Friday, 14 July 2017

And it's Alrewas Again

We’ve had a very pleasant day of it, despite the weather being much cooler. In fact I actually wore a fleece whilst steering, the first time I’ve had one on for several weeks. Expecting to take three hours to get to Alrewas, we set off in very good time, so that we were locking up Tatenhill by eight o’clock. As it was, there was a certain amount of traffic about, though we didn't have to queue for a lock until the last one, the Alrewas river lock.

In this case, Sheila doing look out in the bow saw a boat leave the lock as we came round the bend by the weir, but by the time we got to the second bend onto the final straight a boater was turning the lock and I had to pull onto the lock landing and wait. Sheila was muttering a bit since she reckoned we were visible by the time he was drawing the top paddles, but it wasn't worth making a fuss.

As it was, we’d made good time and it was not yet half ten. The moorings immediately above the lock were almost empty, with just the one boat at the far end, so we tied bow to bow with them. They’ve proved to be a very pleasant South African couple who spend a few months of the year over here boating. Needless to say, the moorings have all filled up now (5 o’clock), pretty well the whole length through the village.

After a quick coffee, we made a shopping expedition to the butcher and the Co-op, treating ourselves to pasties for lunch. I’m having a lazy day of it since we plan to get some fish and chips for dinner, the Alrewas Fryer being one of the better chip shops round here.

Two other bits of good news – my fix behind the rev counter seems to have worked and indeed the engine heater plugs are performing slightly better as a result. They’d started to drop off a bit, needing eight seconds preheat to get a start on the first turn, but just five seconds today did the job. Since the repair included the negative from the heater plugs relay, they must have been being starved a bit.

Even better, Sheila has just had an excellent dry trim from Ann Sutton of Haircuts Afloat on NB Eclipse – and for only a tenner at that. They are presently on their way up the T&M to Etruria, but are thinking of coming into Mercia for the winter having just had a good couple of days there. I’m sure there would be plenty of demand around the marina if they do so… Meantime, if you are the Stone/Stoke on Trent area over the next couple of weeks and need a haircut, you could do worse than ring Ann on 07900 146042.


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