Saturday, 17 September 2016

A chug to Brindley Bank and lighting the Squirrel

The weather duly improved overnight, so that in the small hours we were able to take the bung out of the Houdini and prop it open on the cork. The light of a full moon came streaming in. We got going just before eight, Sheila winding in a great sweeping turn on the Wide. There was nothing moving on the Trent and Mersey, allowing her to swing round the Junction with aplomb and a good bit of throttle.

Haywood lock was mostly empty, but with nothing in sight I was able to fill it straightaway. By the time we'd got Sanity Again into the chamber a boat had arrived at the bottom and the cut has been pretty busy since. We collected a couple of followers on the run to Colwich, showing the wisdom of our prompt start. Two hours boating in all got us to the outskirts of Rugeley and the moorings at Brindley Bank. There have been a fair few fishing parties about all day, together with some Pokemon hunters.

We're not alone here – a couple of other boats are tied behind us. Although the weather has been fine and dry if cloudy, Autumn has definitely arrived. Sheila had a good session tidying up the plant troughs, which we'd lifted down into the well deck yesterday to keep them safe from the wind. Once she'd done that and put them back on the roof, I got the chimney and ash carrier out of the bow locker and lit the Squirrel. We've been glad of the warmth this afternoon. Hopefully, the scuttle of coal we've got will be enough to see us back to Mercia.

Tomorrow, there'll be no point in setting off too early as we want to be able to get a mooring by Tesco to do some stocking up for the last time. We wouldn't tie there overnight on a Saturday, but I've no doubt that the hire and share boats will.

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