Galley Planning and Treading Water

We’ve not travelled far over the past week; we’ve merely cruised up and down the Coventry Canal. Cruising between the two CRT Service Points at Atherstone Top Lock, and Hawkesbury Junction.

We’re ‘hanging around’ to get our galley upgraded. Recently we’ve been shocked by a quote, which we thought was OTT. The value of the quote was nearly 11k, for what basically is a very small fitted kitchen. We’ve spent time chatting with two very good narrowboat joiners, and we listened intently to their advice. It was tough choosing between them, but we had to choose one of them to refurbish our galley.

We’ve sourced the base units, sink, taps, cupboard doors, door handles, worktop, and flooring; arranging for it all to be delivered to the boatyard who’s doing the work. The boatyard will be buying the cooker/hob as they get a good trade price through Midland Chandlers. The ‘original’ fridge/freezer we’ll be keeping.

Work starts on Monday 9th October, and will take around a week. For the duration we’ve booked ‘a break’ at a ‘holiday cottage’ in the Forest of Dean.  Already I can’t wait to be back on Cyan and her brand new kitchen!

Meanwhile, this morning we left our overnight mooring when the sun was shining.

Cruising towards the services at Hawkesbury Junction.

We were about to cast off when a vintage, and beautifully looked-after, working boat passed us. The boat was carrying a load of logs.

Volunteers were busy along the towpath filling-in holes. CRT volunteers/workers must have been clearing the canal through Nuneaton, because when we passed yesterday we saw around 15-20 rusty bikes on the towpath, obviously fished out of the canal, and ready for collection by CRT. Hope they hurry up and collect them before some little tykes kick them back in the canal.

It’s always a magical moment when a ‘Red Admiral’ pays a visit. This one was warming its wings by the sun on our folded canopy,

John and Cyan doing a ‘little dance’ to avoid bumping into other boats at the busy Hawkesbury Junction.

With rubbish and Elsan services carried out, including adding a newly ‘fished-out-of-the-canal’ traffic cone, to the family of cones by the services, John reversed Cyan into the entrance to Hawkesbury basin, doing a 180 deg wind/turn to temporarily moor up on the water point just beyond the bridge, filling up our water tank.

At the junction sits one of Britain’s smallest police stations.

Our Present Journey’s End

Eleven Atherstone Locks before breakfast!

We thought we’d be ‘out of the traps’ early this morning to climb the 11 Atherstone Locks. Everywhere’s saturated after last night’s heavy rain, and despite the morning’s drizzly rain, we focused on the locks; forgoing breakfast for a late brunch when we eventually moor.

The first lock was the only one we had to empty, we were lucky as there were three/four times more boats going down the locks as were going up, which meant several lock gates were left open for Cyan to sail straight in. Think we transited the last/top lock 2.5 hours later.

We were also fortunate the top lock services were empty, after topping up with water, dumping the rubbish, and using the Elsan service; we relaxed!

With the ‘heavy work’ and chores done, we had a lovely cruise to our planned mooring, supping coffee, with a couple of yesterday’s Co Op custard doughnuts, knowing we were at our ‘100 mile/61 lock/11 days’ (Middlewich to Coventry) journey’s end!

On the whole the weather was very pleasant.

We’ve noticed on the wall of the bridges there’s a blob of florescent yellow paint. John says it’s a surveyor’s mark, marking the bridge has been inspected. I think it’s reflective paint, so cyclists don’t bump into the bridge at night. Wonder if anyone knows?

Wonder what these two are gossiping about?

There’s always one!

We’re now concentrating on getting sensible quotes for our new galley refurb, so we intend to hover around the Coventry, Ashby, Oxford Canals for a couple of months. But then again… we might have other ideas.

Today we’ve travelled 3 miles, and 11 locks. WiFi is amazing! Digital TV is great.

Shouldn’t Have Prejudged The Situation!

We left our mooring at Fazeley, just after the rain stopped.

After turning left at the Junction, we noticed a smallish narrowboat coming towards us, and it seemed to be skipping about over the canal. As it passed we noticed it was the Boaters’ Christian Fellowship, and recognised the helmsman. He’s a friendly face, whom we remembered from February/March time when we moored in different places above Glascote Locks, waiting for the Lock’s ‘winter stoppage’ to finish. The man appeared to make it his duty to say ‘hello’ to boaters on ‘his patch’ of the canal, making sure, at a very cold and lonely time of the year, that no boater was left in dire straights. I’m sure what he does is extremely worthwhile. As he passed I think he recognised us, shouting out “Hello, welcome back!”. It was a lovely to be welcomed back! The reason he appeared to be skipping about the canal (we think) was because he had an out-board motor on his little narrowboat.

