Monday, 18 September 2017

"Photos what Photos"

Monday 18th September
Last Thursday (14th) after we had moored near Shugborough Hall we had a walk with Jaz to the shop  close to the doctors surgery but it had closed down! So we walked round to the Spar further on, I only wanted a few bits & pieces. On our way back to the boat we stopped for a pint in the Clifford Arms, they are very dog friendly and there were 2 other dogs already in the pub, the barmaid came over with a jar full of dog biscuits and gave Jaz a few!
On Friday morning we left our mooring to head for Wolsley Bridge about 8.45am and only had Colwich lock to do and as we approached it there was a boat coming up in the lock so we didn't have to wait too long to get down the lock. When we got to the moorings at Wolseley Bridge there was plenty of room to moor. We wanted to moor there so we could go for an Indian meal at the Shimla Palace, we always go here when we are passing, the food is good and the lads are lovely, very friendly and very helpful when your not sure what to have. We weren't disappointed the  meal was excellent.
Saturday morning we were on our way again stopping at Taft Bridge to fill with diesel & get a new gas bottle, the diesel was 63pence per litre & gas bottle was £24, after we were finished we carried on & stopped briefly at Rugeley so I could pop to Tesco to get Jaz her chew sticks while Kev put the gas bottle away & put the additive in the diesel tank. We then set off once again and Kev walked along the towpath for a while with Jaz while I followed on the boat. When we got to the top of Shadehouse lock at Fradley there was a mooring so we tied up there. On Saturday evening Kev & I walked down to the Mucky duck pub for a few pints, we hadn't been here since the new landlord & landlady took over about a year ago. What a vast improvement, the pub was looking good and the cellar room was looking great and there was a man playing a guitar and singing down there. Most of the tables were reserved for people who had booked to eat and the food looked fab, we had already eaten or we would have definitely have had something to eat. There was a really good new menu and one man had ordered a 24oz T-Bone steak!! They are bought to order so you have to pre book for them, there is a vegetarian menu too & Kev said the beer was good too so if anybody is thinking of a meal or a drink when your in Fradley I am sure you won't be disappointed. Apparently the brewery have spent £40,000 on the kitchen alone!!
Yesterday morning I went to fill the lock while Kev brought the boat in and when we got down to the 3rd lock at Fradley where the junction is there was a volunteer lockie on so he had the lock ready for Kev while I caught up. After that lock we stopped at the services to get rid of the rubbish & empty the cassette and then I headed for the next lock to get it ready for Kev. When we got to Branston we stopped for lunch and then I walked once again to Branston lock where there was a boat coming up the lock so by the time Kev got to it the boat was just about ready to leave.
When we got to Willington we moored up, We had a walk to the Green Dragon pub and had a pint and then walked to The Rising Sun pub for a few games of pool and a few pints too! There is a new landlord & landlady in this pub too and they had only been there a few weeks, really friendly people and the landlady put mini pies, roast potatoes & gravy on the bar for everybody which is a nice touch but once again we didn't have any as we were going to have a Chinese takeaway! So when we left the pub Kev went to the Chinese while I went back to the boat to put the oven on and warm the plates, lovely Chinese it was too!!
This morning we moved across to the services to get rid of rubbish once again and empty another cassette, I then walked Jaz for a while then got back on board at Buckford bridge, we  passed a familiar boat along the way Nb Inca,when we got to our first double lock Kev got off to go set the lock while I waited on the boat. Nobody to share the lock with so I was on my own in the lock but its not bad going down these double locks on your own.
We stopped before Weston for a bite to eat and then as we left Kev stayed on the towpath and took Jaz to Weston lock while I followed once again on the boat.
For some reason the camera hasn't got any photos that I have took since the last post, probably no great loss there then lol.
We are now back in our marina at Shardlow and will go home tomorrow, we are going home a bit earlier than we expected to be as our cottage we rent out has become vacant and the girl Nicky from the letting agency who looks after it told us there are quite a few holes in the walls that need filling, so Kev will fill them then emulsion the walls while I clean the place after he has finished.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Back on the Trent & Mersey Canal

