Tuesday, 16 September 2008

A Fruitful Day.

0 Locks, 6 Miles, 3 Lift bridges. Now moored at Whitchurch

As the weather forecast for today was rain we set off early while it was still dry, not that we needed to have worried as the rain never eventuated to more than occasional drizzle.

We only had to operate one lift bridge ourselves as we timed it nicely at the other two bridges and hire boat crews did it for us. While waiting for Dot to motor through this first bridge I spotted an Apple tree heavily laden with fruit overhanging the canal side so I filled my pockets with some of the blemished fruit.

We were contemplating some more blackberry and apple crumble but it has not been a good blackberry season this summer. We had no sooner finished talking about them when we spotted a bumper crop on a little used section of towpath. Within minutes we were ashore with two one litre icecream containers which we filled in no time at all with some of the juiciest blackberries we have seen this year. That's dessert sorted for the next few days.

As we were passing the Viking Afloat boat yard which is near the Whitchurch Arm we had to stop and pull into the towpath as a private boater had tried to wind on the wrong side of bridge 31A. The winding hole is on the other side of the bridge but where he was trying to wind was just wide enough for him to get jammed bank to bank across the canal. What a burke! Eventually 3 passersby stopped and helped him pull the boat around using his stern rope, but it took a hell of a lot heaving and puffing to get him shifted.

From here it was only a short run to the Whitchurch basin where we are now moored. Some of the historic boats have started to arrive for this week-ends festival but we will leave here on Wednesday morning for Wrenbury.

On our walk into town along the old towpath we passed a new house being constructed which had in its back garden a real old Burton showman or Gypsy caravan.

1440 locks, 3011 miles, 51 Tunnels, 42 swing bridges and 36 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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