In the end, we set off just on nine on a rather breezy day but otherwise fine and mild. Sheila made short work of the trip through Rugeley and we got to the shopping moorings a bit before half past. The controlled moorings were all full, but there was plenty of room beyond. We did two trips, the first to pay in the cheques from the charity auction and to visit Wilko and the second to Tesco.
It was a very successful trip to Wilko where we bought a curious range of stuff from some spray polish and three big sponges to a new broom for the roof, the current one having started to rust. On the way back to the boat, we stopped for a natter with Terry and
After a bit of restocking at Tesco, we set off again, Sheila steering once more and myself stowing the stuff and doing the breakfast washing up. From time to time I would nip out onto the bow for the various blind spots; I managed to finish in nice time for the Ash Tree Bridge and then the Armitage Tunnel the other side of Spode House and Hawksyard Priory (I do so love that name!).
By now it was twelve, so I grabbed some lunch whilst still doing sporadic look out. I'd just about finished in time to take over the helm for mooring at Handsacre. There was plenty of room when we got here, but it's filled up quite a bit since. We've had a pretty relaxed afternoon, though I did get a couple or three chores done.
Firstly, I used some of the washing soda we got the other day to clean out the galley sink drains. I closed the seacock, chucked a bit of soda down each plughole and poured a kettle of boiling water over the lot. After waiting a while, I reopened the seacock and was gratified to see the water drain smoothly away. I don't know why people bother with the sinister nasties they sell for drain unblocking, I've always had success with washing soda and of course it's much better for the environment.
The next job was to recoil the 20 metre line we used to get off the mud at Poynton, which has been drying on top of the engine box ever since. The plain end had started to unravel a bit, so I rebound it with self-amalgamating tape – it's a kernmantle (climbing) rope, so it can't be back spliced as I would with the other lines. Having done that, I emptied and repacked the steering step where it lives. Finally, we found that the sponges worked well as covers for the prisms, which are inclined to condense and drip in the cold weather. They are a bit cheaper than having fancy ones made – 30 pence apiece.
Veal casserole and mash tonight, Alrewas tomorrow.