Saturday, 19 September 2015

On deeper waters

We managed the early start properly this morning, getting away just after seven with the aim of reaching Etruria by lunchtime if we could. It was Sheila's turn to steer, so I was able to get on with chores down below once we were underway. I made a batch of bread dough, put a yoghurt on and generally tidied up. It was a glorious day, classic early Autumn with a cool bright sun, though by the time we reached Kidsgrove there was a lot of mist and I was needed on the bow as look out.

It all cleared away as quickly as it came, so that when we got to the junction it was all gone. Sheila made a smooth exit from the Macc onto the Trent and Mersey and headed for the tunnel. The boats from the first northbound passage were just emerging and a solitary boat was waiting to go in. The tunnel keeper recognised us from earlier in the year (apparently the boat name is quite memorable, no idea why) and ran quickly through his safety briefing.

Sheila swung us round into the tunnel and I went back below to knock back and shape up the dough and do the washing up, now that the engine had given us a calorifier full of hot water. We took just over 35 minutes for the passage, emerging at half ten. There followed a superb run along the deep top pound through northern Stoke. I just managed to get the buns baked before we tied, though Sheila had to be left holding the boat on the centreline at one point whilst I took them out of the oven. We've tied on the towpath just short of the Toby Carvery at Etruria.

We've had a very lazy relaxed afternoon, sitting in the boat in the sun and pottering about with reading, doing puzzles, crochet and catching up with some IT jobs on the Mac Mini.

Chicken gumbo tonight and on to Stone Top in the morning.

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