Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Slow and Wet day on the Shroppie

1 Lock, 6 Miles. Now moored by Little Onn.

Ornamental Bridge approaching Brewood

It would seem that everybody had the same idea this morning by getting started early to try and beat the weather. First stop was a wander through the village of Brewood before heading on to Wheaton Aston. The forecast was for rain this afternoon but we finished up getting very wet while queuing for today's only lock mid morning. As we approached the lock it had already started to rain and the boat that we had been following had pulled in well short of the lock so we assumed wrongly that he was stopping but as we got alongside he told us that he was in the queue for the lock and we were number 6. Whoop's, get in behind boy!

As fast as one boat went down the lock another joined the queue and until we went through there was just as many coming up. We stopped below the lock for water, luckily there are 4 water points as this is a very popular place. In the time it took to fill the tank more boats including a tug and butty came through and it became a case of one way traffic as the flow of south bound boats dried up. Dot spotted the sign further up the cut for farm fresh eggs so she went off and bought a dozen and found that the mooring for getting diesel was just through the next bridge hole on the left.

Stretton Aqueduct over the old Roman road, now the A5

We moved up through the bridge hole to fill the diesel tank at what is a service station up on the road, seemed strange pulling into a service station with a boat. The pump is up on the roadside forecourt with a very long hose running down the bank. Dot went up to get the attendant to switch on the pump and I filled it myself. He told her he has no idea what is happening down on the canal and they quite often get long queue's waiting and they finish up arguing over who is next in the queue but he doesn't get involved as he can't leave the forecourt. Mind you at 71.9p per litre you can see why it is a popular fuelling stop as it is probably the cheapest fuel in the district.

By this time the weather had improved so we pushed on while the going was good. We tried to moor in several places but the Shroppie ledge as it is known defeated us from getting in to the bank. Eventually we came across another boat moored up close to the bank so we thought we would chance our luck which was successful. The sun is now shining but it is very windy and there are some very black clouds passing off to the North East so hopefully they will keep going and we will miss any rain.

Freshly picked blackberry and apple crumble for dessert tonight - Yum. The first ones we've had this season.

1374 locks, 1982 miles, 44 Tunnels, 42 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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