Monday 14 July 2014

Big Trip Home Day 3 - Brief encounter at Hawkesbury and Electronics take a dip.

A slightly earlier start today at 8:45am leaving lovely All Oaks Wood behind after a really quiet night.

The canal hereabouts follows the new cut of the Oxford canal so long straight stretches are punctuated with winding bends.  Signs of the old course abound with numerous arms and sidings along the way.  Some now used as moorings and alas some now no more than a weeded up winding hole.  If these arms were ever restored the overnight mooring spots would be superb.  In places the canal narrows considerably that makes passing other boats a careful manoeuvre.

Narrows and definite line of clouds
We stopped of at Rose N Boats wharf to drop of some rubbish and topped up with water just after their swing bridge (our first)

Swing bridge at Rose N Boats
One needs to take care here as there is an arm of to the right (just out of shot) which is wide could fool the unwary the cut follows round.  The swing bridge is narrow so could convince the traveller this is not the way but in fact is indeed the main course.  A careful check in the Pearsons confirms the way is straight on.

The cut continues its way under a high and imposing M6 motorway bridge.  At the same time the main line railway thunders under the bridge meters from the canal, joining three modes of transport together in the same place.

Virgin trains court the canal for several miles
passing under the M6 bridge right next to the canal

M6 skyway.  We have driven over this bridge countless
times unaware the canal is below.
Later, after a few miles and right a tight right hand bend the village of Ansty hoves into view but blink and you will miss it as you will be busy steering pass the moored boats there.

Another long run of straight canal you are confronted with a series of tight turns until more moored boats herald your arrival at Hawkesbury  junction. 

The Junction is just around the corner to the left
Right of passage to the junction is via the Sutton Stop lock that lowers you from the dizzy height of 9 inches to the Coventry canal.

Sutton Stop lock and a boat about to ascend
Once through the lock Hawkesbury junction reveals itself to the right.  Just as I was leaving the lock a familiar bow swung into view.  Straight away I recognised the lady in the bows waving cheerfully to me.  It was Fiona and John Slee on nb Epiphany (click).  As things were happening fast and other boats were waiting turns it was a real shame we could not stop for a chat and catch up.  We quickly exchanged hellos as I turned AmyJo inside Epiphany's turn and then we were on opposite sides of the junction.  

Epiphany appears from the Coventry canal.

and  Epiphany heads off towards the stop lock
Unlike John and Fiona we were lucky as just a few yards from the junction a boat pulled off leaving a space for us to slot AmyJo into.  We walked to the local convenience store for supplies and then could not resist a baguette and pint in the Greyhound watching the passing canal traffic.

After lunch we continued on our way skirting North of Bedworth.  Arriving at Charity dock the blog famous garden of shop dummies placed in various positions makes a humorous and some what eccentric display.

From here the canal winds it way to Nuneaton where with the weather deteriorating and wind picking up we found decent mooring on the outskirts of town.  I do not care for urban moorings but time and weather made mooring up here sensible.  In our efforts to moor up Chris's walkie talkie that was clipped to her blouse slipped off and landed in the cut.  Looks like a trip to Currys or Maplins is now on the cards.

Our mooring for tonight

and our route today.

Total distance:13.21 miles Elapsed time:7h9m33s Locks:1 Bridges:42 

Average speed:1.85 mph (1.99 lock/mph) 

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