Saturday, June 20, 2009

Penkridge to Barleston

Miles 23.9 Locks 18 days 2
No post yesterday I was busy in the engine compartment replacing the throttle control cable that had snapped just as we were coming in to moor up in the middle of a downpour. The rain stopped after tea and I was able to change the cable in the dry which was a blessing as the engine cover and sides as well at the back deck all had to be lifted and put to one side. For interest we spent the night between bridges 77 and 78 on the Trent and Mersey canal. We had intended to stop at Tixal Wide and spend the evening there. We arrived just before 1 o'clock and went to the farm shop at Heywood Junction for some fresh strawberries and cream and after that I polished the Starboard side of the boat and we got bored and decided to continue - thats how we ended up on the Trent and Mersey canal earlier than expected. The first lock we came to was Weston and it was set for us with a boat hovering in the canal above the lock, B.W. had decided to leave one of their new tug and module work boats moored up on the lock landing. The space beyond is on a sharp bend and quite difficult to get a boat in. The person who left it there will be very popular as traffic builds up over the weekend.

We intended to stay overnight in Stone and we arrived at 11am, went shopping and had lunch and you have guesssed we got bored and decided to head up to Barleston. It was a slow trip up the Stone locks and then the Meaford flight with a Singlehanded boat in the lead taking his time which included fishing his dog out of the canal several times. One bright moment as we passed R+R in their boat Discovery No1 on their way to the River Thames.
We have not seen many boats about on this trip until we got back on the Four Counties Ring and we met some long queues of boats at some locks. Here is the queue for Tixal lock yesterday
We are moored between Barleston and Trentham on the moorings set up for the visitor centre at the Wedgewood factory, I think that the visitor centre is the only part of the factory that is open now.

Tomorrow we hope to get through the Harecastle Tunnel and if the weather does not improve we will make a dash for home.

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