Saturday, 12 July 2014

The quackers!

We were attempting to finish breakfast around 7.15 when Jan’s friends from the previous evening started tapping on the side of the boat.  Her big mistake was in opening the side hatch.  This seemed to be the signal for every quacker in the village to race for the open hatch.

I don’t mind her talking to the ducks.  I’m prepared to clean the subsequent “droppings” off the cabin roof.  But readers, why does she have to feed them my cream crackers.  I like my crackers with a slice of camembert cheese and some of that delicious Wildside Tomato and Ginger Chutney from Wandering Bark.  By all means discuss promiscuity with that brown duck that has four brown ducklings and one white (you did see it in the top left of the photo) but don’t give them my crackers!

It was good to finally get a good internet signal at Gosnall Heath.  I’ve been writing the last few posts and then leaving the system running until we hit a spot where they can automatically depart.  This morning we managed a Skype call back to Sydney.

It was a short cruise to Norbury Wharf.  I wandered over to the chandlery with a list of three items whilst the water tank filled.  The moths in the wallet breathed a sigh of relief as I wandered back with it still in my back pocket.  I required the following:

  • 4.5 metres of 4mm twin cable (red & black)
  • a small (very) pot of Universal gloss varnish
  • two catches/latches for the stern cockpit doors.

Jan, being more determined, then went to the wharf shop and managed to buy a painted miniature boaters teapot.

A long line of linear moorings on the other side of Norbury and at the end we couldn’t help noticing this unusual craft. Almost a floating shoebox!

Of course we managed to take the obligatory photo.  Much like you are required to take a photo when passing Armitage Shanks.

Last time we passed this way there was a distance piece of high ground on the skyline.  Today we managed to take a photo.

At this point I’ve stopped writing this post to do some research by examining the electronic UK OSM Topo map.  I think the high feature is ‘The Werkin’.  At 407 metres it’s not very high, but on the Shropshire plain it stands out as the only significant feature.  Apparently it’s very popular with walkers and has a beacon on the summit.  The original beacon was erected during WW2 before falling into disrepair.  The current tower is The Wrekin transmitting station.  The tower had a new beacon fitted in 2000 as part of the Millennium celebrations.

I then unsuccessfully tried getting “artistic” with one of the stone bridges.

With our luck we meet three oncoming boats in the narrow Woodseaves Cutting and were too busy taking evasive action for a photo.  It was in this cutting last year that we saw a male in pink undies running the very muddy towpath.

Our luck changed when we reached the top of Tyrley Locks.  All but one was in our favour.  Actually they were all in our favour except the crew waiting below the bottom lock turned it in our face.

Tyrley Top Lock Cottages.  There’s a plaque on the wall.

Working in cooperation with the boat crews coming up meant we almost flew down the flight of five locks.  The antics of the crew coming up at the bottom lock had us puzzled.  They turned it against us wasting a lock full of water to come up.  Then Jan discovered they didn’t want to come up the flight but intended to wind (turn) in the pound between the bottom and second locks.

Why come up through the first lock when there is a winding point before the bottom lock? 

We’re now moored for the weekend with the ‘dot in the sky’.  A couple of days being static might enable us to catch up with some of the increasing list of outstanding preventative maintenance and housekeeping tasks.


Adam said...

You seem to have passed into Shropshire without even noticing!

I'm amazed that boat got round in the pound above the bottom lock. There's a nasty underwater shelf there which can be a problem at the best of times.

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Adam,

Yes... we didn't notice the bump when we went over the border! I should have told the crew about the shelf and made them go up the other four locks. But then I suspect they would have ignored me anyway!