Friday, November 25, 2005

Wintery days & the Ashby

We were able then to get on up to the end of the Oxford Canal and on to the Coventry. Heading north to meet up with Sue n Vic again who are now heading south. The plan is to meet at Heartshill. Both arrived within an hour of each other. The night time temperature dropped below zero and on the fourth day the canal water went smooth with ice. It had been quite mild until then, so warm in fact that one pair of ducks had produced 10 chicks. They were eventually abandoned so the lock keeper at Atherstone kept the surviving 8 in his bath. "How do you look after them in such an un natural environment".

We always have to be prepared for occasions when we cannot move. Water topped up, diesel in the tank, gas bottles replaced when empty and food in the cupboards. Never go past facilities without using them. It was back in the late 1960's that the canal trade was finally stopped by a long hard winter. We wait to see if this is to be the start of another.

Turned the boat round and after a few days in the ice we both move back south. Filled up with diesel at Springwood Haven and moved down through Nuneaton. Yet another car had been tipped into the canal! Got past that and all the other rubbish to stop at a rather exposed spot by Gipsy Bridge and waited for a TESCO delivery. Access between road and canal here was far from ideal. Used our own trolleys to transport the goods to the boat on a cold wintry morning.

Springwood Haven

Twenty two miles with no locks. Turned left into the entrance to the Ashby canal under the bridge and through the disused lock trying not to hit the sides. A bit surprised to find thin broken ice in our path. Two boats passed us to leave the canal which indicated that the canal was not yet frozen solid. It is here that we all intend to spend the winter months.

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