Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A short cruise to fill the tanks

We had an early frost last night, but the cloud thickened by morning, giving us a grey, murky start to the day. Still, the predicted rain took longer to arrive than expected.

Today was just a gentle motor to Wheaton Aston to get diesel and solid fuel (that wood’s nearly all gone). The red stuff was good value at 51.9p/lt, but the price of the bagged smokeless has gone through the roof. At £10.95 a bag, I guess I’ll have to find some more wood!

A mile or so from our overnight, we passed under Avenue Bridge, an elaborate structure with balustrades. This carries the now overgrown carriage road to Chillington Hall, over to the west.
With parking at both ends of the “avenue”, the woods either side are a popular dog walking spot.

Avenue Bridge, no 10

Then on into Brewood, always a popular stop for provisions. The trouble is, the moorings are in one of the cuttings that the canal is noted for. We’ve stopped here for shopping, but never overnight.

Brewood Bridge and visitor moorings
The A5 scuttles under the canal bit further on. The waterway is carried on a superb example of Telford ‘s solid, unpretentious design.

Stretton Aqueduct over Watling Street

I’ll post a picture from the bottom tomorrow.

We dropped down Wheaton Aston Lock, and pulled over onto Turners wharf at Bridge 19. No argument over diesel splits here, and we took on 145 litres. 7 bags of smokeless filled up the roof, then we reversed back 200 yards to the winding hole and, with a bit of a struggle against the freshening breeze, turned around and stopped at the sanitary station to fill the water tank.

Wheaton Aston sanitary station.
So, with the boat probably an inch lower in the water, we went back up the lock, heading back the way we’d come. The rain had started by this time, so we cut the return journey short and pulled over next to Telford’s aqueduct.
We’re in good company here; there are several ex working boats at Stretton Wharf.

Stretton Wharf

We’re supposed to get a good dousing tonight, with more than an inch of rain expected. The already boggy towpaths in the cuttings will be awash, I guess.

Locks 2 (same one twice), miles 6½

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