Friday, March 29, 2013

Moving boats

Before we set off two boats went past! They were Kangeroo and Australia. The lock was not far ahead and by the time we got there Seyella was already going up.

 While we were waiting another two, Jaguar and Northolt drifted past us. Their engine had stopped and they were almost along side! Ann had set the lock for us so I had to back up to get past them.
The towpaths were covered in snow but at least the locks were clear as we went up the four of them. 
Although it was bright with warm sunshine the bridges still had icicles hanging from them.
About a mile of towpath was being improved on our way to Barlaston.

Next day we set off to tackle the 14 lock miles through Stoke on Trent. More snow fell from the sky accompanied by sunshine and a cold wind. It took us both a while to recover from that trip having got to Westport Lake.

In the morning sunshine we walked round the lake with Geoff and the two dogs. The local wild life were so tame it was possible to get close and personal.
After a refreshing cup of tea we set off for Harecastle Tunnel. Our previous trip through was with Sue and Vic back in 2010.
This time Seyella followed us through. We turn off while the Trent and Mersey goes down to Middlewich.
A short while later the canal crosses over to join the Macclesfield. 

We have been this way only twice before in 2002 and 2005.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Next stop, Stone

Having got past bridge 84 we stopped for two nights. Spent the next day spring cleaning and rearranging our library of books. Time to sort out some of our boat contents. A case of deciding what we could dispose of. 

Ann went off with the two dogs and Geoff for a walk in the sunshine. 

It became necessary to move on to Stone the next day despite the bitterly cold wind. Ann needed to see a Doctor about a rash and blister on her foot. Only four lock miles but such a contrast to the previous travelling day.

The moorings below Stone lock were almost empty when we arrived. Back in 2010 when we last past this way the moorings were full. Much better now with a hard dry towpath. Geoff and Margaret stopped behind us and came in for tea and a chat.

After seeing the Doctor we got some fish n chips that evening.

Monday, March 18, 2013

We moved!

Yes we did, all the way to Sandon with Margaret and Geoff on Seyela behind us. What a treat with the sunshine! Almost spring like.
Hoo Mill Lock with the 'elf n safety rail bolted to the crossover bridge. 

Ann up the steps to open the gates at Standon Lock. 

Geoff posing with Ann after M2L got through.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A slow getaway

Our winter companions have moved south and we are on our own again. We said good by to Sue and Vic on No Problem as they head south. With a promise to keep in touch and meet another time some where on the cut.

The local locks at Great Haywood have been opened so there is no stopping us but for medicals and shopping. The medical centre was shut the day I went to book in for a pressure check. "Ring on Monday," they said.

We got water and moved out to Tixel wide for the weekend and made plans for our trip up north on the Macclesfield Canal.

A call first thing on Monday gave me the news that the Medical Centre was already fully booked! So we stayed put for another day. Got an appointment with a nurse on Tuesday. So off we went breaking ice to get back in to Great Haywood.

A lack of space was caused by many CnRT work boats occupying the visitor moorings. A kind boater offered to allow us to moor along side. The work boats had gone by the time we got back so we were able to back into a space.

Went off on the bus to shop at Stafford.

Another move out to Tixel is an option while we await the arrival of our friends on Seyella.
The Trent was very high last year and these men were having fun safely.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Normally not seen

We are waiting at Great Haywood
 This is the bottom lock gate and the cill normally under water
and this is the top gate and paddle exposed

Sunday, March 03, 2013

A spring day

We needed to move on so that Ann could get a bus to Stafford. Milford was chosen as our destination. On the way we enjoyed the warmth of the sun without that cold wind of previous days.

No Problem followed us so Ann helped by lifting a paddle after I took the boat out at the bottom. The canal was a bit shallow and brown with churned up silt. We moved over and slowed down as a boat approached at a bend.

Then we found we had got stuck on a mudbank, hill climbing as the old boaters would say. Unconcerned, the skipper of the boat passed us by as we struggled to get off. The shallows just kept sucking the boat back on. 

C & R T have painted those useless wooden bollards here at Shutt Hill.

When we got to Milford Wharf near the railway we were unhappy not to be able to get  TV or phone signals. We moved on a bit further away from the railway to find the signals much improved.