Thursday, 17 July 2014

Reuniting The Two Boats

(Boat Chalice - posted by Alan)
Retrospective post for Thursday 17th July.

Still the best dog in the world, (well we think so!).
Hawkesbury proved to be a nice quiet overnight mooring.  I'm fairly certain we have never actually overnighted there before, despite its fame - we always seem to be hurrying through.

We saw no reason why we would not be able to press on to Alvecote tonight, thinking a meal in the Samuel Barlow would be in order.

Descending Atherstone Locks
A nice smooth passage through on the whole, with most of the Atherstone flight being completed quite quickly. The only odd moment occurred two locks from the bottom, when we went past a fully moored up boat, and waited on the lock landing for an uphill boat to get through what is always a very slow filling lock.  What I assumed to be one of the crew from that boat walked up past me, and in a very garbled conversation I thought he was asking if we could help the boat through whilst he went up to the next lock.  It transpired I got it wrong, he was from the fully moored up boat some distance from the lock, and was indicating his intention to take the lock we were waiting for, as he and his wife had now apparently had lunch, and were ready to move on!  Because I had misunderstood his intentions, we had to give way to him, and wait another cycle of the very slow filling lock.  Whilst this was happening, I went ahead and fully set up the next one for them, something they completely failed to acknowledge as they motored on towards it.  It does make you feel less inclined to be helpful next time!

Approaching Alvecote
After a quick stop for services at Bradley, about a mile on, we carried on up to Alvecote, where "Sickle" was still tied up exactly as we had left her - we had been led to believe the marina operators would probably move her.

"Sickle" is where we left her - cordoned off car park still empty!
After we had tied up opposite, I went round and fetched "Sickle" over.  I noticed that most of the pub car park was coned off, with a couple of railway related vehicles parked within, but gave it no great attention.  Only when we emerged from the "Barlow" after our meal did we now find it was stuffed full of railway related vehicles, and dozens and dozens of what were obviously railway track workers.  An enquiry revealed they were doing a major bit of track renewal a few miles nearby.

Car park becoming disctinctly less empty!
Whilst we couldn't escape any noise generated by the work on the line, (all passing trains were obviously being told to sound their horns), we became concerned about just have much disruption and noise would come from all those people and vans immediately opposite the boats, and wondered at what hour of the morning they might all start leaving.  After initially deciding we wouldn't bother, we eventulaly decided to fire up "Sickle" and drag "Chalice" further down the towpath, well away from that possible cause of disturbance.  No idea what we might have suffered, but where we ended up, we did get a good night's sleep.

Late evening move to somewhere with potentially less disturbance.
So strictly "Sickle" did move a bit today, but I'll start counting her actual mileage from tomorrow.

The boats reunited.
Hawkesbury Junction to Alvecote, Coventry Canal
Miles: 18.1 (Chalice), 0 (Sickle), Locks: 11

Total Miles: 95.7, Locks: 51

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