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.

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