Saturday, 27 February 2016


Here I am Rune
Distance 6.3 miles
Total 1689 Locks 85 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2410.7 miles 

Today’s trip was, as planned, down as far as the Lime Kilns pub on the A5 near Hinckley where we shall remain until Monday at least. This gave us the opportunity to do the weekend shop and tomorrow I’ll visit the local leisure centre for a swim.

Leaving Sutton Wharf was a shame in some respects as we seemed to have moored at an ideal location for viewing the local water voles (photo & video) just by looking out of our kitchen window, it was almost like having a wildlife hide. 
                                                         The water vole at breakfast
Our morning water vole (no, it isn't a rat!)

Friday, 26 February 2016

Sutton Wharf

Here I am Rune
Distance 3.5 miles
Total 1689 Locks 85 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2404.4 miles 

Original plan for today was to go down to the ‘Lime Kiln’ moorings just beyond Hinckley but these things change and we got as far as Sutton Wharf and decided to call it a day and have a walk around the site of the Battle of Bosworth. We took the same walk back in 2014 when we came up this canal the last time but it is still and interesting walk. You get a feel for the brutality of the time by visiting the actual scene of the carnage and seeing the lie of the land. According to the various narrative displays around the site 1000 men died in the battle plus hundreds more wounded in some way. That is a lot of bodies to have to bury. I would also imagine that the scene of the battle would be pretty chaotic since when the armies have engaged it would be difficult to tell the two sides apart in the heat of hand to hand fighting, I would think there was an even chance of being injured by your own side.

The other point of interest at this mooring is that it seems to be a water vole ‘hot spot’. When we moored here last time a water vole swam across the canal soon after we had moored and today a water vole swam across in front of the boat about 400 yards before we moored. It became more interesting after we had moored as a vole began to feed on the canal bank outside of our kitchen window, tried to photograph it but wasn’t massively successful.

A not very successful photo of a water vole (his eye is just above the leaf)

Current plan for tomorrow will be to carry on to Lime Kiln moorings at Hinckley where we will probably stay until Monday (provided we can find a mooring there!)

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Market Bosworth

Here I am Rune
Distance 6.9 miles
Total 1689 Locks 85 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2400.9 miles 

I think that last night represents a definite ‘miss’ for the weather forecasters. The Met Office had a ‘severe weather warning’ for this area with the possibility of frost, ice and snow, in the event we didn’t even get a frost so the concerns of having a frozen canal were totally misplaced. Woke up today to clear sunshine so the thoughts of staying at Snarestone were side-lined since we have to run the engine to charge the batteries we may as well use them to travel as well.

Before leaving we checked out how much further they have restored of the Ashby Canal, about another 500 yards as far as bridge 62. We couldn’t get there because a) the winding hole at the ‘new’ terminus of the canal can only accommodate boats up to 52 feet, so we would have to reverse to it, and b) the swing bridge outside the visitor centre was padlocked!

RUNE moored by the winding hole at the end of the Ashby Canal

The new bridge (62) at the end of the canal

An overview of the final winding hole

After a bit of thought and discussion we decided to set off back down the canal, now stopping at Market Bosworth for the night.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016


Here I am Rune
Distance 10.4 miles
Total 1689 Locks 84 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2394 miles 

Once again an ideal day for winter cruising that we couldn’t let go to waste so we have travelled from Sutton Wharf to the end of the canal at Snarestone. I was hoping to go right to the very end where they have finished another section or restoration but there is a locked swing bridge between where we are moored and that section and I have a feeling that the volunteers who open it only come at the weekend during the winter.

The only real event of the day was the passage through Snarestone which is only 249 yards long but as you approach it you cannot see the other end until pretty much the last minute as you line the boat up to enter the tunnel portal, fortunately there was no-one coming the other way! It isn’t a particularly straight tunnel with one or two noticeable kinks in it. I also suspect that the guy we were talking to back at Bedworth who said he had damaged his new cratch cover, had probably done it in this tunnel, the tunnel profile is rounded almost to the water-line so if you get too close to the tunnel wall you are likely to scratch the boat.

We will have to see what the weather is like tomorrow before making any decisions as it is forecast to be quite cold tonight and if the canal freezes we won’t be going anywhere.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Sutton Wharf

Here I am Rune
Distance 3 miles
Total 1689 Locks 83 Tunnels
Running total mileage 2383.6 miles 

As planned we only came as far as Sutton Wharf today, conflicting information in that the Hutchinsons Guide said there were showers here and my computer map said there were, Hutchinsons was right!

Have to say that the moorings here are excellent, it is on a pontoon so there is no mud problem and we are within easy reach of water, rubbish disposal, elsan point and showers, as well as a Bar Café should be so require. It would also seem that we are about a mile or so from the site of the Battle of Bosworth if we need a bit of history. Despite all this I think we will probably only stay until tomorrow before heading of up to the top end of the canal.