As we entered the Tame Aqueduct, we passed a WW2 pillbox, which must have guarded the River Tame and the Coventry Canal during the war. The Coventry Canal was extremely important to the ‘war effort’, and it’s easy to imagine the chaos if this aqueduct was blown up by the enemy.

We cruised over a very ‘tame’ River Tame.

It wasn’t long before we were cruising towards Glascote Bottom Lock. We could see there was a boat descending, and there was a boat on the lock landing waiting to ascend. When the lock’s gates opened, and the boat inside had left, the boat in front of us didn’t move, the man at the helm didn’t cast off his boat. His boat was tied to a bollard by it’s centre line and he made no effort to get into the lock. Windlass in hand to help, I walked towards him, asking what was the matter. He said his engine gave way in Birmingham and he was on the way to Rugby. There was a boat in front going up the locks with a crew, who’s towing him to Rugby, and who’ll come back to pull his boat into the lock. I was confused, I didn’t ‘get’ what he was on about. So I returned to Cyan, trying to explain the situation to John. Another boat pulled up behind, and wanted to know the situation. It was daft having a lock open, set ready, while there were now three boats waiting to ascend.

The man in the boat behind us marched towards the first boat, I followed hoping there wasn’t going to be any conflict, though I was now getting very annoyed myself.

Long story short, the man had recently had a stroke, leaving him with legs that don’t work (his words) and that the crew from the boat towing him, was coming to pull him and his boat into the lock. The man from the boat behind us said, well I’ve only got one leg, but I’m sure we can at least pull you in the lock and make a start. So we did just that! His ‘crew’ did appear soon after we’d pulled him into the lock, they’d had trouble finding a place to moor . The man and his wife (who appeared with the ‘crew’) was so grateful for our help. Imagine what a mess they were in, he was made incapacitated through illness, their boat’s engine had failed, and their home/boat was in the wrong place. What a terrible situation for them. I was ashamed I’d prejudged.

At the top lock, I took a pic of a plaque that was on the fence. Another reminder!

The Tale of Leaky Lock

Just a note, to let you know, that this here Lock, is very slow.
So take a breath, relax and smile, (you might be waiting here a while.)

The problem is, (or so we’re told) is Lock Thirteen is very old.
Her paddles shot, through wear and tear, the water pours out here and there.

We’ve had them fixed, then fixed again, by some of Waterways finest men.
And for a while, the Lock works well, until again they leak like hell.

I pray this pause in your sojourn, has made you stop, to think and learn.
That on the ‘cut’ there is a pace, that’s not for those who want to race.

So if you’re rushing, running late, this tale of Leaky Lock you’ll hate.
If you’ve no time to gently float, then why a bloody Narrow Boat?

The Bard of Glascote

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

At the top of Glascote Lock we moored while I visited the Co Op shop by the bridge. Filling my new ‘old lady’s’ shopping trolley with fruit, veg, milk, bread etc. – but I forgot the sugar! (BTW I’m amazed how long Hovis 5 Seed bread stays fresh!)

We’ve been looking for crab apples to make ‘crab apple jelly’ while cruising. Crab apple jelly is glorious on roast pork and crackling! Today, very near to Polesworth, we found a tree with crab apples on it. The tree was on the edge of a wood, next to the towpath, but the apples were high up. John managed, with the help of the extending boat hook, to lob enough apples down. He’s been keen on ‘natures bounty’ since he brought damsons back from a walk, and I made jam with them. He’s been going on about a ‘jilly piece’, aka as a jam sandwich all week!

Now I’ve a problem with having no sugar! We decided to moor at Polesworth, while I scooted down the hill to the Spar shop to buy some for the jelly.

The weather once again, threatened us for most of the day.

The geese are getting fat!

We just loved these baby alpacas with their mums, I didn’t realise how playful these little chaps are. They were having a great time chasing each other, and skipping about, they must have a great sense of humour. (A baby alpaca is called a “cria”, a female’s a “hembra” and a male’s a “macho”.)

Nature’s takes over the remains of a bridge.

Despite the day’s interruptions, we’d planned to climb the first six locks of the Atherstone flight, but it started to rain quite hard, so we decided to call it a day! We’re moored for the night at the bottom of the flight, ready for a good start up the flight tomorrow.

