Posts Tagged ‘staffs & worcs’

Day 6 – Great Haywood to Autherley

Monday 29 June, 2009
Tixall Wide

Tixall Wide

Michael wasn’t here this morning so a 7.12 start was observed. Straight onto Tixall Wide and a chance to get creative with steering 🙂

The predicted extremely hot weather fortunately held off long enough to see us through the first few locks of the day. It wasn’t too long before the sun made its way through the cloud and scared me back indoors. Bernard has a healthy brown glow already so steered us through the sun.

Gailey Toll House and intrusion.

Gailey Toll House and intrusion.

We made it to Gailey summit at around lunchtime and settled into some straightforward cruising. Fortunately the bar was open around this point so there was little time to get bored. A series of four locks came soon but Luke was not prepared to carry his pint with him for fear of spillage. Sometimes beer comes first. Sometimes? – ed

Across the summit to Autherley the weather got hotter and hotter. I avoided added pinkness by staying indoors while Luke took the opportunity to sprawl on the foredeck. After turning onto the Shropshire Union at the junction the weather become slightly threatening. A quick spurt just before the M54 motorway bridge saw us escape the worst of the rain as thunder and lightning reigned supreme. A couple of fishermen didn’t fare so well.

Hiding from the rain under the M54

Hiding from the rain under the M54

Luke, just before discovering green coconut milk

Luke, just before discovering green coconut milk

After a whole hour of shelter we decided to move two bridges further on – a whole quarter mile – where we moored up. While waiting for dinner Luke found a coconut floating in the cut that had last been seen floating under the motorway. In a flurry of enthusiasm he fished it out and promptly split it in two. The ensuing smell has had at least two dogs told off by their owners. Urgh.

Today’s menus: see previous breakfasts, sausage and boiled potato salad for lunch, stuffed marrow with potatoes and fresh vegetables. Cheese and port followed.

Tomorrow entails 10.5 miles of travel so might be quite relaxed. We might even have a slightly later start than 7am!

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Day 5 – Hopwas to Great Haywood

Sunday 28 June, 2009

 

Quick update on yesterday (or the forgotten things section): during the early hours of day 4 we were passed by a Bolinder-powered narrow boat presumably on their way to Braunston. After blogging last night we spied a barn owl on the prowl.

Fradley Top Lock with Petit Bateau

Fradley Top Lock with Petit Bateau

Today started without any service ringing and continued to be a day free of any distant tinkling. Instead we had a straightforward run without any locks before reaching Fradley junction at around 11am. We enjoyed a remarkably swift passage through the three locks up to the long pound between Wood End and Colwich locks.

The Armitage Shanks factory proved to be the greatest attraction on the route today. Not only did we see the best part of a million toilets, but also a sign warning of a mighty 11.000 volt electricty supply.

Ironic sign by toilet factory

Ironic BW sign outside toilet factory

 

Michael’s final act on board for the weekend was to wash the foredeck and in doing so to wash Luke’s feet – sort of a Jesus moment. Michael left us at Rugeley leaving a safe five hours before his train departed from Birmingham. A trip to Morrisons just prior to this saw the fridge filled up once again.

Armitage "tunnel"

Armitage “tunnel”

The sun has taken its toll. After Rugeley I stayed inside for almost all the remainder of the journey as I have turned very pink. Luke has awarded me a pinkest nose prize. Factor 80 for the rest of the week I think.

We are now moored up 29 metres north of Swivel Bridge (no. 108) on the Staffs & Worcs. It turns out that a swivel bridge isn’t another type of swing bridge but is actually made of bricks. A bit of clever naming there!

Today’s menus: yet more breakfasty sandwiches, gammon and egg salad for lunch, and Luke’s sausage, bacon, egg, beans, mushroom, tomato and chips stew with dumplings followed by yoghurt curd with chocolate and cinammon mousse. Cheese and port rounded off the evening.

Tomorrow might well see a mediterranean day with an early start, midday siesta, and a late finish all in order to avoid the heat during the height of the day. On the other hand, if it rains, we might go back to sleep.

Below are all the pictures for today. If I get time to sit down tomorrow and wrangle with WordPress we might end up with a more attractive looking blog page. Watch this space…

 

Toiletastic

Toiletastic

Wood End lock

Wood End lock

Simon attempting artyness

Simon attempting artyness

ZZZzzz... again!

ZZZzzz… again!