Tuesday started cold, grey and windy. It had rained overnight, and more rain seemed entirely likely, so we dropped the idea of doing the long day through Atherstone, and made our way less ambitiously to Meadow Lane Bridge (50) a mile or so beyond Polesworth. Grace was needing good Internet access at around noon, so we chose a spot with good 3G reception, and moored there.
We ran the engine and switched on the 230v generator to get some washing done, and Grace settled down at her laptop. Just after the washing had finished, we noticed that the generator had stopped, so I went to restart it – at which point it went bang! and refused to work any more. This is the same generator which failed a year ago, on the same canal, not more than 20 miles away! AND cost an arm and several toes to repair!
At around the same moment, the router seemed to have gone down as well, for when we switched on the inverter to power it, it kept giving us error messages, and would not connect to the Internet on what was a very strong 3G signal. Our hearts sank. No more generator, possibly no more washing until we get back to the marina in two or three weeks' time, and no more Internet use.
Well, we do have a dongle for that, but only one of us can use it at a time. So we put the SIM card in that, and tried it – nothing. We put in another, spare SIM card – still nothing. Thus proving that the problem did not lie with our router or SIM card, but with our Internet Service Provider, 3.
Wednesday was brighter and warmer. It had rained again during the night, but that seemed to have passed. We set off at 9:45 towards the Atherstone Locks. Canal traffic was very heavy compared with how it was only a week ago. It's good to see.
The locks were easy on the whole, and a number were empty ready for us when we arrived. Further, because of the traffic, I was hardly ever alone at the locks, with crew from other boats being there to work the other side from me. So it was that we moored just before Taverner's Bridge (40) at just 1:15, three and a half hours since we started. Not the long day I had anticipated!
We had lunch, then walked into the town to the largest Co-Op supermarket we've ever seen, and bought lots of provisions. It was good to stock up again! I have to apologise to Atherstone and its people. Having spent some time there, I now think I was totally misinformed about it. It most certainly isn't inhospitable, and seems to be a lovely place. We've decided that, come the autumn or early winter – whenever we finish cruising for the year – we'll have to drive out to visit some of the places we've not explored on this cruise. Atherstone has to be one of them.
We would have stayed overnight where we were moored at the top of the locks, but 3G signal was poor, and we needed it this evening, so we moved another couple of miles to Atherstone Road Bridge (32) and secured a very pleasant mooring there.
The weather is good, and it's a lovely evening.