Sunday, 10 April 2016

Long day's journey into Rugeley

At nine o'clock last night, we all looked at each other and agreed that bed was the best idea. (Sally had been spark out since finishing her tea.) As a result, we were positively bright and breezy this morning, though one of Sheila's flying starts was not feasible with Bagnall Lock lurking just round the corner.

So I made tea at half six, we all got dressed and breakfasted by about half seven and were ready to set off fifteen minutes later. It was my turn to steer and the locking crew consisted of Sheila, Elanor and Sally. We'd tied on the Rebel's Field mooring; as the gang walked through Wharf Bridge, Sheila radio'ed back to warn me that another boat was pushing off from the towpath on the other side.

This was Flint, whose steerer very decently stopped and let me by. They followed us up through the seven locks to the top of Fradley, chatting cheerfully with us as they did so. It was a great example of proper boating spirit, which is not as dead as the doommongers of CWDF would have you believe. Flint is a lovely boat, too, a RW Davies Northwich Trader.

The weather became bright and sunny as we went, helping the generally positive mood of the day. The wind's got up a bit now – I was glad of a mug of soup as we passed through Rugeley, as my back was getting quite chilled.

Elanor has been taking a turn at steering, reviving the skills she's built up over the years, having been boating since the age of minus 6 months.

We'd originally planned to go on to the pig farm, but that would have given us the same problem as this morning, with Colwich lock quite soon after we set off. So, after six hours boating, we stopped on the new visitor moorings by Brindley Bank and ate a much delayed lunch.

The afternoon will be devoted to a range of quiet activities – in Sally's case mostly with her nose tucked under her paws. On to Burston tomorrow is the cunning plan


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