We’re all ultimately heading Birmingham way and should meet up again, but there was a bit more wood up towards High Offley that was just begging for attention from the chain saw….
We were filling up at the services when NB Debdale went past. She’s a share boat based at Norbury, but got marooned in the ice at Tixall Wide way back at the end of November.
It took a while to slice up another heap of wood for the roof, and it was gone 3 by the time we reached High Offley, so we pulled over here for the night. It gave me the chance to empty the cratch of the heap of firewood I’d thrown in, slice it up then stack it neatly again, before joining The Rockers on a pooch walk.
I’d put 2 or 3 bits of the fresh wood on the fire as we’d moved off through Grub Street cutting, but I think it’s a little wet, yet……
With it being a still, windless day, the plume of woodsmoke hung in the air all the way through the cutting.
Today we went up to the end of Shebdon Embankment, winded and headed back the way we’d come. With the rockfall closing Woodseaves Cutting, it could be a while before boats are able to make the trip further north to Market Drayton and Nantwich.
There’s a cute little wrought iron aqueduct carrying a feeder stream near High Offley. It bridges the channel from an overflow weir.
We had a steady run southwards, with a quick pit stop at Norbury.
Approaching Gnosall the tree surgeons were at work on another tree in the same spot that we picked up the wood the other day.
We resisted the temptation to pull over; there’ll be some good wood there for another passing boat.
We pulled in on the VM near the Boat Inn, and had only been tied up 10 minutes when three familiar hounds came trotting up. Lucy, Meg and Molly were followed by Sue and Ann. They’re moored at Cowley, and had a walk through the tunnel to see if we’d arrived.
Look at little Molly in her fleece shawl…
We’ll be stopping here tomorrow, then moving further south for the weekend.
The winter stoppage programme, in which BW publish their maintenance plan, has been thrown into disarray by the Ice Age. The route via the Grand Union Canal that should have been open has now been closed at Calcutt. We’re going to have to revise some plans….
Locks 0, miles 9 (2 days)