Saturday, January 18, 2014

Communications black hole in Market Drayton

We arrived in Market Drayton about half past twelve as planned, and moored up just north of Bridge 62. We’ve not stopped here before, but it’s just beyond the services so the plan was to pull back a boat’s length in the morning to fill with water and dispose of waste.

But when I set the aerial up we couldn’t get a signal, no matter where I tried. Then  switched on my Wi-fi dongle to be treated to a red indicator on the incoming signal monitor.

We moved 200 yards south of the bridge and bingo! everything came on again. You wouldn’t think such a short distance would make that much difference. We’ll know not to stop there again….

We set off this morning at around 10:45, the showers had eased to a drizzle then stopped, so we took a chance and got going.

Heading up Adderley LocksSAM_7849

Our chance paid off; the rain stayed away until I’d got back from a shopping trip in town.

We met another boat coming down (the only one today) so the top three locks were empty, making it easier and quicker. In fact we reached the top 55 minutes after pulling pins.

Passing between Locks 4 and 3SAM_7850
Mags is hanging back so the boats don’t pass at the powerful bywash.

Adderley Top Lock

From here it was a steady three miles to the town. Passing through Betton Wood I caught a glimpse of a buzzard crossing the canal in front of the boat, but it disappeared across the fields to the west. It must have come back around though, or else it’s partner was behind us a couple of minutes later, it’s distinctive call clearly heard.

Under the by-pass bridge into Market Drayton.SAM_7855

The towpaths are still very muddy, Meg is soaking it up like a sponge. Until we get to a cleaner stretch of canal we’re just having to live with it. I get as much off as I can with a towel, then brush a bit more off when she’s dried. She’ll need a good scrub in the shower when I get the chance.

Locks 5, miles 3¾

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