Friday, 1 August 2008

Another Canal bites the dust.

8 Locks 14 Miles. Now moored near Brewood on the Shropshire Union Canal.

As we were awake early this morning we decided to set off before all the hire boats started traipsing through, although the Staff's and Worc's canal has been quieter than the Trent and Mersey. At the second lock we stopped for water as Dot was planning on doing some washing so we wanted the tank as full as possible.

Other than the occasional showers the weather wasn't too bad for cruising. Farmers along the way are starting to harvest their crops but this indifferent weather cannot be helping their cause. Near Coven we caught up with Derek and Christina on Kalimera so we pulled in for a chat. They were awaiting a phone call from their boatyard to tell them when they could take the boat in for hull blacking which would affect what they do for the next 3 or 4 weeks.

The Narrows

There were a couple of interesting stretches of canal the first being the "Pendeford Rockin" as the old boatmen used to call it. This is a very narrow,single lane stretch about half a mile long that was carved out of solid sandstone rock. It's probably not much more than about 8 feet wide but there are a couple of passing bays for impatient boaters. The second was between bridges 4 and 6 on the Shroppie where the canal goes through several narrow sections.

Of course the easiest lock of the day was the first lock on the Shroppie which is classed as a stop lock and only has a drop of less than 6 inches.

Looking back to Autherley Junction from the first lock

We noted that a lot of the towpath side of the Shroppie canal is shallow and obstructed with concrete blocks making mooring impossible but we are now moored prior to the start of some 48hr moorings approaching bridge 8. Weather permitting we will stay here for a couple of days to allow me to finally get the starboard gunnels stripped and repainted. I have already been out with the weed trimmer to clear all the grass away and stripped and undercoated the first 1/2 of the gunnels.

Welcome to the Shropshire Union Canal - new territory for us

First milepost on the Shropshire Union Canal

1373 locks, 1976 miles, 44 Tunnels, 42 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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