This morning we departed Tixall Wide having spent a few wet and wild days there. Over the weekend period, the wide had been very busy accommodating Stafford Boat Club during their regatta. We enjoyed watching the boat manoeuvring skills competition, well until the rain started, then we went inside, battened down the hatches and left them to it. We got straight onto the water point at Great Haywood Junction and topped up the tank. Whilst waiting, we chatted with the crew of nb Maple Knot who informed us of a food festival in Stone next week. Wrong way for us, but we will chalk it up for another time. We had two locks to navigate and our timing at each was impeccable. On arrival at the pig farm we found our usual spot vacant. After securing the boat, the two legged crew gave four legs a brush. He had not been done for a while and was a bit knotted, so he was somewhat resistant to the process. There was only going to be one winner, and it wasn’t him. Tomorrow we head for Fradley after a necessary stop at Tesco in Rugeley.
With the ships company back on board after their shore leave, today we set off for Fradley Junction. This where the detached section of the Coventry Canal meets with the Trent and Mersey Canal. After untying the ropes, taking care not to disturb the wasp nest buried in the towpath, we moved off passing Huddlesford Junction and the Plough Inn. The weather was partly sunny, but the wind was blustery, and as we passed Kings Orchard Marina I was glad we did not need to enter there for services. Last year when we visited, the wind held us against the service pontoon, and some high engine revs were needed to get us off it. Next it was the marina and boatyard at Streethay Wharf. Here the canal runs parallel to the very busy and noisy A38. We arrived at Fradley Junction around lunchtime and moored. This turned out to be just in time, as during the next 30 minutes the visitor moorings filled up. This time the sky satellite proved elusive, the trees must have grown since last year. After lunch we walked the four legged crew member, and disposed of some rubbish that had been accumulating in the gas locker. On the way back, stopping at the cafe in the CRT yard for cake. Tomorrow we plan to aim for the Pig Farm mooring just beyond Rugeley, once we have replenished supplies at the Tescos there.