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Off to a flying start

It was a bright and chilly start to the day, at last we could begin our annual boating holiday. We had some last minutes things to attend to including me having to go to work for a few hours. It was just after one o’clock when we were able to untie Caxton’s lines and start our journey. Our exit became blocked as a boat out on the cut passed the marina entrance and pulled on to the service point looking for a pump out, this was unfortunate since we had been going there to fill with water and diesel. No big problem sitting just inside the marina entrance until they finished except that out of nowhere on an otherwise calm and sunny day came a sustained gust of wind which lasted over a minute, blowing us at an angle into the throat of the entrance. Fellow moorer Lee laughed and said, “Where did that come from?”. Who knows, just some superior force playing games I guess. Anyway we got Caxton on to the inner side of the service wharf and filled the water tank, finishing at the same time as nb Nineveh finished their pumpout.

It was two o’clock when we eventually got on our way, heading in the direction of Marston junction with the intention of making the most of the beautiful weather and getting a few miles under our belts. We passed an old aquaintance, Steve (or Seasick Steve as I call him) on nb The Serendipity moored near Burton Hastings. He tried to throw us a bag with some crayfish that he had caught but his misjudged movement only succeeded in releasing the creatures back into the wild.

We didn’t see many boats on either the Ashby or the Coventry canals and by the time we had cleared Nuneaton, we had decided to eat dinner on the go and then tackle half of the Atherstone flight. We managed to eat in shifts and get the dishwasher on before we reached the top lock at around seven o’clock. The first chamber was full and we hoped that the rest would be the same but it was not to be; even though we crossed with another boat below lock two, the next two locks were draining quickly through leaking gates.

We found a mooring below lock five just after eight and tied Caxton up using the rings there. The combination of good weather, first day enthusiasm and the fact that we have travelled this section of canal many times before had given us a flying start to the trip.

15 miles and 5 locks isn’t bad for the day before the holiday starts properly.