As skipper of the boat it is rare that I take shore leave and only tend to do so when we are safely secure in port. Such an occasion occurred on Tuesday, so I departed for Kent leaving the crew on board. Whilst away the crew got busy. I was the proud owner of eight shirts, but now I only have four. I do have a nice rag rug which seems to resemble the colour of my now missing shirts.
Today we travelled four miles passing through the countryside between Lichfield and Tamworth, before arriving at the foot of Glascote Locks. We had filled the water tank at Fazeley Junction, and had short wait whilst two boats ascended the locks ahead of us. Once through the top lock it was a sharp left turn into the basin. Almost as soon as we had secured the boat to the side of the dock, Neil and Clive appeared and promptly removed our old oven and installed the new one. We are staying here until Tuesday as the crew are having a long weekend away. I will use the time wisely, relaxing.
- Totals 4 Miles 2 Locks
- Running total 373 Miles 216 Locks 14 Tunnels
Only a short hop of three miles today. The remains of the early morning mist were soon burnt off by the sun and just after breakfast we were underway. We met one or two boats on the way, mainly in the narrow or shallow sections. Just as we were approaching the Whittington Military Range we spotted a familiar boat, nb Telemachus moored. A quick blast on the klaxon resulted in a wave from the crew on board as we passed by. The visitor mooring at Hopwas was empty so we picked our spot and secured the boat. The furry crew member was then left on board whilst we visited the Tame Otter P.H. for lunch. Just one night will be spent here before we attended our boat’s home port of Glascote Basin tomorrow.
- Totals 3 Miles
- Running total 371 Miles 214 Locks 14 Tunnels
We only stayed one night by the pig farm, so on Thursday 29/9 we set off for Fradley Junction. We had a brief stopover in Rugeley, to stock up on supplies at the large Tesco store by the canal. Then it was on through Armitage, the town made famous for its toilets. The weather was fine for the time of the year, and there was very little traffic. On arrival at Wood End lock we encountered a hold up. The lock has a defective ground paddle, and is very slow to fill. Today it was made worse by a huge island of reeds that had been sucked into the gate paddle reducing the flow further. Each fill was taking nearly half an hour. Once we got through it was only a short hop to Fradley. We dropped down a further two locks and then made our turn onto the Coventry Canal. Once through the swing bridge, we had our pick of position on the visitor mooring as it was empty. It didn’t stay that way for long.
On Friday 30/9 we walked to the canal village of Alrewas, about two and a half miles away down the Trent and Mersey. We can actually return to Yelvertoft that way, but it involves a couple of river sections for which we would need an anchor, and this time we are stopping at Glascote Basin for a few days to have some work done.
On Saturday 1/10, the weather was forecast to rain later in the afternoon, so having stayed our allotted 48 hours at Fradley we moved on. We were aiming for Huddlesford. We needed a pump out and diesel so planned to visit Streethay Wharf on route. Not long after tying up it became apparent the pump out machine was kaput. We continued on to Kings Orchard Marina, and fortunately, unlike our last visit it was not too windy. The forecast rain however had arrived early and as we exited the Marina the heavens opened. Quickly mooring just outside the entrance, we avoided the worst but we’re still soaked by the time we finished.
On Sunday 2/10 we walked in glorious sunshine to Huddlesford Junction where we found the Plough Inn. We have eaten here before and the food is great, today would be our first Sunday roast there. The pub is dog friendly, but four legs had been left behind to guard the boat.
Today we moved just one mile to the spot we had intended to reach on Saturday. The weather is again glorious for the season, but we have noticed that in the mornings the boat is colder now. We have yet to light the solid fuel stove but the diesel heating is getting some regular use.
We are only staying here one night as the cuisine at the Tame Otter, Hopwas is beckoning. After lunch we walked into Whittington to visit the local shop. One final point is that google have stopped supporting the app for iPad using blogger. This is a new app so I have no idea how it will appear once posted.
- Totals Thursday 29/9. 9 Miles 3 Locks
- Saturday 1/10. 4 Miles
- Monday. 3/10. 1 Mile
- Running total 368 Miles 214 Locks 14 Tunnels