Monday, January 09, 2012

Peace and Quiet

After a weekend amidst the bustle of Audlem we decided to head out into the countryside today. BW were quick off the mark, we’re proudly displaying our go (almost) anywhere Gold Licences now.

2012 Gold LicenceSAM_0001 Gold Licence

The Rockers had hired a car for the weekend, so they took Ann and I on a shopping trip to Stafford yesterday. We were able to stock up on heavy items like dog food and spuds, which are difficult to carry any distance.
When we returned to Audlem we dropped all three boats down Lock 12 and moored almost outside the The Shroppie Fly. We were all through and moored up in about 15 minutes, the most activity the village had seen all weekend! It has been really quiet, just 2 or 3 boats on the move each day.

Moored so close to the pub, it seemed churlish not to take advantage of it’s hospitality, so we all piled in there for a few pints and a meal. Very enjoyable it was, too. We were joined by friends of George and Carol who have a boat in Overwater Marina.

The gangDSC00122
Al and Dot are on the far left, the rest you should know….

Audlem Wharf at 11:00 last night.SAM_0004 Audlem Wharf
There’s a very pleasant 40-50 minute circular walk from Audlem, up the locks then returning along tracks and through fields. Descending back into the village there’re are good views of the houses dominated by the impressive church of St James standing on it’s mound.

Looking down on Audlempano Audlem village

Audlem Wharf this morning.SAM_0030 Audlem Wharf

A few last minute bits and pieces from the Co-op and bakery this morning, then we pulled forward to fill and empty the appropriate tanks before dropping down the last three of the Audlem Locks. Ann volunteered to help set up the locks as we were following another boat, so we made short work of them.

Audlem Bottom Lock. No 15.SAM_0034 Audlem L15

Moore2Life and Rock’n’Roll are staying in Audlem another day. They’ll catch us up before Nantwich.

Leaving the village we chatted to a chap walking the towpath with his shopping, him telling us that he’s also got an Orchard Marina boat. I assumed he was from one of the two boats near the winding hole, but he walked past these. I asked him how far he was going and he told me Overwater Marina. So we pulled over and gave him and his groceries a lift. It made it a little easier. The marina is on the off side, so he’d have had to walk up to the next bridge to cross over, then back across a muddy field.

Our passenger for a short while. We were so busy talking I forgot to ask his name! Anyway, happy cruising!SAM_0036 Passenger
The photo looks a bit murky because this is how the weather turned out. After a bright, promising start it turned damp around noon, but did clear up again later.

We didn’t have far to go, pulling in on the SUCS mooring at Coole Pilate.

Coole Pilate moorings.SAM_0039 Coole Pilate
With picnic tables, barbecue stands and a grassy towpath these are popular moorings in the summer. Today we’re on our own here.

After a cup of tea and the compulsory ball session with Meg, I set to dismantling the shower enclosure. We have as leak in one corner, staining the cabinet work. From experience I know that shoving a bit of silicone sealant in the suspect joint is a best a short-term solution, so I removed the bi-fold doors and frame and scraped out the old sealant. I’ll leave it overnight to dry thoroughly before reassembly tomorrow, bedding all the joints on fresh sealant.

No showers for 24 hours – good job we’re on our own! SAM_0004 Shower in bits

We had a fine sunset as the skies started to clear. Red sky at night.....SAM_0049 Sunset

Locks 4, miles 2½

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