Thursday, September 30, 2010

First time on the Shroppie

We were up very early this morning, too early. We got up at 6.30am and were cruising by 7.00am. We left very quietly up to the first lock getting out of Penkridge, and then followed the M6 towards Wolverhampton. We got through the narrow cutting at around 11.30am and soon got to Autherley Junction. We had to wait for a couple of boats to get through the stop lock but we soon made our turn for our first time on the Shroppie.....
We liked the feel of it the minute we got to the first bridge. The first thing you notice when turning in is the cleaner water and the wide concrete sides. The bridges are quaint and the moorings seemed a bit few and far between but we soon got to a nice mooring recommended by Elsie on n.b Bendigedig, who are regulars on these parts. We just had enough time for lunch and to do some brasses before it rained, good timing.
Then it was UEFA cup football in the afternoon and evening.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Two little pigs went to Market

The rain was hitting the roof as we woke up this morning, but it didn't matter as we planned to go to the market anyway. We walked into town and went straight to market... On a Wednesday it is also a live stock market with loads of geese, chickens and ducks on sale. We've got to say this is one of the best markets we know and with things going so cheap it is very difficult not to spend money. We picked up a few things like duvet covers for Al's Mum & Dad and some Christmas presents, Yes Christmas!!
We then went to the tea rooms which were recommended to us and we've got to say they were fantastic. Chocolate biscuits with a cup of tea and the biggest tea cakes we had ever seen.
We then went to one of the best Bakers we have seen which had the cakes to die for. We came out with a loaf of bread and a cream bun.
We still had to pop into the butchers and the Co-Op before heading back to Derwent6 in the rain.
We looked at the weather which seemed to have no let up so we decided to stay here today. The sun did come out late but with more football on in the evening and two lovely steaks we brought today we weren't going nowhere......

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lack of moorings at Penkridge

With a cloudy start we decided to move from Tixall and soon got to the first lock. We carried on through the countryside passing this unusual train. We followed the railway line till we got to Stratford where we then picked up the M6, doesn't sound nice, but it really was.
We went through the village of Acton Trussell where everyone had really made a effort on their gardens, it looked fab, well done you lot!
At the next lock we met a couple on n.b Padworth, who follow the blog and were taking photos of us like we were film stars! Um....we don't think so! It is lovely to meet people who follow the blog......enjoy the rest of your trip guys and good to meet you.

We got to the last lock before Penkridge and there was a notice from BW saying there was a dredging restriction right up into Penkridge till the 8th October, which meant the top of the locks were going to be busy.We wanted to get moored up due to bad weather tomorrow and it was also market day in town. We went through the lock and got rid of our rubbish and had a quick manual pumpout and on doing so we saw Elsie and Eric off n.b Bendigedig (see link). After a chat, they said they were moving off their spot which was on an out of use water point, ideal for getting close to town. We were soon joined by loads of other boats.
We had some dinner in the cratch as the sun was trying to come out and then got ready to go out in the evening. Arsenal were playing in the Champions league and The Boat pub, 100 metres away, had it on. We watched the football and then joined in the pub quiz afterwards, great fun!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Short Cruise to Tixall

There was a bit of a drizzle when we got up so we sat tight till the weather improved. We got away for 11.00am and made our way to the first lock. It is very pretty through this section as we went past Shugborough Hall. We went through the second lock which took us to Great Haywood Junction where we saw a chance to get rid of our rubbish and top up with water again as we had been doing loads of washing. Al feels she is always having to wash and Del feels he is always topping up with water. Still it costs us nothing, so we will both shut up!

Al popped over to the farm shop to pick up some vegetables and when she got back there was a queue of boats waiting to get on the water point. We reversed up and turned onto the Staffs and Worcester and managed to get a nice mooring at Tixall Wide. It was empty when we arrived but it soon got busy by 3.00pm. Del went out on his bike again on his keep fit plan, while Al had some time to herself on Derwent6. In the evening we watched telly even though there wasn't much on. No surprise there then!!!!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wolseley Bridge for the Grand Prix

We left Handsacre at 8.00am and made our way through Armitage and then passed through the narrow Armitage tunnel. We had the power station ahead, which meant we were coming into Rugeley. Being Sunday there were loads of moorings when normally it's very busy through here.

We soon got back out into the beautiful countryside with Cannock Chase in the back drop. We spotted a nice mooring where we were all on our own with fantastic views.
We then went for a walk up to Wolseley Bridge and went to the craft shops and the garden centre there. We got back to Derwent6 just in time to see the Grand Prix.
Late in the afternoon Del went out on his bike across the Chase and got back just before dark. Al had the fire going and had been cake making so Derwent6 was warm and snug for the evening.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Long Day to Handsacre

As we never made any progress yesterday we were up early to bright sunshine and cruising by 7.30am. It was lovely with the sun coming up over the hillside but it got very cold as we were going through the shade of the trees. It wasn't long before we decided to light the fire. We carried on through Polesworth and then through Tamworth before we got to the first two locks. We had reports that these locks were very slow fillers and that BW were coming out to see to them, but we had a boat coming out as we approached at both locks (someone is looking out for us)

We soon got to Fazley Junction and carried on up the Coventry canal. We took it nice and steady all the way up to Fradley Junction where we stopped for water. We turned left onto the Trent and Mersey and got through the three locks. One of these locks was so bad it was leaking all over the bow of Derwent6.
We then made it up to Handsacre where we moored for the night. We had done 21 miles and five locks today which took us ten hours, a long day....

We walked round to friends Alan and Carol off n.b Hollyhobble and had a glass of wine at their house before we got in their car and went to Alrewas where we had a fine Indian meal. We had a lovely evening and it was just great to see them again.
We got back to Derwent6 at midnight and quickly got our heads down.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wind and Rain

Woke up to teaming rain and strong winds so we lit the fire and snuggled in.... We sorted out some paperwork as we have a good signal here. At lunchtime we could not decide whether to move or not as the rain had stopped, but the wind was still high, so we stayed put.

Del went out on the bike in the afternoon with the post in hand, and cycled around Tamworth, visiting the castle on the way. He spotted these unusual mushrooms on the way, which turned out to be Fly Agaric which are very poisonous. Oh and he did get lost!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Right Window

We had rain overnight and it still looked like it might rain, so we stayed put. They said it was going to clear up at around 11.00am so that seemed a good plan. Al did some work inside while Del went on the hunt for wood. He came back with a few branches which seemed nicely seasoned.
After chopping the wood we got underway and the sun started to come out. We soon got to Atherstone Locks and were lucky to have ten out of the eleven in our favour. These are normally slow fillers so we must have saved a hour. We did have trouble between locks 3 & 4 as the pound was nearly empty and Derwent6 was scraping along the bottom. We could see rain in the distance and we could also hear thunder as well, so we got a move on to the spot we like at bridge 50 near Polesworth. As we just finished tying up the heavens opened. We must have just picked the right window to cruise today. We were able to watch the thunder and lightening all afternoon and it carried on into the evening.