will be taking her share of the helm shortly.