Friday, 29 June 2018

A bit further than we meant to

I forgot to mention our excellent evening with Peter and Mel the other night. We had a merry time yet again – one of these days we'll actually get round to teaching them Mah Jong, which had been the goal of this summer's cruising. No matter, the chance will come some day.

With no particular target in mind today, we didn't get going until seven, but then chugged merrily on through the metropolis of Rugeley, for once not stopping at bridge 66 to shop. There were a lot of boats tied between the aqueduct and bridge 67, the first shopping bridge, and plenty at 66, of course, but then very few after that until we got to the Ash Tree Boat Club.

I managed the turn under the bridge onto the Spode House straight without touching or reversing and we didn't meet another boat through all the narrows, an advantage of setting off in good time.

The Handsacre moorings were pretty busy, so it was just as well that we'd already decided to make for the towpath above Woodend. Kings Bromley is OK, but very overhung by trees, meaning that you have to spend time cleaning bird poo off the boat if you stop there. The only thing was, when we got to Woodend, there was a piling and dredging gang working right where we'd planned to tie. It's good that there will be more room to stop there in future, but no use to us today.

So, down the lock we went and on to Shade House. I had a problem at the big turn where the T&M changes direction from SE to NE – there was a boat tied immediately after the bend and another emerged round it just as I'd got Sanity Again lined up to sweep through. I had to go astern to lose way and avoid him and ended up berrying in the offside trees. You often see a boat tied there, despite the fact that to any real boater it's obviously an idiot place to stop for exactly the reason we had today.

As we approached Shade House it began to look like we'd have to work down to the moorings below Junction Lock, but we found a nice 70' space and popped into it. The towpath is wide enough to put chairs out under the trees here, which made for a cool afternoon.

We've walked down the flight to dump recycling and buy ice creams. We're just six and a half hours boating from Mercia now and tomorrow looks like the least windy day for a while, so we've decided to finish this trip in one burst. We should get to Mercia in the early afternoon, all being well.

1 comment:

Jo said...

ooooo. Home tomorrow! We'll hang the bunting out. And it's a Market on Sunday.

Don't forget to admire the 'Not Just Any Bridge' ... !

And about time to plan an Ocado delivery! Monday? Wednesday? Thursday?