For the first time in seven years we are on the Ashby Canal. And it is busy, busy, busy, with many boats heading for the Shackerstone Family Festival being held this weekend. Today most of the traffic has been going our way, which means that we haven't met too many boats in bridge holes. It is somewhat uncomfortable, though, when an unladen former working boat - a Small Woolwich in this case - looms up behind and sits on one's tail. I was going as fast as I could reasonably go - any faster and I'd have been breaking a wash and pulling boats from their moorings - and still it dogged me! After a while I pulled over to tie up so we could have a look round Stoke Golding, and zoom! Cassiopeia was released and disappeared round the bend.
Cassiopeia was, I assume, heading for the festival. As was Spey.
Spey came past our mooring at Market Bosworth at about 9.00 pm, preceded by the lovely, loud, irregular beat of its Bolinder engine and the light cast by a pair of LED units mounted at the front. (Photo taken earier in the day!)
And the ash of the title? We had a towpath barbecue to round off an excellent sunny day. As we finished eating a few spots of rain fell to cause the hot ashes to sizzle, but the rain came to nothing.
Tomorrow we'll pass the festival site on our way to the head of navigation, then we'll have the fun of going past Shackerstone again and, no doubt, meeting many more boats on their way up.
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