Wow, there’re lots of boats about! Almost every bridge, every blind bend leads to a close encounter.
We cruised into Rugeley yesterday morning after I put a final coat on the right side handrail.
The new offside moorings near the Trent aqueduct are finally being used. I think they’re quite useful, but a little too far from the town centre for shopping.
The chap who has a home-made Gatso camera pointing at passing boats has now added an enforcement option…
The moorings around Bridge 66 were busy but we managed to squeeze in near the bridge, in the “crumple zone” where boats would have to pause to give way to oncoming traffic.
I wasn’t long, a trip to the well-stocked DIY shop then Morrison’s and we were on our way again.
We were running a wash load so I wanted to fill up the water tank, and we took the opportunity at the end of the permanent moorings at Hawkesyard. There’s a gravel access track from the road past the water point, and it got me thinking. I’d shopped at Morrison’s, but only for fresh meat and veg. My wine rack has taken a caning recently, and we could do with some beer and more canned dog food. All heavy stuff to carry.
We pulled across to moor on the towpath side and I set to to get a postcode for a Tesco delivery. That done I placed an order, not a huge one but concentrating on items best carried in a van rather than on my back.
The delivery was scheduled for between 11 and 12 today, so we stopped opposite the water point overnight, quite noisy with traffic from the close A road for a start, but quieter later.
After my morning run, breakfast and Meg’s walk, I reckoned I had time to get the last coat of red on the left handrail. I had just 6 feet to go when the Tesco van arrived on the opposite side of the canal, at 20 to 11! So I had to break off, push over the canal to collect the delivery, then back to finish off.
After finishing the painting, then putting away the groceries and having a bite to eat, we were ready to go at 12:30. Just along from here is the narrow section which used to be Armitage Tunnel, opened out shortly after construction, but now partially roofed over again by the road bridge.
I tagged on the end of a convoy of boats, so I didn’t have to check for oncoming boats, but we all had to wait while several others come the other way.
Waiting at Armitage “Tunnel”
Our turn through the narrows.
We made our way slowly through the bendy, sometimes narrow section through Handsacre, taking care on the blind bends. The chap behind had no such qualms and regularly ran right up behind us. He can’t have been in a rush, we lost him when he moored near The Crown at Bridge 58.
We passed NB Tailwind a little further on, the home of The Little Chimney Company. The butty is the workshop where the chimneys are made.
Made from stainless steel the chimneys aren’t cheap, but will last a lot longer than the conventional mild steel ones. I think we’ve gone through 4 of these in the last 7 years. Might be a good investment if we see them further down the cut.
We intended to moor near Bridge 55, but these moorings on Armco were, unsurprisingly, full, so pulled in on a bit of rough bank a hundred yards further on, near Kings Bromley Marina.
Moored near Kings Bromley
We’re on pins here, and I’ve had to re-set them once already with all the boats going past. Only here overnight, though. On to the mayhem at Fradley Junction tomorrow. I wonder if we’ll get a mooring there???
Locks 0, miles 3½