Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fradley bound….. but slowly.

Eeh it’s good to be on the move again. But our Christmas lay-over at Willington has made me a bit soft. Even though the thermometer was laying just on the right side of 0°C, I was bl**dy frozen on the aft deck today! I’ll have to get acclimatised again.
Eggington Long Term Moorings, with handy access from the A50. A bit too handy really. You can see it, just the other side of the hedge… And it’s a fast dual carriageway.
A WWII pill box guards the crossing of the River Dove.

It’s been a grey nondescript sort of day, with the sun just the odd phantom of a disc showing through the cloud.
I was glad to get to Dallow Lock, in Burton on Trent, to get some exercise and get the blood moving again. This is the first narrow lock on the Trent and Mersey in this direction, and the first we’ve passed since coming down the Foxton flight back in late November.

Leaving Dallow Lock
The next stop was intended to be Jannel Cruisers at Shobnell for solid fuel, but the place is all shut up. They’re having an extended holiday, opening up again in the New Year.

So we pushed on, out of Burton past the new warehousing units that have sprung up since we last passed, through Branston Lock and called it a day just east of Branston Bridge.

Moored near Branston Bridge.

It’s been surprisingly busy on the water today. Well, I was surprised, anyway.
We followed 2 other boats out of the marina, and another was behind us but turned towards Stenson. And I counted 16 others coming down the canal. The vast majority were rentals, Canaltime from Sawley and Shakespeare Line from Barton Turns. It takes a bit of optimism to plan a boating holiday at this time of year. The weather could be anything from warm and sunny to frozen solid!

Hardy Boaters
Having failed to “bunker” at Jannel, I rang the local coalman at Fradley, to see when he is delivering there. It’s over a year since we last had a shipment, and Ray has retired, but the business still continues, and we’ve arranged for a delivery next Wednesday. It’ll be handy because I can organise a Tesco delivery at the same time.
So now we’ve got a week to kill. It’s only about 6 hours to Fradley. We’ll probably go down the Coventry for a bit. There’s some pleasant walks around Hopwas Wood…..

Locks 2, miles 8


Anonymous said...

sounds great ...how do you buy a boat and get thhe relevant training?

Geoff and Mags said...

There are no formal qualifications required, but there are boat handling courses available. But first... hire a boat for a week. If you enjoy it, then look at hiring again, but in the winter or early spring/late autumn. And if you STILL enjoy it, well there are plenty of boats for sale, new or 2nd hand. You have to decide if you want to live aboard or use it for holidays, as this will affect the layout. You'll also have to think about where to moor, unless, like us, you're going to continuously cruise. Pick up one of the monthlies, either Waterways World or Canal Boat magazines. Have a walk along the towpath of your local canal and see if you can engage any boaters you come across in conversation. Most are only too willing to discuss boats and boating.
Good Luck