Friday, 11 July 2014

Staffordshire

Thank you to Adam who pointed out we are in Staffordshire rather than Shropshire.  It’s nice to know where you are!

We left Brewood at 9.00am cruising north towards Wheaton Ashton.  There is a long line of linear moorings on the offside leaving Brewood which culminates in a static caravan park by bridge 15 (Eskew Bridge).

Whilst it appeared to be well laid out I just can’t see myself trading a small ‘box’ in the city for a ‘box’ in the country!  But then it must appeal to a percentage of the population.  I actually walked passed the park yesterday evening and noticed they sell Calor Gas.  However you’d probably need a sack trolley because the depot is on the far side of the park. 

The following interesting looking cottage was on the far side.

It’s almost as if the vegetation is claiming it back.  Some TLC is also required! 

We passed very slowly over Streton Aqueduct to take photos of the busy A5 which passes underneath the canal.

There are some very shaded areas along this part of the canal which were a welcome relief from the heat. <suffer those of you in Oz or NZ>.  The biggest problem was attempting to take a good photo whilst on the move.

The sole lock of the day was immediately prior to Wheaton Ashton.  Jan went forward to assist the boat ahead and the lady on board reciprocated by raising a top gate paddle as she left to re-join her husband.

A hireboat then arrived behind us and the lady came forward to check the lock.  To Jan’s amusement she didn’t bring a windlass.  Eventually the penny dropped and she returned with a windlass helping Jan with the bottom gates.  We moored on the water point just beyond the lock to fill the tank and whilst it was filling I went back to help the hireboat through the lock.  Tank filled and we moved a short distance to Turners Garage (as you do) to take advantage of the cheap diesel.  We topped up all three tanks and Jan went off to pay.  The attendant wanted an address.  We don’t have an address except for Waiouru.  Officialdom requires an address…….  Jan did think of 10 Downing Street but in the end used our winter mooring address.  It turned out we were rather fortunate with our timing as four other boats arrived seeking fuel whilst we were controlling the bowser nozzle.  Must be time for a lotto ticket purchase!  Three boats passed us going in the opposite direction immediately after we moved off the fuel point.  Each of the steerers told us there was a boat loose at the end just beyond the next bridge. Why hadn’t one of them stopped to secure it? By the time we reached the boat it was right across the canal. We resecured the boat with the assistance of a hireboat crew coming in the opposite direction.

More shady canal followed.  It was a glorious day!

Jan remembered this lovely canal-side property from our last trip down the shroppie.  Unfortunately it’s outside our price range….. unless that lotto ticket proves to be a winner!

We found a vacant mooring in Gosnall Heath just beyond the Bridge Inn pub.  Actually it’s a good mooring with a gap in the trees allowing both sunlight and a TV signal to reach the boat.

The Bridge Inn

In the afternoon I did my Harry Houdini trick and went down the weed hatch to rescue Mr Tesco’s plastic bags which would otherwise have drowned.  We also acquired some light cordage and fishing line.  When Waiouru makes a light ticking sound it’s a sign that Waiouru has accumulated some additional items at the stern.

As all the diesel tanks were full it seemed an opportune time to recalibrate the tank gauges.  This normally has to be done once or twice every year.  Jan is one the lookout for some fresh farm eggs.  Preferably still warm and clucking!  She also cooked the sausages from the butcher at Brewood.  Very tasty!

3 comments :

Peter and Margaret said...

Having to provide an address when buying red diesel is a new on on me. I do know that from 1st April 2012 boat owners are supposed to declare that the dyed diesel is only for use in British waters in addition to the other declaration to pacify Belgium who insist the UK and Ireland are breaking EU rules by selling the stuff to leisure boaters and insist on fining yachtsmen who have crossed the channel with it in their tanks. UK believes we are right to continue - rest of Europe doesn't, and the whole thing has now been referred to the European Court of Justice for a ruling. I suppose they have to find something to spend all their tax revenue on and keep the boys in jobs.

Marilyn McDonald said...

Hi Tom and Jan, Every time we've bought diesel so far we've had to provide an address - we use our son's address in Scotland. It does seem there are a few things requiring a UK address and we have to remember which address we use for what - NZ or UK. That memory feat is getting tougher these days ... Hope your back has improved! Cheers, Marilyn and David (nb Waka Huia)

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Marilyn,

Obviously you are a suspicious looking couple with a funny accent! :-)

The back was improving until I reached (stretched) for a cold lager last night.