Monday, 26 March 2012

Heading back to Barton.

On the Sunday morning Doublefracture came out of the water and I went into Stafford to catch a train to Pamela's to see the new arrival. I stayed until the following Saturday while the boat was blacked. Yesterday they lowered it back into the water and by ten past ten I was on my way back to Barton. It was a bright sunny day and I made good time, arriving at Great Haywood for lunch. After lunch I carried on passing through Colwich and Wolseley Bridge. Finally after four hours cruising I moored at Rugeley for the night. This morning I left the mooring while the frost was still on the roof,stopping near the Ash Tree Inn for water. While the tank was filling I did what little washing I had. Setting off again with a full tank and some clean washing,I was entering the narrow section that was the old Armitage tunnel a boat started from the other end so I had to reverse and wait my turn. Mooring at bridge fifty five I put the washing out to dry, then had a coffee. It is now two o clock, the washing is dry,I have had lunch and am about to set off again heading for Fradley Junction.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

It's a girl.

Yesterday I stayed at Great Hayward in the morning so I could take a walk round the grounds of Shugborough Hall. It was the first day of opening for the hall and grounds,but the car park was full by 11-15am. I was there an hour including a coffee in the Ladywalk cafe. After my walk I cast off turning left onto the Staffs and Worcester canal. With only one lock I was soon moored up opposite the village of Milford where I stayed for the night. Today I completed mt trip, arriving at Stafford Boat Club at 10-35. At 11-05 I received a message from Marlene to say Pamela had gone into hospital. This afternoon Marlene rang to say Pamela had given birth to a little girl at approximately 1 o clock. Needless to say we are all over the moon.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Misty mornings.

On Wednesday morning it was grey and misty, I had nowhere to go so I decided to do some washing while waiting for the diesel man. My plan was to move on after I had filled up with diesel. I had just started making my lunch when he arrived( sods law I suppose )so turning everything off I went out to meet him. By the time he'd gone and I had eaten my lunch the sun was out. So instead of moving on I put the washing out to dry. In the end I spent my second night moored at Rugeley. This morning was another misty one as I set off heading for Great Hayward. It was cold and damp as I made my way out of Rugeley but I made good time. Just after crossing the river Trent I was surprised to see a boat coming toward me head light blazing. Slowing to let him come under the bridge I noticed a second boat behind him. As I went under the bridge I found another boat behind them. Obviously I was not the only one mad enough to set of that early in the mist. Passing through Worsely Bridge I finally arrived at Colwich lock where I met a day boat with a party celebrating a sixtieth birthday. It was still only twenty past ten when I moored at Great Hayward after a very cold two hours,time for coffee. Before writing this I took a walk round and found some caves, however they were fenced off so I couldn't go in. The time is four fifteen and the day boat has just passed on their way back to base,it will have been a cold birthday cruise as the sun never got out today.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Nature at it's best.

I woke this morning to the sound of pheasants calling, then a member of the crow family. Sliding back the hatch I looked out at a misty but reasonably warm morning. In the tree to the left of the boat a squirrel dashed along a branch. Ducking back in I quickly showered and had breakfas,keen to be on the move. Cruising slowly along I could hear the morning bird song. In the first half hour I had seen a variety of small birds including Chaffinches, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Robins and Black Birds. Then off to my right I caught a flash of colour and to my surprise it was a Bull Finch. So to all those people who preach doom and gloom,saying our native birds are disappearing, I say take a early morning cruise on the canal. Later in the journey I came to the other side of canal travel, passing through Handsacre and Armitage,passing under the rail bridge with the Virgin high speed trains every ten to fifteen minutes. On the whole though I had a pleasant two hour cruise, arriving in Rugeley at 11-o-clock, just in time for coffee. This afternoon the sun is out,a nice warm spring day. I am staying here tonight as I am meeting my Diesel man here tomorrow.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Start of season four.

This morning I left the Marina on my own, Marlene has gone to Pamela's as Pamela has not been too well. We are all waiting for the big day,did I mention pamela is due to give birth any time between now and the end of the month. So turning left onto the Trent and Mersey I was heading to Alrewas. This would be the first time I had taken Doublefracture out on my own. Cruising along the canal was easy, it was the first lock that might prove difficult,however all went well at both locks between the Marina and Alrewas. I moored and walked to the post office to mail a parcel to my sister Jennifer for my mother for Mothers Day. Returning to the boat I did some washing before lunch. After lunch I left the mooring heading for Fradley. I was undecided wether to moor at Fradley for the night or complete all five locks at Fradley and the one at Woodend. In the event the mooring at Fradley were busy so I carried on. I had no problem at any of the locks until I got to the top lock then a boater from the Dutch barge Enseabee opened the paddle fully and this caused the boat to hit the top gate very hard.When I arrived at Woodend lock I found a right mess in the lounge and kitchen. This upset me as I had been very careful all day. The mooring I was going to use at the top of Woodend lock was full so I was forced to carry on. I finally moored for the night just past Kings Bromley Warf. Tomorrow will be a lock free day. Perhaps I should mention that the reason I am going out without Marlene is the boat is coming out of the water for the bottom blacking next week at Stafford boat club, this gives me until Saturday to get there.