Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Another solid morning's boating

We wanted to do what would normally be for us two day's boating in one today, hopefully for the last time this trip. Instead of popping round to Tixall for the night, we'd decided to keep going to Taft Wharf, aka the pig farm, aka Bridge 69. There's a fuel boat, Dexta, permanently moored there now selling cheap diesel. Sheila took the opportunity to run a washload, starting it after we'd locked down Weston.

It was also another morning that started fine and calm and gradually got breezier and cloudier. In the end, I had to nip below and swap my sweatshirt for the guernsey I got out of storage yesterday. We didn't see many boats on the move all morning and every lock was against us until we got to Great Haywood. When we did, we were glad that we'd decided to water at Stone, as half of the water point moorings through the bridge were taken up by a CRT workboat that was loading or unloading spoil of some sort. In addition, there were now plenty of boats on the move.

We had to wait above Haywood lock for a boat to come up and again at Colwich. At least that let Sheila off drawing the top paddles to fill the lock. We got to Taft Wharf just after half eleven. The towpath was pretty full but no one was tied alongside Dexta so I laid Sanity Again there, with a bit of trouble due to the wind and the fact that Dexta has no mooring dollies or T-studs. Sheila ended up standing on the bank holding the bow line whilst I tied the stern line round one of the hold beams.

Furthermore, there's no indication of how to attract the attention of the owner to the fact that you are there. There is a phone number, but it's for a while-you-wait BSC exam service. What you have to do is walk up to the farm and find someone, passing the pigs who gruntle cheerfully at you as you pass. Once I'd found the young man in question, he was very prompt and helpful. The centreline was tied to the fixings for Dexta's back of the hold line and 120 litres swiftly pumped into the tank. At 60 ppl, this was indeed a very good deal, especially as there was no question of signing a propulsion declaration.

Rather than squeeze onto the towpath under a tree, we decided to carry on to the new moorings at Brindley Bank, drinking a mug of soup apiece as we went to keep us going. We got here at about half twelve. We've had quite a busy time of it between us since, sorting washing to dry, lighting the fire and generally getting fettled. I bought the last bag of Taybrite that Dexta had, so we shall have enough fuel to see us through to Mercia now. Taybrite's by no means my favourite smokeless fuel, being too full of ash filler for my taste, but it's a lot better than an empty grate...

It will be a lazy start tomorrow, to be sure of finding space on the shopping mooring in Rugeley. We've a few bits and pieces to do, not least a Wilko shop, and then we'll press on to Handsacre.

1 comment:

John/Destiny said...

Hi Bruce.

For future reference, and other readers, we were told by locals that you just have to sound your horn when you arrive at Dexta, and the man swiftly appears.