Sunday, 1 September 2013

Onwards to Shackerstone

(Retrospective post after failing to keep up! - Boat Sickle - posted by Alan)

Cath did some very long dog walks, hence pictures of boat underway.
What's to say, really?  As I already indicated yesterday, this is our first trip up the Ashby Canal in any boat.  I did have reservations about "Sickle" because of her deep draught, and the fact that the Ashby is traditionally recognised as shallow, or at least in parts shallow.  But we know lots of the other "historics" plough up it.

We don't seem to be stirring mud too badly at this point.
Actually the books say that a robust dredging program has improved much of it, but that program was not comprehensive, so other parts remain un-dredged.  That just about sums it up!  Mostly progress was OK, but at some points you really are stirring up the silt, sometimes for several miles at a time.  It could be worse, though, and a much higher percentage is OK, than is really bad.

Allowed to roam with no worries of any roads, Odin loved it.
It is a very pretty canal, and I can almost tolerate its "locklessness", (I like a reasonable injection of locks, usually!).  Of course it is a canal that ultimately you can only turn around and come back again - there is no possibility of a one way passage as part of a circular route.

We booked into "Shacky" late, so were told we would need to moor away from the area reserved for historic boats, although there was plenty of space in this when we turned up.  Not wishing to upset the organisers though, we did as we were told, and managed to just squeeze into a space right by what looked like it would be one of the entrances to the festival site - one of the advantages of being only 40 feet, of course.  However we could not get the boat anywhere near the bank, and as Odin is currently still freaked by walking a plank, we decided he probably couldn't actually accompany us to the festival itself.

Enjoying a cuddle with "me boy".
One of our friends who had volunteered to take someone back to Alvecote was with us quite soon after, and Cath went off to collect our car.  In the meantime I walked Odin up to the railway station for the preserved "Battlefield Line", which runs from here.  They couldn't actually supply a timetable for the trains on the Festival days, but I at least had a cup of coffee whilst there.

The Limekilns to Shackerstone (Ashby Canal)
Miles: 13.0, Locks: 0

Total Miles: 471.5, Locks: 251

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