Monday, 23 April 2018

Nearly in Nottingham

Leaving Barton Marina on Monday we had a short cruise with 2 locks to moor at Branson Water Park, yes this is where the famous pickle originated.
Deep Cill see gate at the top.
On Tuesday friends Joan and Dave came to see us. Dave is a flying buddy of Paul's. They moved from Plymouth to Leicester several years ago. It was good to see them and catch up.
Finally the weather has perked up so we spent be afternoon sitting out enjoying the scenery and also took the planter down from the 

Leaving Stenson Lock
roof and did some gardening.
The pictures are of Stenson Lock. There were several volunteer lock keepers so I got back on board. As this stretch of the canal meets up with the River Trent the locks are broad and for the most part deep. With 5 locks in total on Friday we arrived at Shardlow for the night. Went to the Clock Warehouse for a
Steam engine called Betty!
meal in the evening. When leaving we found a Miniature Steam Rally was taking place in their car park over the weekend. So Saturday morning we popped over to have a look. About a dozen engines gathered there getting up Steam for a road trip.

We then set off towards Sawley where for many years we used to hire so some of this area has been familiar. Taking the River Trent towards Nottingham. We have only been this way once before. After several miles of River we are now back on canal at Attenborough. Yesterday we went for a walk around the Nature Park.
On Wednesday we go into a marina as next weekend is Paul's RAF reunion weekend. This year at Rutland Water.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

A night in a marina

We didn't leave Rugeley until Friday. The weather still grey and cold but thought we would get moving. We stopped of at Kings Bromley Marina to buy 2 bags of coal! We keep doing that thinking it would be the last coal purchase for a while, but keep needing more.
We did have a busy day on Friday, starting out about 9.15 we came through Fradley Junction where there are 5 locks, but a volunteer lock keeper on 4 of them.  In all we worked our way down 10 locks arriving at Barton Marina at about 4.
We have not been in here before, but as well as several expensive shops there is a cinema. Last night we went to see Finding Your Feet. An excellent English film. Good cast and narrow boats too!
Today a visit to the launderette before moving on later.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

A night in Rugeley

Stafford Boat Club
Well everything went amazingly according to plan, except we were made so welcome at the boat club we ended up staying 2 nights! You can't see us in the picture as we are moored out on the main line of the canal. Sunday we moved on to Tixall Wide. My favourite spot on the canals. We were there about this time last year.

Yesterday we arrived in Rugeley. A place we have visited many times before. So far back that in our cruising book we have made a note that Tesco will open in 2013! Currently we are moored very close to said supermarket and are about to head off for supplies! It is the last large supermarket we will be close to for a while.
After much changing of plans we think we have finally determined our summer route. So we are now headed towards Nottingham and so on to the River Trent.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Spring is in the air.

Well we did pop into Morrisons before moving of on Monday! Moving on after lunch. Tuesday we were up early and on the move by 20 to 9. Unusual for us these days!
Nesting time.
We had a busy day with 6 locks and 6 miles to arrive at Penkridge. Just as well we had set off early as we hadn't long moored when the heavens opened, so we were lucky. Just as we were coming into Penkridge we passed this swan sitting on a nest. First one we have seen this season.
Wednesday is market day so we did go for a look around. It is quite a big market selling live chicken as well as the usual clothes and veg.
All we bought was food, no danger of us running out of anything! It was quite a wet day so we stayed put. Another cruising day today of 4 miles and 5 locks which has brought us almost to Stafford Boat Club where we have arranged for a mooring tomorrow night so I can catch up with our washing!

Monday, 2 April 2018

On the Staffs and Worcs

We left Wolverhampton on Saturday afternoon. We were lucky in that we didn't have any rain. Not so lucky in that the locks were empty and we were about 8 locks down
Think the sign says it all!
before we met a boat coming up. There are 21 locks in all with no stopping place so you have to work them all  in one go. We were about 4 locks from the bottom when 3 Canal and River Trust guys arrived to help us with the last few, in fact for the last 2 they told me to get on board and they worked us down the last 2 locks. The whole lot took us 3 1/2 hours, so not bad going. My phone told me I had walked 19,114 steps! But that did include a walk into Wolverhampton in
Helpers at the bottom!
the morning. Cruising about another half hour we stopped at a favourite spot of ours where we haven't been for about a year. We call it Morrison's Mooring. I expect you can work out why!
Yesterday we didn't go anywhere! Will move on later if the rain stops!

Friday, 30 March 2018

Moving On

Well we have finally started heading north. On Wednesday we finally left Withymoor Island where Falcon has stayed whilst we jaunted round Europe. She should have been there when we went to Norway, but we were frozen in at Birmingham.  Yesterday we came up through Brades Locks. There is one lock then a staircase of two. Today we have cruised the rest of the way to Wolverhampton. Will probably move on again tomorrow, weather depending. There are 21 locks leading us on to the Stafford and Worcester Canal. They all have to be worked in oneoas there are not stopping places. Still it's about time for a workout. See you at the bottom!
As the sign says Brades Locks.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Departure from Birmingham

Well we finally left Birmingham on Wednesday. If things go to plan we are not planning to head that way for a good while to come. Currently we are back at Hawne Basin where once again we have been blessed with good weather and I have done loads of washing! Also everyone here is so friendly we have done a fair bit of socialising! We plan to leave tomorrow, then after a couple of nights stop off to catch up with some friends we will be heading northwards with Liverpool being our aim.
Back soon, or soonish!