Leicester Ring 2011
Polesworth to Rugely
24 April 2011
25 miles - 5 locks - 10 hours
Its just another manic (bankholiday) Sunday. Well, thats nearly what the Bangles sang all those years ago. Why do I go boating on bank holidays? Cos I have to till I retire and can pick and choose my cruising itinary I guess!
Above Woodend Lock
Last night wasn't the most peaceful on record, buy not on account of my Boaters Christian Fellowship neighbours - you couldn't ever describe them as riotous bedfellows! No, the local pub has a band on and they kicked off just as I went to bed. No matter, I was knackered an fell asleep to a mutilated cover version of some blues number which was indistinguishable just by the pounding bass line.
I tightened the packing on the stern gland today. After several weeks of near dryness the dripping has resumed with a vengance, but my concerns about worn stern gear proved to be foundless - one side of the adjustment nuts had come lose and a few turns with a spanner brought the weeping to a sudden halt.
Polesworth Heritage Centre
We had got back on schedule so there was no need to get cracking at the break on dawn on a fair and sunny Easter morning. This may not be the nost spectacular bit of canal, but there is plenty to look at, be it the slow filling Glascote locks or the interesting array of working boats at the Samuel Barlow.
This was the day of the blog boats, starting with Sanity Again which we saw at Willington. Bruce was aboard and waved, but didn't recognise Wand'ring Bark.Then it was into Seethay on the hunt for the clutch of famous craft believed to be loitering within its environs. First up it was Star, home to Starman and Starwoman. I didnt exactly have to find Star - she found me. Her nose was peeping out from behind the railway bridge just as we entered and I was so surprised I forgot to take a picture.
Another famous resident is Reckless of the TV show fame. She has returned and is up for sale, but only her distinctive "flames" bows were visible.
I understood that Granny Buttons has also taken up residence whilst her marine intestines are being attended to, but my search for her and her notorious crew was in vain. That said, my stay at Seethay was just long enough to refill with diesel and get a pump out. Wow, isn't diesel expensive even on a 60:40 split!
Amazingly, there were no crowds at Fradley and we strolled through the usually crowded locks to the north of the junction. Traffic thinned even further by 5.00pm and we picked up the pace through Armitage and Rugely, eventually stopping among the meadows just beyond the Tent Aqueduct at 7.00pm. Belle had produced a particularly fine roast to celebrate Easter and to give the new cooker a really good workout.
The evening was calm and warm, ideal weather for ballooning. In fact, three of these huge balloons landed nearby offering a great end of day spectacle.