Today we’ve cruised over 9 miles, and 2 locks. WiFi is 30+ Mg, digital TV signal is great.

Moored By Fazeley Junction

Under 3 miles from our overnight mooring by ‘The Crown Inn’, we came across our first of three locks of the day.

Sailing through the 3 miles was very pleasant.

We were lucky at our first lock ‘Wood End Lock’ (# 20) as a boat had just ascended, and it didn’t take long before Cyan was descending in the lock, helped in part by a C&RT lady who logged our licence. Cyan’s licence is up at the end of this month; it was only this morning John made the comment that we should pay for the new licence this weekend, taking advantage of the early payment discount. John’s quip to her, ‘the cheque’s in the post’ was ‘almost’ right!

At the next 2 locks, ‘Shade House Lock’ (# 19), and ‘Fradley Middle Lock’ (# 18), there were two very pleasant and chatty lockies on duty. At the last lock the Lockie said he wouldn’t mind if I started walking towards Fradley Junction to set the swing gate for Cyan to enter the Coventry Canal, while he ‘locked’ Cyan down.

The Junction looked like chaos, with 4 narrowboats, including Cyan, doing a little ‘dance’ at the junction as each one manoeuvred. Cyan ‘treaded water’ while a boat left lock #17 sailing straight ahead towards lock #18, another boat sailed into lock #17 to go down, and a boat left the Coventry queuing to go down lock #17, eventually it was Cyan’s turn to turn 90 degs to the right, and sail through the swing bridge to enter the Coventry. (Phew that was difficult to write, let alone ‘live it’).

We’re once again on the Coventry, familiar territory for us. Every canal we’ve been on appears to have it’s own mood and character.

We’re back to where bridges contain little cubby holes, believed to have been where messages, food and drink, were left for the bargees of old. These cubby holes did the work of mobile phones, Tesco deliveries, and no doubt were the same ‘lifelines’. So far, the only other bridges we’ve seen with these little cubby holes was on the Llangollen – there could easily be others.

Approaching Streethay Wharf…

… where a boat was about to be lowered into the water by a huge crane.

The wind has been quite gusty at times, with the threat of squally showers despite the bright sunshine. I’m sure the weather has caused many boats to be moored up.

We did encounter a ‘Mr Angry’ who was moored on the Coventry. We always take it slow going past moored boats, but sometimes, like when it’s windy, passing at tickover is impossible. It’s easy to lose control of steering to the wind. Another boat was also coming towards us at that crucial ‘passing’ point. Mr Angry stuck his head out of his hatch saying “We are moored up you know!” The burly Welshman who was in the approaching boat gave Mr Angry a mouthful! Sometimes when we meet a Mr Angry, I’m very tempted to offer a lesson on how to moor up, securing their boat properly, especially when they’re on loose lines.

Within half an hour we met another boat that was about to cast off from its mooring, the lady boater was holding tight to the centre line, so we took it slow. The lady boater shouted out “Hurry Up!” We just laughed, and shared the ‘joke’ with the lady boater who (luckily) also laughed, saying “You just can’t please everyone!”

We’ve moored just before Fazeley Junction Visitors Mooring. On approaching the moorings they looked like they could be full, so we picked a spot where we’d moored before, just before the ‘official’ moorings.

We’d hoped we could moor at one of our favourite moorings, between ‘The Tame Otter’ and ‘The Red Lion’ public houses at Hopwas. Unfortunately there were no spaces left for us.

Today we’ve travelled 14.25 miles, through 3 locks. WiFi is 30+Mg, our digital TV signal is poor.

Dodging Storms, And Cruising On

We were lucky to miss the storm that was promised, though sadly we hear towns further North didn’t fair so well. ‘Sod’s Law’ would dictate that if we hadn’t prepared for a storm, we’d have taken a hit.

Our first lock of the day, was Deptmore Lock (#42). Picture below shows us cruising towards the lock…

… and this pic below shows us sailing away from the lock.

The weather threatened us most of the day, though we were lucky to only have got ‘dampened’ twice.

Fabulous bridges, such as ‘Milford Bridge’ (#105) which is a turnover bridge (swapping towpaths).

Eight beautiful cygnets, well done Mr & Mrs Swan!

River Sow Aqueduct below. We approached the Aqueduct on a blind and very windy bend, making it difficult to line Cyan up for the narrow channel.

Just after the Aqueduct, is Tixall Lock, leading us to Tixall Wide.

