Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A long weekend at Westport

On the last post I said “I reckon we’ll stay here tomorrow”. Well, the tomorrows lasted till yesterday, with the poor weather discouraging us from moving. Still, the Olympic coverage has kept us entertained. Haven’t they done well! No golds today,1 silver and 3 bronze though take the total haul to 37, including 16 golds!

A shame about Paula Radcliffe, though it shows how determined she can be that she even finished after only a few weeks to prepare. For those who live on Mars, she was diagnosed with a stress fracture at the head of a femur just 12 weeks before the start of the games. This severely restricted her training, in fact she was told she would be unable to compete at all.

I was disappointed though that coverage of the other two GB runners in the Marathon was sketchy at best. Mara Yamauchi coming 6th was an excellent result, and the ever present Liz Yelling did herself justice with a 26th place.

Back to the mundane, coal boat NB Alton, owned and operated by Brian and Ann Marie McGuigan, came by on Sunday. We filled up with diesel at 78p, got 3 bags of solid fuel (hopefully not to be opened till the autumn!), and a tipcat fender for the stern. I tried to get one on the Macclesfield, if you recall.

Brian and Ann Marie.
Carol gave me a hand to fit it that afternoon. It don’t half look smart!

New tipcat fender. No more bumping the rudder…
And here’s a heron reflecting on life…..
In other news, BW re-opened the Rochdale Canal between Failsworth and Picadilly. The pollution incident appears to have been caused intentionally, but the culprit(s) still have not been identified. Official EA report here.

We moved on today, with the weather indicating improvement for the rest of the week. A steady, uneventful hour took us to Stoke Top Lock and the junction with the Caldon Canal. We turned into the Caldon for a few yards to get to the facilities block, then, appropriately emptied and replenished, winded and came back onto the Trent and Mersey.

Etruria Junction on the Caldon
James Brindley stares forever across the canal at the sanitary station…

The 5 Stoke locks were easy, with traffic coming up we didn’t have to set up any.

Stoke Top Lock from the next one down.
After the locks we had a steady 1½ hours to Trentham and the last lock of the day. We moored, as usual, just beyond bridge 104 near the Wedgewood factory.

The weather has been kind, warm and dry till we got moored up when we had a couple of showers.

Locks 6, miles 7½

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