Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Polesworth (earworms)

A new boat joined our little gathering at Polesworth on Tuesday, called Mr Blue Sky.  It was one of two boats we saw on the move during the day, the other being Misty Blue.  Not only did they have similar names they had similar but odd looking bows – no windows or doors at the front – most unusual.

Our new neighbour
I haven’t met the people on Mr Blue Sky yet but would like to thank them (not) for giving me an earworm all day on Tuesday as I walked along the tow path.  Thankfully it didn’t keep me awake during the night. At one time I had thought of noting down the names of boats that are taken from song titles but there are too many and I didn’t really see the point – for example, I’ve lost count of the number of Comfortably Numbs we’ve seen.

I needed to work out where we are cruising to next that will be suitable for keeping the car close to hand so Buddy and I set off early to walk the three plus miles to Atherstone.  It was a cold day again but that made me walk briskly which in turn made me think I was getting better exercise.

Just before Atherstone is a place called Bradley Green that looked on the map (and from memory) that it could be a good place to moor and have places to park a car.  As it was there was a narrow country lane with a tiny layby and it would be frustrating for Karen to find it full when she got home from work.  We continued towards Atherstone and hit the first lock at the bottom of the Atherstone flight.  This is the lock that CRT have been working on for the last two months and is due to reopen on Friday.  I checked with the contractors and they confirmed they were still on schedule for four o’clock on Friday.

The lock chamber was empty (water held back by the inevitable stanking planks) and it was interesting to see the semi-circular shape of the entrance channel and also the cill that the bottom gates sit on.

Tail of lock 11 on Coventry canal (Atherstone bottom lock)
Looking from the top of the lock gave quite a different view to the last two times we came along during the previous 12 months.
Left: Jan 13 2015.  Middle: Sep 17 2015.  Right: Mar 8 2016
On the way back Alan came by on Misty Blue and stopped for a chat.  He was getting closer to the lock so he could start going up the flight on Friday evening.  He has lived on a boat in London for the last eight years and has replaced his boat with Misty Blue that he bought from a marina on the Trent & Mersey.  He is taking it back to London and cannot believe the difference between the canals there and the rest of the country.  This is his first trip on a boat out of London and was amazed to see that people don’t need to double, triple or quadruple moor – in most places you can moor somewhere without a boat in sight if you want to.

I came across some more milestones – this one is the most clearly marked yet for this canal – it shows the total length of the canal is 27 miles (8 to Fazeley + 19 to Coventry).  Later in the afternoon I checked the relevant part of the listed buildings website and found that although the milestones are listed and described there were no photos so I have uploaded some for them.

New addition for my milestone picture collection
A lot of the rest of the day was spent researching bridge clubs where we can continue our lessons bearing in mind we will be continuously cruising around the Warwick area.

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