We were soon back on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Great Haywood Junction, turning right towards Haywood Lock (#22).

I have nightmares about this lock resulting from a bad experience when we were no more then novices. The lock doesn’t have a bridge to get to the other side, and being height challenged (little legs), stepping onto the ‘runner’ on the top gate is impossible because of the large gap, the gap is far to ‘big’ for little legs to jump/step over confidently. As for the double gates, they are far too wobbly to walk over when there’s no water in the lock.

The problem we had with this lock no longer exist because I can now take the helm, leaving John to work the lock. ‘Devil’s Lock’ is our name for this lock. The picture below was taken as we sailed away from Devil’s Lock.

The Trent & Mersey Canal is now side-by-side, for part of the way, with the River Trent…

… as does the Trent Valley Line, part of the West Coast Main Line System.

Another sign of Autumn, ‘Virginia Creepers’ are turning into beautiful shades of russet red.

‘Wee Willie Winkie’ is what we call this chappie, we pass him just as we venture into the ‘open topped’ Armitage Tunnel, travelling towards ‘The Plum Pudding’ public house. He looks to have been spruced up since we last saw him.

The magnificent bridge near Armitage Shanks Factory, and other pictures taken today.

 

 

Cruising along we were fascinated by the antics of this bird of prey, think we’ve identified it as a buzzard. Just wish, for the umpteenth time, we had a better camera.

We are now moored outside ‘The Crown Inn’, just after ‘Handsacre Crown Bridge’ (#58). Next door to the pub is a fabulous Cypriot ‘Fish ‘n’ Chip’ shop (which provided our supper). In the picture below of the pub, the white dog in the window is real! I’ve seen cats sitting on window cills, but never a dog. I think the dog is a boxer dog, with a ‘black patch’ over half of it’s face.

Today we’ve cruised 14 miles, and 4 locks. WiFi is 40 Mg, and digital TV is good.

Huddled Up And Storm Ready!

We’ve got an amber weather alert for the area we’re cruising day. So rather than cruising on to Tixall Wide as planned, we thought we’d best choose a place to moor where we can snuggle by a tall hedge to buffer us from predicted 65+ mph west winds due to hit us around midnight tonight. We’ll also need to moor where there are no trees near in case they cause damage. We think we’ve found the perfect spot!

We were up early this morning to a glorious sunny day! Cruising past the chemical works above Gailey. The two ‘chimneys’ were lit up last night, probably to alert aircraft? Wonder what the grass on the roof is about? If it’s camouflage, then it doesn’t appear to be working.

We’ve manoeuvred through 10 locks today, starting at Gailey Lock where we filled with water, dumped our rubbish, and used the Elsan Services before descending the lock. The lock in the picture below is ‘Brick Kiln Lock’ (#33).

The locks today were brilliant, they weren’t that deep, and they emptied and filled quite quickly.

Some of the bridge architecture was interesting. At one of the bridges, the ‘helmsman’, who was in the bridge hole before us took their boat wide, pushing us into silt, and causing us a 10 minute problem (grrrr).

Though it’s not obvious, this old bridge isn’t supporting heavy traffic. Beyond is a new bridge that’s more than able to take heavy lorries.

While the sun was shining, the scenery was glorious. The scene takes on a different ‘mood’ when the sun retreats.

These are our neighbours for the night! We are moored just before Roseford Bridge (#94), 2 locks and less than 5 miles from today’s target (at Tixall Wide). We’re not worried, our mooring is perfectly safe from any torment that Storm Aileen can throw at us.

Today we’ve travelled 8 miles, and 10 locks. WiFi is 10 Mg, and digital TV is not much good.

 

Bright, Breezy, And Wet!

We were in two minds whether to sit the day out on our mooring, or brave the windy/wet/bright day! Eventually we decided to aim for ‘Long Molls Bridge’ (#76), just over 4 miles away.  We were encouraged by other ‘brave’ boaters passing us by.

We’ve had bright sunshine, heavy squally showers, and gusts of wind. The wind made cruising this winding stretch interesting to say the least. We also couldn’t fathom what weather was in front of us, a blue sky, or a threatening cloud due to us continually changing directions.

Cruising along we could see there were lots of signs that Autumn was now upon us.

  

The locals appear to be a ‘friendly’ lot. “PLEASE PASS AT TICK OVER OR MY WIFE WILL TURN YOU INTO A FROG”!

