Friday, March 09, 2007

We stayed at Willington until today, with an overnight excursion down to Stenson. We had to turn around anyway, so used the winding hole next to the lock, and moored opposite the marina.

The group from Canada arrived shortly after us, and turned in the marina entrance. They didn’t want to stop, though, so after a look at the lock (at 12’ 3” deep and broad, quite a different proposition to those they’d encountered so far), and a visit to the cafĂ©, were off back to Willington.

Spent the time walking Meg, training for Liverpool and doing those odd jobs that always seem to need doing on a boat. We’ve also decided to change the layout of the galley and dinette, so were discussing options.

I’ve booked the boat in at Orchard Marina towards the end of April. They’ll re-black the hull, and then I’ll use one of the fit-out bays to do the work on the galley. There’s a B&Q in Northwich, which’ll be handy for bits and pieces, and I can use timber and panelling from Orchard’s store, which will match the existing interior.

Meg enjoyed the stay, we were on a major dog walking through route, so she had the opportunity to make lots of new canine friends. The weather has been pretty good, so the paths are drying nicely. Even last night’s heavy showers didn’t turn them back into quagmires again. I heard that the Trent is still closed to navigation, though, due to high water levels.

We were off today after visiting the sanitary station, away around 11:45. Stopped at bridge 29 entering Burton on Trent to shop at the Co-op, then on through the town.

Filling up at Willington services
Horninglow Wharf and canal mural
Although threatening showers, we got away with just a few spots of rain mid-afternoon.

Storm clouds over Marston’s Brewery

Went through Branston Lock and stopped just short of bridge 34. There’s likely to be less foot traffic this side of the bridge away from the water park, and we have a clear view to the SE so can put the dish up if we want. And we’ve a nice grassy towpath outside the door! We’ve been joined by a couple of hire boats and another private boat since we moored.
Interestingly, one of the hire boats is “Prince Hal”, from Barton Turns. This is the boat that the Canadian party were using, so they must have got back in one piece.
More interestingly, an earlier “Prince Hal” is moored just outside of Burton, now in private hands.

Locks (since last entry) 2, miles (since last entry) 11½.

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