Friday, October 04, 2013

Mercian mooring

After a day off yesterday we moved the 1½ miles to Mercia Marina and our berth for a long weekend.

It was a day off cruising, but I got the oil and filter changed on the engine. I was going to do the gearbox oil as well, but by the time I’d done the engine the afternoon showers had come on so I called it quits. With a trad. stern I could have shut the slide and carried on, but it’s a bit dark and warm if you try that. I’ll get it done this weekend. The old gearbox oil goes in a bottle to use for chainsaw lubrication…

We had a knock on the boat at 6 o’clock last night. A chap was bringing his boat up Stenson Lock when his windlass spun off the paddle spindle, hit him on the side of the head and disappeared down the bywash. Of course, he didn’t have a spare, so he was asking for some help.
The boat was maybe 20 feet, a fibreglass cruiser with a 5hp outboard. As we finished filling the lock I had a poke about in the bywash channel with my Seasearcher magnet, to no avail. He told me that he’d bought the boat in Wakefield and was heading for Birmingham. So he’d come through the huge locks on the South Yorkshire Navigations, up the tidal and non-tidal Trent, through Nottingham and up this far on the T&M. And frankly, how he’d managed that is a miracle. He really didn’t have a clue. Or any maps.
I pointed him in the direction of Willington and Midland Chandlers at the marina here, so he could get himself another windlass. Luckily he’d no more locks between there and here. He happily puttered off into the gathering gloom, nursing his sore head.

We left Stenson this morning, waiting for the overnight showers to ease before setting off.

Bridge 20 was badly damaged by a tractor and trailer in 2008. This news report from the time. As a Grade II listed structure it had to be rebuilt to the original standard, but did the arch really have this distinct lean to the right?SAM_6600
It’s not clear from the pictures on the news coverage. Anyway, it looks good, you just have to keep your head down when walking the towpath….

Our intrepid traveller of last evening will have had a result when he arrived at Midland Chandlers this morning; he’d have got a cheap windlass!SAM_6604

Into Mercia MarinaSAM_6605
We’re in sunshine, but those clouds look a bit threatening.

The showers started again this afternoon, but by then we were tucked up on Avocet pier, aerial up and plugged in to shore power.

I went off and collected our hire car from Enterprise in Burton, then caught the tail end of an aerobatic boat display.

NB Iron Maiden safely grounded on the road trailerSAM_6606

The tractor unit is a fair beast!

We’ll be here till Tuesday. A trip up to Yorkshire on Monday for Mags to see the Doc for part 2 of her annual MOT will also allow us to pick up the mail and catch up on the gossip.

Locks 0, miles 1½


Bruce in Sanity said...

Hi Geoff

We're out for the weekend as you possibly know, but we'll try and look in tomorrow afternoon when we get back!

All the best


Carol Ives said...

Aw look there are the Aqua narrow boats. I hire one of those Aqua Bwyd Lovely boats, far better than the last hire company on the Shroppie. :-)