We had such a nice spot here at Tixall Wide we thought we would have another day here.. Del thought it was a good time to get Derwent6 shipshape and spent the morning doing the brasses.. It is hard when you get such a lovely mooring to move, but move we will tomorrow..
Thursday, September 17, 2020
We left at 8.00am from Shugborough Hall and helped a single hander go through the lock in front of us..
We then looked for a mooring, and one appeared because the coal boat had just left in front of us.. Lucky!
We then spotted Jacqui and Tony on nb Timewarp, who have now been boating for nearly 20 years, and they sell mooring pins and very delicious home made Fudge..
While we were chatting they sold four bags, and we couldn't resist a bag for those quiet night in days..
It was good to see them looking and doing so well..
We decided to walk up the nearby farm shop, which is a tad expensive, but does sell quality food.
We even went to the outdoor cafe and had some bacon baps, which had as much bacon as bap, and the coffee was nice as well..
We then set off and took the turn onto the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal and took the short trip to Tixall Wide.
We love it here with its views, wildlife and peaceful moorings..
Del spent the rest of the day polishing the roof, something he has put off for too long now, what with the water leaks and other things.. We chilled in the evening with a nice steak and chips Mmmm!
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
We woke up to a light fog but you could tell it was going to be another hot day, so cruising it was then!!
We soon passed Streethay Wharf and made our way to Fradley Junction.
Here we got water again and got rid of our rubbish.
We then turned onto the Trent and Mersey, and with the lock keepers on duty they soon had the lock ready for us.
In fact all three locks that we had to do were open for us and it was plain sailing..
Everyone is in such a good mood when the weather is fine, sunshine is such a good medicine.. Well it was until we nearly got rammed.. A boat came out of Kings Bromley marina, and I think they were trying to beat us so they didn't have to follow a slow continuous cruiser..
We slammed on the brakes and then turned round them, and they followed us for the rest of the day. Had he of waited we probably would have let him go. We made our way up to Handsacre and the first change you notice is more houses built on the approach. This is such a pretty little village with some lovely houses on the canal and a good pub too.
Its also so much fun with the weeping willows as well.
We carried on to Armitage and passed the toilet factory here. It was tight to pass in sections, but again made it interesting, maybe because we have all day to pass..
Talking of tight, we then had Armitage tunnel which is now just a tight cutting which is one way.. We were lucky here as we had a boat in front of us (as well as the one behind), so we could just follow through. Its so different with its cave like features..
It opens up a bit then and you are higher than the things around you..
He you are close to Rugeley Power station, but this time it is obscured by new houses, a different backdrop if you live here..
After crossing the large Aqueduct you are back out into the countryside again.
This hasn't been spoilt yet, even though the pig farm has gone and a boat yard is painting boats in a field, can't be good for the environment, bet the air was cleaner round there during lockdown. As we came out of Wolseley bridge, boaters were beginning to look for shade as the temperatures soared to 27 degrees. There are some nice houses here as you approach the lock.
There was a small queue at Little Haywood, but it was good to get off and stretch our legs for a bit.
We then found a nice mooring at Shugborough Hall moorings.
We got out the BBQ almost straight away, but more importantly got a cold beer from the fridge and flipped the lid..
We have had a full on four days of cruising. We are so looking forward to treading on new ground over the coming weeks..
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
We had a lovely weekend on our own just taking in the sunshine, BBQ's and wine.
It was a tad on the windy side, but nonetheless, time we thought we needed for ourselves..
On Monday the weather again was fantastic for this time of year and we wanted to make the most of it.. We set off in clear blues skies and it is always a good feeling to be cruising in the sunshine.
We passed the farm heading towards Polesworth and it was busy with its normal activities.. We got to Alvecote marina and the sunshine was still with us.
The canal has been in desperate need of cutting back the vegetation, (although we do quite like it). It makes things a bit tricky and more interesting and makes the canals a bit more river like..
We reached Tamworth and we love this section where everyone has done their back gardens to perfection. its almost like there is a competition on here.
We then got to the Co-Op, which is right on the canal, and Al popped off and picked up a few bits to top up the cupboards..
We then went up to Glascote locks, and while waiting filled with water.
It was busy at the bottom which made things easy for us.. We got to Fazeley Junction, but you can't get rid of your rubbish there now so we carried on and headed on up towards Hopwas..
It was lovely through the woods as it gave us a bit of shade from the heat of the sun.
One of the things you notice now is the amount of house building going on throughout the country. Every trip we take there just seems to be more new houses instead of countryside, but it does sometimes give us more facilities.
At Whittington we found a lovely mooring, albeit a bit close to the railway, but it will only be for one night and it gave us a terrific sunset out in the cratch with our turkey salad and wine..
Sunday, September 13, 2020
We set off at 9.00am and stopped off at Springwood Haven to see Kevin and the gang and also have a pump out..
Louise and John n.b Ploddin' Along were also in there having some work done, including solar panels.. We wanted to give them some good feedback on how Derwent6 had been since we had lithium batteries and solar on the roof, and how it had changed our lives living aboard.. We did have a small issue with the engine not charging the batteries when the Solar panel control unit had turned itself off when it got dark. It turned out to be a operator error, because all we needed to do was run the engine at a little higher RPM till the buck boost had kicked in, then reduce the engine revs so it was still charging, simples!
We said our goodbyes to everyone and made our way to Atherstone, and how things had changed ..
It felt like a new canal with some of the new features, including a new marina, on the way..
It didn't help that it was a bit overgrown but that gave the canal a lot of character.
We got to the locks and were third in the queue, and on chatting to the locky we found out that last weekend they had 67 boats go through here..
We were so glad we were doing this on a Friday, and even that was busy..
We stopped after lock 5 and Al walked to the Co-Op to pick up a few things..
She wanted to go to Aldi, but it was so busy she took the less busy safer option. We carried on down the other six locks which always seem so slow to fill..
It felt like we had been going for 12 hours, maybe it was just the wind and sunshine in our faces, but at the bottom we just wanted to get to where we were trying to get to..
When we arrived it was packed with other boats, but we saw a gap and Del thought we could fit into it. We were too long by six inches, but the boat in front kindly offered to move for us and we got in.. Phew!
We set up things and felt exhausted, but Al still managed to cook us both some lovely fajitas which hit the spot.. We had our quiz with the family in the evening and that was us done for the weekend..