Monday 19 September 2011

Handsacre to Fradley

Monday 19th September 2011

After breakfast we set away in good time and within a short time we were soon locking down Woodend Lock. After leaving the lock we felt honoured to be passing steamboat President and the butty Kildare. A blast of the whistle as it approached affermed it's right to the middle of the canal! We duly pulled over to give them the deeper water and enjoyed the spectacle of them passing. Just a shame none of the crew (dressed in period style) could bring themselves to thank us for our efforts! However a nice sight all the same. They had no doubt been to the Huddlesford Gathering over the weekend and were probably making their way to the next public appearance.
After locking past Fradley Junction we topped up the water and moored opposite in the pound, when a space became available just as we passed.
After lunch it became clear to me that narrowboat 'Labour of Love' was trying to get in the gap in front of the boat. Unfortunately the space (even with our very economic mooring) wasn't long enough to accommodate her. I offered my front bow to tie up against. The crew were also carrying three dogs (one of which only had three legs!) and they needed to moor their bow, hard against the side, as the dogs would otherwise struggle to jump ashore.
I therefore conversely offered to push out our bow and tie up against them. This we did. The dogs were delighted!
Elaine and I then had a gimble up to the Swan and en-route bought a couple of packets of bonbons from the candy boat. The first bag unfortunately only lasted the duration of the walk as we were clearly consuming calories way faster than we were burning them!
The internet connection at Fradley is 'fair' so uploaded the blogs from the last three days.

A rear view of the butty (Kildare) towed by nb President as they approached Woodend Lock.

The Candy Boat at Fradley.

Our mooring at Fradley Junction.

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Shugborough to Handsacre

Sunday 18th September 2011

After breakfast we walked to both the shops in Gt Haywood to get Sunday papers and two pints of milk.
Elaine baked some rock buns while the usual Shakespeare Line 'bullet boats' passed in both directions attempting to wash moored boats out of the cut!
Finally slipped our mooring at around 11.00am and moved up to Rugeley for lunch and then finally mooring at Handsacre where we moored for the day just beyond the Crown pub.
During an excellent meal we were jolted by what turned out to be a rather incompetent boater who crashed into the back of the boat (using our boat as a buffer) as he moved into his mooring place!!!! It turned out to be narrowboat "Hull 25" crewed by "WB & MA Griffiths" although they didn't introduce themselves!
While reading the Sunday Times I discovered a new iPhone App called 'imail' which was recommended in the travel section as an app that enabled you to send postcards home without the need to find a postbox or a stamp! I've tried it out on my parents and Elaine's daughter (will update on our findings). It looks pretty promising and easy to use as you simply take a photo and add a message and imail print it out and post it for you. (Cost 98p per card).

Elaine's rock buns - delicious!

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Great Haywood to Shugborough
Saturday 17th September 2011

As we both finished work later than anticipated on Friday and the A1 was closed at Wetherby with a car accident we opted to set away this morning.  Left home at a leisurely time and arrived at the Marina at around 11.00am just as narrowboat 'Agagio' was pulling onto the diesel jetty.  (Adagio is about that tweets - that we have recently been following see #narrowboatsthattweet on twitter!)
After a coffee and a biscuit we finally got launched about 1.00pm from the berth in the marina - not without an inpromtue foray around previously uncharted territory in the marina by virtue of the prevailing wind and my lack of concentration, (rather preferring to chat to other moorers that concentrate on the job in hand!).
We cruised (possibly our shortest cruise on record) down to the Shugborough straight where we moored for the day.  The weather was typically changeable so the hood wasn't collapsed completely.
We are this week concentrating on 'chillaxing' rather than pushing on cruising a ring of some sort.  Took the opportunity, for the first time, despite mooring in Great Haywood for the last 4 years, to walk through the woods on the off side of the canal.  A pleasant 'gimble' around the woods and the pack-horse bridge which gave me a great opportunity to try out my new Canon camera.
An early night after a great meal on board washed down with a bottle or red.

Monday 12 September 2011

Boat - 'Cruise Ready'!

Sunday 11th September 2011

A late start - well deserved after yesterday's busy day!

Finished cleaning the remaining brasswork while the wind started to pick up. A decision to leave the boat the wrong way around in the mooring was easy to make looking into the teeth of a gale! Deploying the longer electric lead was an easier option than risking a manoeuvre in high winds!
It was soon time to watch the Italian Grand Prix from Monza. Although the satellite dish held out during the strong wind we were sure at any time during the race we were going to loose our signal.
After lunch we locked up and headed back north for a tough week at work; safe in the knowledge the boat was 'cruise ready' for next weekend.
I'll let you know how we get on next weekend.

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Saturday 10 September 2011


Saturday 10th September

Travelled down to the boat last night after work, arriving just before sunset. The boat had been invaded by spiders! Thankfully all outside but non the less disgusting. Today we spent the full day cleaning the boat internally and externally. Not much fun but quite rewarding; knowing the boat is now clean for our week away next weekend.
About to sit down to a well deserved fillet steak and I have just noticed a very large spider has already built a web between out boat and 'Auntie Wainwrights' the boat next door!!
Removing that is my first job tomorrow!
Turned the boat around on her moorings today (to wash both sides) and am struggling with my orientation! Hopefully I won't step off the wrong side of the boat in the morning!

One side washed!

It had to rain - just after I had polished the brasswork!!!

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