Thursday, 11 July 2013

Tom’s Mooring

Jan was awake at up at 4.00am this morning.  She had an important task you see… cutting the crutch out of my new shorts!  It’s a ‘Jones’ thing… they’re too constricted and I need the freedom to move.  Jan woke me at 6.00am with a cuppa and a biscuit reminding me that it would get hot later in the day and we should be making a move.  It was a short cruise down to the CRT facilities at Horningglow, in Burton-on-Trent, where we topped up the water tank.  Jan did another load of washing on the short journey down to the tap (you must think we’re dirty people with amount of work the washer/dryer does!).

I did a moderately good job of reversing the steel pencil onto the bollards, however it took some additional heaving from Jan before we were secure.  Then I realised we were probably on MY moorings.  It even had a sign on the fence at the stern.

Unfortunately it appears there is more than one Tom .Sad smile It took very little time to fill the tank and we then moved Waiouru to the 48 hour moorings on the opposite side of the basin.  Jan managed to hang all the wet laundry in the cratch whilst I headed into Burton-on-Trent for a few small things on Jan’s shopping list.  Actually I also had one thing on my list.  Some more distilled water from Asda.  Things didn’t work out as planned.  I walked past two Sainsbury’s, an Aldi and a Lidl to reach the Asda only to find they didn’t have any distilled water in stock!  However they did have some T Cut which I intend to use on a mark we’ve collected in the paintwork.

From a distance there seemed to be a problem with the lock gates when we reached Dallow Lane Lock. Jan raced forward to have a look which is why the photo is slightly blurred.

Bloody Hell……  The lock had shrunk.  No more wide locks….. Yeh!  We haven’t seen a narrow lock since the Foxton Flight.  The chance of us meeting another widebeam boat (like the one yesterday) have now been eliminated.

We both think it’s the first time we’ve seen the wooden bollards we read so much about when ‘downunder’.

When we reached Tatenhill Lock two boats were breasted up waiting to go up through the lock.  One boat came down and the first boat then entered the lock.  We hovered behind the second boat as it was on the end of the lock landing.  However I managed to let Jan off at the bow and she went forward to assist with the lock work.  Eventually the lock was emptied and the second boat entered the lock whilst I waited with Waiouru on the lower lock landing.  Afert the second boat had gone through the lock Jan emptied it and opened the gates.  I could tell she was not a happy little vegemite!  Actually there was steam coming out her ears.  She told me she had worked the lock for all three boats.  The boat ahead of us had a crew of four but the two ladies stayed in the cratch touching up their lippy and sipping the chilled chardonay.  The male who got off the boat didn’t have a windlass and watched Jan do the paddles.  The steerer had been officiously calling out instructions to Jan.   Mrs Grumpy and I headed towards Barton Lock with me getting an earful.  One got the distinct impression the crew of the boat ahead of us didn’t have a windlass and was waiting at each lock for another boater to work them through.  I told Jan, if they were at the next lock when we arrived I’d offer to sell them one of our windlasses for £20.  When we arrived at Barton Lock we could see the boat on the lock mooring waiting.  So we moored short and settled down to have lunch.  Eventually another boat passed us and we assume they helped the boat up through the lock! 

A working boat passed us on the eastern outskirts of Alrewas.  As we subsequently discovered, it was a good place to pass.

Somewhere along the way today Jan saw yet another cottage she’d consider living in (funds permitting).

The canal briefly re-joins the River Trent on the other side of Alrewas which made an interesting change.

The towpath has to get there somehow

Make sure to turn right and then left to avoid the weirs.

The canal in Alrewas is rather attractive with the majority of the moorings already occupied. However it wasn’t our plan to moor there. Perhaps another day!

Sometime today we passed nb Double Fracture going in the opposite direction.  Jan remembered the name because the couple had broken bones around the same time and named their boat accordingly.  I’m not going tell Marlene and Mick’s story for them.  you can read their blog if you want to know more.

We arrived at Fradley Junction and managed to grab the last 48 hour mooring before the lock landing above Keepers Lock.  Off to The Swan tonight to try out their food.

No comments :