Tomorrow, as far as the forecasters can tell, looks to be a good day. We’ve a plan to start our day early, going through 12 locks, starting with Gailey Top Lock, and ending with Tixell Lock, mooring at Tixell Wide, some 13.5 miles! If we don’t make our target, no problem, but it might be fun trying!

Today we’ve travelled 4 miles, no locks, WiFi is over 30 Mg, digital TV is good. Our postcode is WV10 7DU.

Leaving The Shroppie, Joining The Staffs & Worcs Canal

It took us a while to get going this morning as we used the services at the bottom of Wheaton Aston Lock, and by the time we’d finished we were third in the queue to ascend. While John ‘walked’ Cyan to her place in the queue, I ambled up to the lock with a windlass, hoping to help quicken the ‘process’. There were just as many queuing to come down as to go up, including hire boats who’ve just started their holidays. Still, despite the cold gloomy weather, most boaters were jolly.

Cruising the Stretton Aqueduct; over the A5 ‘Watling Street’, we waved. A lorry replied by flashing his lights, and we just happened to catch it on camera

Onwards we cruised, through ‘Skew Bridge (#15)

Doesn’t take much imagination to wonder why it’s called ‘Skew Bridge’!

Passing through the beautiful ‘Avenue Bridge’ (#10), built C1830 by Thomas Telford. “Rough faced ashlar; single stilted round arch flanked by pilasters; sweeping balustraded parapet on rounded corbels. Ashlar is finely dressed (cut, worked) masonry.” It’s an amazing bridge, no doubt a vanity project to please the Giffard Family see more. A case of ‘sublime to the ridiculous’ taking ‘Skew Bridge’ into account.

Here’s an interesting fun boat! I imagine the person who built it had some fun too.

Eventually we popped out of Autherley Junction.

Leaving the Shroppie

And straight onto the narrows…  but not before a boat had just left the narrows. A few anxious minutes passed where we’d hope we wouldn’t meet another boat. Luckily we didn’t, but we did meet one as we exited the narrows. It must be our lucky day!

The weather has been threatening to drown us during the morning, though we moored up in lovely sunshine. The wind was biting, it’s the first real taste of Autumn. While cruising we had the central heating going, with promises of hot buttered crumpets when we stopped.

We’re moored just past Coven Heath Bridge (#69), and pretty tightly too due to the wind. While I battened down the hatches, John took Rusty for a run, coming back with a big bag of damsons; soon to be ‘recycled’ into wild damson jam. To top off the ‘Autumnal Theme’, we’ve lit the wood burner!

Today we’ve cruised 10.5 miles, through 1.5 locks (you couldn’t really say the Autherley stop lock a ‘real’ lock), we’ve 15 Mg of WiFi, and digital TV is good.

Eeber Jeebers On The Shroppie

What a night we had last night, the rain pelted it down, waking us up several times. Must admit it’s a lovely cosy feeling being snuggled in bed, while the rain bucketed it down on the roof. Being woken by the rain wasn’t really conducive with a peaceful night though, as yesterday’s reference to the noisy ghost at the top of the Adderley Locks gave me nightmares!

When we set of this morning, around 9.30ish, I once again offered to do the locks, with the proviso that if I got tired John and I would swap ‘jobs’. Cyan was untied from her mooring, and I walked up to the first/bottom lock of the Adderley flight. The locks did look gloomy after all the rain last night, but nothing could prepare me for the fact that as I approached the lock, a lock gate swung open! It was the gate on the other side of the lock. So now I’m in a panic, I darn’t mention anything to John because he’d just not understand, and worse of all, he’d laugh! “Of course”, I’m telling myself, there has to be a reason for such things. I opened the gate nearest to the towpath, then I climbed over the top gate to get to the other side of the lock, hardly daring to look at the gate that swung. Cyan was soon inside the lock, I shut the gates, and opened the sluices.

Luckily the next 4 locks were all empty for us.

At Adderley Top Lock, the lovely kind person who has set out a stall of fresh bread, homemade scones, eggs, tomatoes, etc., and a fridge freezer full of goodies, had replenished her stock. I bought one of their delicious homemade pork pies for £2.50, which we had for tea tonight!

At our next set of 5 locks, the Tyrley flight, all the locks were set against us. Though these two happy fellows cheered us up. Someone has recently decorated this character’s hat with colourful apples and a corn cob.

