Sunday, 23 July 2017

Through Cut End and up the Shroppie

As planned, we made an early start this morning, though since it was Sunday, we didn't actually start boating until 6.30. It’s another situation where for one reason we want to get away early and for another want to time our arrival at the planned stop for mid-morning. In the event, it all worked out well. Sheila steered at first whilst I got some breakfast, then I took over and did the rest of the trick.

The weather wasn't much to write home about, raining softly from time to time but not very windy. We got through Pendeford Rockin’ without meeting anyone coming the other way and similarly had no difficulty at Autherley stop lock. The main challenge is the turn from the southbound Staffs and Worcs onto the northbound Shroppie. As usual, I didn't quite achieve a contactless turn, laying the starboard side on the fendering on the towpath capping and motoring her round.

It’s a very shallow stop lock, one of the smallest on the system – I suppose the main justification for leaving it in place is the sheer length of the pound leading away from it in all three directions. We didn't see any problem children, not that we expected to at that time in the morning, but there were just one or two boats starting to move as we headed along the wide and deep channel of the Shroppie.

Arriving at the moorings beyond Bridge 7 a bit after half nine, we were pleased to see that there was plenty of room, though there were quite a few boats here. One of them was Timewarp and we’ve had another natter with Tony this afternoon. That was while we were washing the roof, which badly needed doing, still being covered with dirty smuts from the winter in Mercia, exacerbated by material washed down off the trees during the recent rain storms.

Before that, we’d given the boat another quick sweep through, so we are once more filled with a sense of virtue.

And cream crackered.

It’s a lovely, peaceful mooring here, far enough away from the M54 not to be troubled by it but with decent mooring rings and Armco piling. Tomorrow, we’ll carry on to Wheaton Aston, or perhaps a little beyond. As usual on the Shroppie, there’s no guarantee that we’ll have a usable data signal every day, so don't be surprised if the occasional blog post doesn't get made…


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