Friday, October 14, 2011

Dawdling along.

After a couple of days at Alrewas it was time to move on. Although we’re in no rush, planning to be at Shardlow by the end of the month, we don’t like to stay in one place too long.

I spent yesterday cutting and fitting acrylic sheets to add secondary glazing to the saloon windows. I’m not sure how effective it’ll be, but if we can avoid last winter’s ice on the inside of the windows in the mornings, it’s got to be a bonus. I've still some work to do, but they'll be ready for the cold weather.
Not that we needed it today. After a cool start it’s been a warm sunny day. Tee shirt and shorts the suitable apparel for the weather.

We were ready to move out soon after 10, but then a boat hove into view, heading past us towards Bagnall Lock. Then another. And another….. It was an hour later when we actually got into the lock. Fradley moorings must have been empty by then!

Finally into Bagnall Lock

Through Alrewas, (giving way to a boat in the opposite direction at every bridge) and we pulled over to fill the water tank above Alrewas Lock.

Waiting for a Shakespeare Line hire boat to come through Bridge 46

NB Polly has a shortened riveted iron hull.  Bet she’s some tales to tell…

By the time our tank was full the queue for Alrewas Lock had cleared, so we were able to drop straight down onto the short section of River Trent.

Out of Alrewas Lock onto the river.

The canal builders generally didn’t like to incorporate lengths of natural watercourse into the navigations. Prone to variable water levels they could (and do!) close the canal during wet weather. The advantage however is a good supply of water to feed the locks without having to build expensive reservoirs. James Brindley, chief engineer of the Trent and Mersey Canal, (although he preferred the title “The Grand Trunk”), likened water in a river flowing downhill to a furious giant running along and overturning everything; whereas (said he) "if you lay the giant flat upon his back, he loses all his force, and becomes completely passive, whatever his size may be."

The river comes into the navigation a little below the lock, and the main volume leaves it again only a couple of hundred yards downstream, over a large weir.

Alrewas Weir.

It’s nearly a mile of delightful river before the artificial cut is regained at Wychnor Lock.

Awkward turn under Cow Bridge on the river section.

St. Leonards, Wychnor

Mags waiting for Wychnor Lock

The water level indicator, alongside the bow, is well into the green (safe) zone.

After this lock there’s a 2 mile almost straight section, with the noisy A38 running alongside.

The extensive Barton Turns Marina is on this straight.

Bridge 36 must be the narrowest on the network….

We caught up with the queue again at Tatenhill Lock. Two boats were waiting to go down in front of us.

Queuing for Tatenhill Lock.
Aren’t we there yet, Dad?

We pulled over at Branston Water Park, just in front of NB Sanity Again. Bruce and Sheila joined us for a brew and a chat before we settled for the rest of the afternoon.
I reckon we’ll have a short cruise through Burton tomorrow, tying up somewhere out of the way for Sunday.

The new camera seems to be acquitting itself well, although I’ve not yet come to terms with all it’s features.

The zoom is good, this guy was preening in the shrubbery on the opposite side of the canal.

Locks 5, miles 5¼

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