Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Stone me...

... what a life! Today is the 50th anniversary of the sad death of that comic genius Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock, so it seems somehow appropriate that we are in Stone, there not being a canal in East Cheam. After he had shed his support team of Sid James, Bill Kerr, Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams, believing he could do better without them, they went on to star in the Carry On... films and he descended into failure, depression, alcoholism and finally suicide, the epitome of the weeping clown.

Hey ho, we're feeling a lot more cheerful even if it's a bit hot. We set off at half six, aiming to be at the Stone Chandlery when it opened at nine. This had the advantage of getting as much boating as possible done whilst it was cool. It soon became apparent that a lot of other boaters had had the same idea as the cut was very busy.

We followed a Gailey hire boat down Meaford, crossing with upcoming boats at almost every lock, and had the same experience at Stone. As we worked down Newcastle Road lock, there was a boat on the chandlery service wharf, but it set off as I opened the bottom gates. Thinking that they would be coming straight up, I left the gates open, only to find that they were going to stop on the water point. Happily, one of that crew popped up and closed the gates so that the boat following us could work down.

We took 123 litres of diesel, so the tank was a bit low by my standards. The guy left an extra half inch of breathing space below the filler tube to allow for expansion in this heat, though a thread in CWDF has pointed out that the coefficient of expansion of diesel is 1% per 10ÂșC so equivalent to an extra 1.2 litres in the fill. Some boats have the breather tube dip below the surface of the fuel when the tank is full, so that the expanding air in the tank may blow fuel out of it, but that doesn't apply to Sanity Again.

No matter, it's enough and more than enough to get us home, which is all that matters. We worked down Yard lock to find the shopping moorings on the offside above Star empty, so we've tied on there for a change. Another boat has since turned up to take the other half. We're on the end near Star, which was a minor mistake. The hedge just beyond us hides a waste water pumping station and there's an odd niff from time to time.

We've been able to do a larger shop at Morrisons than we'd first intended, so with luck we won't need to stop in Rugeley at all.

Tomorrow, on down to Weston and another rendezvous with Peter and Mel. I've bought a lemon for Mel and some apricots and courgettes to use in what I'm going to cook...



1 comment:

Melanie Coote said...

We are looking forward to seeing you both.