Thursday, 17 March 2016

Hawkesbury (troubled by wind)

On Wednesday morning I quickly found a vet in Bedworth who would check out Buddy’s rash in the evening.  This left the day free for us to have a leisurely cruise to Hawkesworth junction where we hope to stay for a few days. Although our mooring between Bedworth and Nuneaton was rural and quiet it wasn’t the easiest of places for car parking.  There is no real path up to the road from the canal and Karen had to clamber over crash barriers to get to the road – not easy in the dark, wearing a suit and carrying laptop etc.

At Marston we passed the entrance to the Ashby canal.

Marston Junction; the start of the Ashby canal
The canal around Nuneaton was littered with plastic bottles and other rubbish.  The detritus is easily blown around by the wind and bunches up on corners.  This means you have to cruise through it in neutral to avoid getting anything caught on the prop.  Some people would say we should stop and clear it all up but there was so much that is was a job for many people with nets and a barge to put it all into.

We arrived at Hawkesbury junction and negotiated the 180 degree turn into the Oxford canal without touching the sides.  I’m sure if it had been summer and the pub garden was full of gongoozlers then it would have been different!  We went through the stop lock; the Coventry canal is six inches lower than the Oxford – it also meant tolls could be collected easily when boats transferred from canal to the other.

Stop lock at Hawkesworth - also known as Sutton Stop after a long term lock keeper there

We found a mooring soon after the stop lock, and took forever to moor the boat as the wind kept catching one end or the other and sending it out across the water.

After lunch we walked down the Coventry canal towards the city itself.  I hoped to find more milestones but to no avail.  We did pass the Coventry football stadium, one of many that seem to have canals passing by them.

Coventry City football stadium
We didn’t walk right into the centre as it is nearly six miles away and I want to cycle in when I’ve mended the latest punctures on the bike.  When we got back to the junction Rick was mooring up his coal boat, Auriga.  We had a chat whilst the dogs played.

Rick moored for the day on fuel boat Auriga.  Dogs playing happily
When Karen got home we took Buddy to the vet who didn’t seem unduly concerned and gave us some cream to apply to Buddy’s rash.  As it was Wednesday we stopped in for a quick drink at the Greyhound on our way home.  We have to admit it is a really good pub and deserves to be in the boaters’ top ten.

A rather good pub

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