Thursday 14th September
Last Sunday (10th)we left Kinver quite early and I walked ahead with Jaz to set the first lock, we pulled over after the lock at the services to get rid of some rubbish etc and then I walked on with Jaz to the next lock and as I was nearing the lock there was a woman just about to fill the lock when she saw me with my windlass, Kev then came on the boat and was able to go straight in. We saw more boats on that Sunday morning than we had seen in a few days! When we got to the Bratch locks I got off the boat and went ahead with the windlass to let the lockie know we were there. He said we could go straight into the bottom lock, it was very quiet at the Bratch locks, usually there are a few boats coming and going and people walking etc but that day there was only a couple of people about watching us come up the locks. It was quite a miserable day and after we had got up through the locks we moored on the visitor moorings.
On Monday morning it started to rain as we left our mooring, I was walking with Jaz to set the first lock while Kev followed on the boat, Jaz hates the rain and all she wanted to do was get back on board! By the time Kev had got up in the lock it stopped raining so Jaz was happy to carry on with her morning walk!
Stewponey lock
Passing Addersley junction

Passing Autherely Junction

After Autherley junction we went through the narrow cutting! 

There was a boat waiting at the end of the cutting to come through.

We wanted to get to Cross Green that day and we managed to get moored there about lunchtime close to the Fox & Anchor pub. The reason we wanted to get moored there was that Kev's friend Nigel was coming to us there, he arrived about 5pm and we had some tea and later Kev & Nigel went to the pub for a couple of beers while I was boring and stayed to watch Emmerdale, (yes sad I know). Nigel stayed the night and after a cooked brekkie on Tuesday morning Kev went with Nigel to Hatherton marina to see the progress of Nigel's new boat in build. I took Jaz for a walk and then I let go of the mooring ropes and I set off to pick Kev up at Hatherton. As I was approaching the junction at Hatherton I rang Kev to tell him where I was and so I turned right towards the locks below the marina where both Kev & Nigel were waiting, I had to pick Kev up there as there is no way he could otherwise get picked up. Once he was on board I reversed the boat back to the junction and we turned to head for Penkridge where we moored. We wanted to get there before the bad winds which had been reported, headed our way, we were moored on the visitor moorings before Penkridge lock. Well the winds didn't come to anything much and we had a few gusts and an odd shower but that was that.
Yesterday morning about 10.30am  we moved across to the water point before the lock and filled with water. Once the tank was full I walked over to fill the lock ready for Kev to bring the boat into, we had an uneventful cruise and only passed a few boats along the way and when we got through Acton bridge we moored on a really quiet spot.
This morning it had been raining before we left so the towpath was quite wet, we were up early as usual and as there were no other boats moored  with us we were able to start the engine and put a quick wash on before we left. As we were getting ready to leave a boat towing a butty came passed us going the same direction as us and also there was a boat moored further along from us also going the same way who had decided to leave at the same time! We stayed put and and a cuppa to give them time to get down the first lock for today, Deptmore lock and so I walked Jaz to the lock leaving Kev once again to follow on the boat. By the time we were at Deptmore lock the boat & butty had gone down and a boat was coming up, the other boat that had set off before us was the Fudge boat and they told me they were stopping just before Radford bridge. So at least we would only have the boat & butty ahead of us!

Waiting for a boat to come through Radford Bridge
Passed this boat with it's lovely little play area, man made!
This boat passed just before the river Sow Aqueduct, super little motorbike on board!
 About to cross river Sow aqueduct
A quick hello to Nb Klara, we passed them shortly before we got  to the aqueduct, they said they read the blog, thanks to you both.
Tixall lock, & the cottage alongside looking very pretty.
After we had got down Tixall lock Kev walked Jaz for a while and I followed on the boat and then picked them both up at Swivel bridge. We stopped briefly at the aqueduct close to Gt Haywood junction so Kev could pull a branch off the bow of the boat and the we carried on and turned right at the junction and went down Gt Haywood lock and we are now moored close to Shugborough Hall.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Data issues but sorted now

