Friday, November 09, 2007

What a night last night! Luckily we were partly sheltered by a hedge, but even so we were rocked to sleep and jolted awake several times.
But the wind blew the rain clouds away, and we woke up to blue skies and no more than a breeze. It wasn’t to last, however, and today’s quota of grey clouds started to build up around 10:00.

We moved off just after 10:00, describing a loop to the east as the canal rounded a low hill. On the extremity of the loop the Hatherton Branch leads off. Now derelict, it used to connect to the northern section of the Birmingham Canal Navigations.

Hatherton Branch
Heading west again, we passed through an industrial area, before once again resuming the mostly northerly course towards Great Haywood. We arrived at Gailey Wharf a little before 12:00, took on water etc. then dropped down through the lock.

A lot of Viking Afloat boats tied up at Gailey Wharf

Gailey Lock and round Toll-Keepers house.

By this time the threatening clouds had started to leak, so we pulled up just before the next lock. We decided to call it a day, and move on to Penkridge tomorrow.

The “leaf soup” collecting in sheltered stretches can be a nuisance, you wouldn’t believe it, but it actually slows and finally clogs the prop. A quick burst in reverse soon clears it though.

Leaf Soup
Locks 1, miles 4

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