Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Oink oink….. Audlem

Forgot to mention we passed nb Sokai as we left Market Drayton.  She was moored at Talbot Wharf where it appears she might be waiting for repainting?

At Audlem top lock Jan stopped to chat with some friendly locals, although it might have been suggested they were relatives of mine. 

We stopped for the day on the 48 hour moorings below lock 2.  Whilst it had been a relatively short day the rationale for the decision was:

  • Few trees, therefore more chance of getting a FreeSat TV signal
  • Up high, therefore more chance of getting a FreeView TV signal (covering all the bases)
  • Carrying on meant completing another 10 locks
  • Arriving at Audlem in mid/late afternoon might mean no vacant mooring.

In the evening Jan carried on knitting whilst watching the heads roll on TV and I went for a walk down the flight to check on the mooring situation at Audlem.  It was 7.30pm and the flight was quiet.

Looking back up

Looking down

The earlier decision not to go down the flight proved to be sound as there were no vacant 48 hour moorings.  I particularly noted the boats facing up the flight intending to remember them in the morning.

On the walk back up the flight I came upon a solo boater coming down.  He was doing everything correctly (eg, lowering paddles and shutting all the gates) so I asked him if he had a spare windlass and would he like some assistance.  I then helped him down to lock 12 and mentioned there were some vacant spots on the 5 Day moorings around the corner.

We were the first boat away in the morning around 8.30 arriving at lock 3 just as the second boat of the day coming up the flight exited the lock (good timing).  We then crossed with boats coming up the flight at most of the locks.  There was a sight problem at Lock 8 where two hire boats from below had both managed to arrive in the pound.  Then a third hireboat crew from below turned the lock and also came up.  We managed to jiggle around the “crush” and continue down to Audlem grabbing a mooring near the Shroppie Fly (pub) at 11.30am.  That was our cruising for the day. 

We went off to the local butcher for more of their delicious sausages (black pudding & apple, pork, leek & stilton) before calling into the Co-op for a fresh baguette. 

By 1.30pm all the moorings on the towpath side were full and there was a steady stream of boats going past in each direction.  How we remember our hiring days frantically looking for a mooring at the end of the day and grumbling sightly about those boaters not working to a schedule! Smile

After lunch I rubbed down the rear deck ready for the first of two topcoats. It’s now received one coat of primer and two of undercoat.  The sun came out which resulted in the decision to apply the first of two top coats.  I was a third of the way applying the topcoat when the boater behind us must have noticed me doing some maintenance and decided to sand the rust patches on his stern paintwork.  No I don’t understand either!  Why would he create airborne particles having seen me painting?  Oh well, another topcoat is required anyway.  My paintwork still has brushstrokes in it so I somehow need to convince Jan she would make a much better painter. Smile

Jan went off to have a look through the handicraft and souvenir shop adjacent to the Shroppie Fly.  She returned empty handed much to the relief of the moths in her purse.  Actually she has bulimic moths in her purse!

The lady in the shop gave Jan a flyer for “The Village Chippy” along with a promising recommendation.  So we know what is for dinner tonight!

Blog reader Pat has left a comment asking about the TV media setup on Waiouru.  I’ll have to take some photos to assist in the explanation.

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