Saturday 9th September
I haven't done a blog for about 9 days now as we had data problems which we have now resolved!
After leaving the Black Country Museum on Friday 1st September we headed back to Birmingham for a couple of days. We had a good day at the museum and the fish & chips lived up to their reputation!
On our way we passed this boat which was our second hire boat from Norbury Wharf!
A straight run all the way back to Birmingham.
We managed to get moored close to the Sea Life centre, in the evening we had a walk to a few pubs and took a pizza back to the boat with us.
On Sunday morning we left our mooring and stopped at the services to top up the water etc, it was quite windy as we were leaving the services but once we were on our way we were sheltered by trees and out of the wind.
Heading through Gas Street Basin.
We had an uneventful journey, but as we were approaching the bridge at Kings Norton junction, we had to stop as a boat came from the Stratford canal so we reversed and once the boat had passed us it was so shallow it took ages to get under way again. When we got to Wasthill tunnel (2726 yards) I went down below with Jaz while Kev took the boat through, we were hoping to moor at Alvechurch visitor moorings but they were full so we carried on passed the hire boat centre at Alvechurch and moore around the corner.
On Monday 4th September we left early to tackle the 30 locks at Tardebigge! We followed a boat all the way down so was a bit hard going but we had a good system going with Kev staying on the boat while I did the locks, I went ahead each time to set the lock & Kev closed the gates as he left the previous lock, when we finally got down the last lock we managed to get moored opposite the Queens head pub. We booked a table for a meal for 6.30 pm, I was hoping to have a Beef & mushroom pie which I had had the last time we were here but unfortunately they don't do pies anymore. Nevertheless we had two good meals so we weren't disappointed.

Kev mopping the boat with The Queens Head opposite.
It was raining on Tuesday morning so we waited for it to stop and left at 11.30am. When we were at the junction for the Droitwich canal we turned right and approached the first lock of 3 locks in the staircase where there was a lockie there to help us down the 1st lock and also 2 more lockies to help us down the next 2.
We hadn't been here since we collected Rock & Roll from the marina here, where George & Carol helped us up these locks.
Leaving the last of the staircase locks.
Droitwich Marina.
When we got to the next few locks we moored on the lock landing of the first one while Kev dropped the solar panels & took the small chimney off the roof as we would be going under the M5 motorway and it is very very low!
 Here we go! 2" to spare
 Glad there isn't a boat coming the other way!
Nearly through.
We carried on and when we got to Droitwich there was a double lock to do which had a swing bridge inside it which had to be opened before opening the lock gates to enter and closed after leaving! There was 2 more swing bridges to open & close before we got to the moorings at Netherwich basin. The moorings here are 48 hours & secure, you need a BW key to get in & out of. We stayed here and went for some shopping to a Waitrose which was a 10 minute walk. 
Looking across the basin.
On Thursday morning we left about 8am and headed towards the River Severn, the Droitwich canal is quite narrow in places with lots of vegetation along both sides.
Waiting at this lock for workers to leave it.
Not much room.
We stopped for a bite to eat at Hawford visitor moorings just before Hawford lock 2 to let Jaz have a walk . When we were ready to leave there was a hire boat just leaving too so we shared the next 2 locks and then parted ways as they were turning left on the river Severn to Worcester and we turned right towards Stourport.
When we arrived in the basin at Stourport we moored on the 24 hour moorings close to the services. On Friday morning I put a wash on and we then pulled forward onto the water point to top the water up, Kev had gone to empty the cassette on Thursday when we moored but it was out of order but when we were moored getting water a man was at the services and had sorted the Elsan which had been blocked, so Kev managed to get our cassette emptied. While Kev was putting the hosepipe away after the water tank was full, I walked up to the lock as there was a boat in coming down so Kev was able to let go and come straight into the lock. The weather was miserable, it rained most of the way and we moored last night before Wolverly lock.
This morning it wasn't too bad and the sun came out so we got ready to leave while the weather was good, I walked up to the lock with Jaz while Kev brought the boat into the lock. After Kev had come up the lock and I had closed the gates betook the boat while I walked with Jaz for about a mile and then got back on board.
 Debdale Lock

 Jaz waiting for the boat to come up so she can get on.

Lovely Lock side property at Whittington lock
As we were nearing the visitor moorings at Kinver the clouds started to form and we managed to get moored and all sorted and then the heavens opened and it threw it down with rain. We have had showers heavy at times and sunshine too. Glad were not going further today.