Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Blown along to Handsacre

I had some concerns about the amount of wind in the forecast and it was indeed pretty breezy by the time we'd got up and eaten breakfast. Since if anything it was scheduled to deteriorate as the day went on, we didn't linger but set off by half eight.

The exOwnerShips boat tied in front of us had a bit of a struggle to get off the towpath, the bow blowing back in before the steerer could get back to the stern, but with a little help from Sheila he got going eventually and then it was our turn.

In the event, we didn't have much trouble. Sanity Again is pretty well behaved in moderate to breezy winds, a function of her deeper draught and greater lateral stability. Sheila walked up to Junction Lock and turned it for me. By the time we were rising in the lock the volocky had turned up and saw us out.

Sheila had to work Middle Lock on her own, but a volocky set Shade House ready so we made good time up the flight overall.

The washing machine was loaded and ready to go, so Sheila filled it with hot water and started it as I ambled along the pound towards the 90ยบ bend where the canal swings round from heading south west to north west. The wind was a bit more troublesome once out of the shelter of the woods, so we were pleased to see someone working a boat down Woodend. I managed to hover in a sheltered patch until they were clear, then went straight in, Sheila hopping lightly off as the bow reached the bridge over the tail of the lock.

There's a goodly stretch of woods alongside the next pound, pretty well all the way to Kings Bromley marina, one of the finest stretches of canal in these parts. With any luck we won't be around by the time HS2 reaches here, assuming there's any money left to build it by then, of course.

There wasn't much sign of activity at either the Phoenix Wharf or the marina itself. The towpath mooring further on was well occupied by liveaboard boats, though.

With no further obstructions, I could open the throttle up a bit and make good time to the towpath moorings just beyond the Handsacre winding hole. Plenty of room here, though it's filled up a bit since. As we tied, the washing machine finished its cycle and it came on to rain a bit.

Good timing all round then. I got the fire lit as it's still pretty cool and damp today. Sheila's put a couple of items to dry in the cratch, leaving the bow doors open so that warm air rises from the Squirrel to do the job.

We've had a quiet afternoon catching up with bits and pieces. Tomorrow, on through Rugeley and a largish Tesco shop to tie probably on the Brindley Bank VMs.

No comments: