Friday, October 30, 2020

Brolly up, Brolly down!

 We have been finding it easy to get up early since the clocks went back. So we were awake at 6.00am and set off at 7.30am.. The weather did look a bit iffy, but it looks bad all week, so we took a chance! It had got a lot colder and sure enough we soon got that horrid drizzle which seems to get you soaked through as we went through Hopwas Woods..

It soon turned to showers and it was one of those brolly up brolly down days, but it did make things very pretty as the sun shone through the water dripping off the autumn leaves.

We got through Hopwas and it was back into the trees again.

The wind had now got up a little and was making a blanket of leaves on the canal. There had to be plenty of in and out of gear movement, just to keep the prop clear.

We soon got to Fazeley Junction where we used the water tap. These guys were already waiting for the bar to open..

Del filled with water and Al popped to Tesco's here for some special things she liked..

We wanted to get some wood from the woodyard here, but they didn't have any bags, and also we were a bit reluctant to pay when there is quite a bit about.. We carried on over the aqueduct and then on to the locks at Glascote.

C&RT were cutting back the hedges here, but when asked if any wood was on offer we just got a blank look. Maybe they couldn't hear with their ear defenders on..

There are two locks in succession at Glascote, and they are easy locks to do..

We found a bit of wood in the middle lock where the guys hadn't picked it up yet. We then stopped again for food, but this time at the Co-Op as Al likes a few different things in here, and it is right next to the towpath..

This is a good supermarket and is always well stocked. We then carried on through Tamworth where everyone had made such a good effort on their gardens.

We did like these fellas!

We carried on to Alvecote marina which now seemed busy with most of its boats back in.

It was then back out into the woods again under the M42 and to Pooley Fields Heritage centre which has some lovely walks..

You then approach Polesworth, which was very quiet, maybe because the locks at Atherstone are closed till further notice..

We caught this fella scratching the back of his knee, handy to have four legs..

There is a tight section after that which is not easy to pass. Guess what happened next, yep we met someone, but we had inches to spare..

  We could see some rain coming, so while the sun was out we moored up in a great spot.. Just as we had set up the telly it poured down, great timing!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Short plod with Friends

The weather looked a bit iffy this morning, but we wanted to go south for an hour. We set off in a very light drizzle and wondered if we were going to get wet or not.. We made our way through Whittington and the sun then tried to peep out..

We then got to Hademore with its pretty gardens, and swans.

It made pleasant cruising, as the colours kept changing through the trees. 

We then pushed on towards Tademore Farm.

We then looked for a mooring as we knew it was going to rain at 11.00am and moored at Tamhorn Park.

We set up everything (chimney, sat dish and the cat Tooty's fenders and cratch cover entry) and it was indoors for a nice shower and get changed.. 
We then walked down to Hopwas, a twenty minute walk through Hopwas Woods.. Del was on the hunt for wood so it was a good opportunity to look for some but it did start to rain.

We went to The Tame Otter and met up with friends John and Louise for lunch who own n.b Ploddin' along.

We knew we could have moored right outside the pub, but we had the option to stay for the weekend where we were.. 
We had a fantastic time with them and a good catch up..

and yes we did have a few drinks and the food was good.  It was all safe with plenty of washing hands and face masks.

We walked back afterwards and lit the fire on Derwent6.

In the evening we had our Friday quiz zoom call with the family and again a great laugh, it felt so good to get social again..

Monday, October 26, 2020

A Washing Day with Solar

 We made the decision we wouldn't move today as we had a few things we wanted to do..  Del was up early and first took a sample of the diesel again and was shocked to see we still had diesel bug in the fuel.

We have no idea where this is coming from as the diesel we have been putting in appears very fresh. So it was a filter change and the water trap cleaned for the first job.. Then it was check the central heating, and the pressure had dropped for some reason, so that was pumped up. Then the bilge was cleaned, and the roof wiped off. Then Del set upon the cratch cover which had a few green mould spots on it and while he was at it the hatch covers and horn cover was done.. 
Al had cooked some lovely lemon curd muffins, that's got to be healthy hasn't it..
We used the Thursday as a washing day, and used the solar to support the batteries. 
Here you can see what watts were coming in by tipping the panels up on a low sun..


Here is a record of what happened during the day, the red lines showing when the washing machine was on and the yellow lines being the solar coming in.. The blue line is the battery state.. 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Heading South

 So we had the weekend to ourselves and just pottered about, but knew we were going to move on the Monday..

We moved up to Great Haywood Junction and went over the Aqueduct .

We turned and reversed up for the water point, got rid of our rubbish, and picked up six bags of coal so we were ready for the next cold snap.

We have been a bit lax on the wood front this year as we had a load in the lockers, but we are now getting low on our nice seasoned wood and need to find some more..


We set off towards our first lock of the day, Haywood Lock.

It was then past Shugborough Hall.

To our second lock, Colwich Lock, which we always call Little Haywood Lock.

Its was then through the woods at Wolseley bridge with views of Cannock Chase.

The canal then takes you out into the countryside until you reach the Aqueduct when you get into Rugeley..

You then go past some very nice gardens, Brindley Bank, and this one was all over Halloween.

Rugeley is overpowered by its power station to the east of you, just visible through the new housing estates, but the canal is still very pleasant to cruise.

You then get to the narrows at Armitage tunnel which is now a road bridge in rock. Only one boat can pass here and its worth checking the way is clear before you enter..

Its was then into more woods, and the wind had picked up and covered the canal in a blanket of fallen leaves..

Its very pretty through here until you get to Armitage, home of the Armitage Shanks toilet.

You then get to the lovely village of Handsacre and we got to our objective of the day.

At bridge 56 there is a canal closure from the 2nd November due to a dislodged stone under it on the towpath.

The canal needs to be drained to repair this and it was going to be closed for a few weeks. We had to push on because coinciding with this closure some HS2 work was being done at Wood End Lock just before Fradley Junction.

We had lock keepers here and it made life very easy until we made the turn..

Something jammed into the prop and we struggled to get through the swingbridge.. We pulled over and managed to get off a huge builders bag before we could get on our way.

Our next drama was at Bell Bridge (where we were following another boat), but it was lovely through the trees up to that point.

We met two boats just the other side of the bridge, and on passing the first one they got in trouble in shallow waters. As we passed them nice and slow the boat following them passed us so close and then rammed the stuck boat hard in the stern riding up the tiller.. Del shouted " what you doing mate" and he replied "I don't have any gears" . The couple on the back of the distressed boat were shocked and could have been crushed by the bow. There was not even apologies taking place and when we had gone by he saw us taking a photo of him in reverse, so his gears were working..

He gave us the finger of fate, reversed over to the bank and jumped off. He then run up the towpath and then took our photo on his phone, as he obviously wasn't happy about us taking his picture!. Lets hope there is not too much damage to the other boat.

We pushed on and it started to get a bit chilly, so Al lit the fire and we then got to Huddlesford and were looking for a nice mooring after a long day..

We pulled up at Whittington and sorted ourselves out before we sat down inside a warm and snuggly Derwent6.

Al cooked a lovely steak and chips and that went well with a glass of wine, what more do you want..