The by-wash on these flights are notoriously difficult, as seen in the pic below:

When we got to Tyrley Lock 2, the heavens opened, and as soon as Cyan had risen in the lock, I jumped on, we pulled up the ‘pram hood’, and had a cup of coffee. We wasn’t holding anyone up, so we stayed in the lock for about half an hour while the thunder and lightening did its worse.

At the top lock we used the Elsan, dumped our rubbish, and filled with water – except we didn’t completely fill up with water as the water-point was slow. By the time we’d done our chores, the sun had come out in full glory.

And then we entered the narrow cutting:

Eventually the canal opened! Cruising today has been thoroughly enjoyable in the sunshine.

Not sure, but this building does look like stables from the ‘olden days’ to shelter and rest the canal horses.

The sky is full of weather, unpredictable to forecast.

One of the wonderful aspects to cruising along, is that you get to meet and appreciate people you wouldn’t normally come across. This elderly man and his elderly dog really touched us. We’d have missed this loving relationship if we were travelling in a car.

Eventually we moored after Bullocks Bridge (#42) on the visitor’s mooring, though we did annoy a local.

After mooring, and kicking off my wet trainers, we peacefully settled down with a wee dram. But that was until I stepped on a wasp, and got stung twice on my foot (probably the wasp was drawn to cheesy feet!). Jumping about in panic, and shouting at John to get rid of the wasp which was crawling around on a rug, an excited Rusty rushed to see what was up. Trouble was he ran over the wasp, making us lose sight of the thing. We thought at first he’d trodden on it and got it caught in his paws, thankfully that wasn’t the case. After two piraton, and two paracetamol, washed down with Tesco’s whisky reserve, I’m looking forward to a more peaceful night!

Today we’ve travelled 12.5 miles, and travelled through 10 locks. WiFi is 40Mg, Digital TV is fine.

The Audlem Climb

We knew it was going to be a day of locks as going through Audlem’s on today’s agenda. But first off we’ve the two Hack Green locks to climb.

Once through we’re met with this sign:

Last time we passed the sign we thought it was an oxymoron, how can a ‘secret’ be advertised? If that mad man in North Korea was ever to press ‘the button’ wonder how many would make for this bunker?

In the distance we saw C&RT staff being very busy mending a breach. Talking of the C&RT, I see the winter stoppages are now published on their website of places/dates to avoid this winter.

There wasn’t much room to pass…:

… made worse due to a moored boat.

The sky continued to be ‘heavy’.

We saw this humongous gaggle of geese near Overwater Marina. We saw them here around April/May time and wondered then what’s the attraction? The pic shows less than 10% of them.

It’s not a good picture because I couldn’t get the camera out quick enough, probably because we were too busy laughing. The narrowboat is pulling a butty, which is pulling a ‘pea green’ boat, complete with an owl and a pussy cat!

Love to see history being cared for, these cast iron guards used to protect bricks from the wear and tear of horse ropes, have been carefully painted for prosperity.

Eventually we came to the bottom of the Audlem flight. The first 3 locks had to be set, as did the last three locks, but the 9 locks in the middle were manic. Even a lockie who was helping an elderly couple (the lady was not well at all) and their boat down the locks said he’d never seen it so manic. It was great really, as it was more or less one boat up and one down for the 9 locks. But why does it turn out to be busy in the middle of the flight? Why not at the beginning and the end? It defies logic.

The wind was quite sharp too today, which made cruising ‘interesting’, especially when there’s a by-wash to contend with. Several times a descending boat would come out of a lock, knowing we’d just ascended and would soon be coming out of our lock within minutes. Why don’t they just stay ‘safely’ in the lock, until we are ready to leave ours? Both boats could then pass each other in the pound, instead of the boater trying to control their boat in the pound while waiting for us to come out of the lock. Still, I’m sure we’ve done many things that look illogical to other boaters.

There’s a sort of method to my madness in doing the locks today; now that’s Cyan’s new paintwork has been scratched in several places (it can’t be helped when going through locks), if a scratch gets noticed when I’m at the helm, who could say who did it? Glad I’m not the one who scratched Cyan first ha ha…

We moored just before the rain fell down! We were lucky it held off for us today. We’re at the bottom of the Adderley flight of 5 locks. I’m glad we decided to moor here, as I’ve read there’s a noisy ghost above the locks, the ghost apparently shrieks at boaters, causing them to rush through the cutting. I’m a martyr to my imagination, and I really don’t want to ‘encourage’ it!

Today we’ve travelled 8 miles, and 17 locks. WiFi is 20Mg, Digital TV is rubbish. Postcode is TF9 3TJ.