The plan was to get on the way at 10:30, but everyone was so impatient to get going that we were all up Gailey Lock by then, with only R’n’R to fill with water!
The convoy was under way just after 11:00, with us in the lead. We’d already taken the paint off our fore end moving to Gailey from Penkridge nearly 4 weeks ago, so any ice encountered couldn’t do any more damage. As it was, it was 2 miles before we saw any, and it was all thin and soft, not impeding progress at all.
My, it was good to be on the move again. Looking back, we’d arrived in Penkridge on Friday 5th December, initially to get Meg to the vet for her annual check-up and boosters. We finished up staying till Wednesday 15th as the ice got thicker and thicker.
The slight thaw in the middle of December gave us the opportunity to get to Gailey and join up with Ann and Charles on NB Moore2Life, and George and Carol on NB Rock’n’Roll.
Then the freezing weather closed in again, so we spent Christmas and New Year there.
The steady thaw over the last few days has thinned the ice considerably, giving us the chance to move on.
If the Lichfield and hatherton Canals Restoration Trust have their way, the canal will be restored, and a handy link north of Birmingham reinstated.
After spending so long stationary I’d forgotten how cold it can be on the back of a narrowboat; I lost all feeling in my toes by the time we got to Autherley Junction. A short jog on the spot sorted that out, but Meg was a bit bemused.
The local cattle where surprised to see the novelty of traffic on the canal as well.
Three miles up the Shroppie, now heading north, we pulled over on the good moorings between bridges 7 and 8.
Although it’s been mild, a cool wind has made it feel colder. Still, a few alcoholic beverages soon warmed things up after we’d got tied up.
Locks 2, miles 11 – at last!