Clear skies last evening led to a rapid drop in temperature as the sun went down, but they afforded good views of the rising full moon.
We seem to have dropped back to our usual 10-ish start after a few days of earlier departures.
Understandably it was pretty busy through the locks in Stone, at least for a start. Several boats had passed by the time I’d got back from the Co-op and we were ready to go, and so we joined a short queue at the first lock, Lime Kiln.
Lime Kiln Lock, Fuller’s Boatyard on the left
Boats coming both ways meant quicker passage, NB Windsong was the boat ready to come up at Newcastle Road.
Pip and Roger, NB Windsong, finally caught up with them!
Once again it was a fleeting meeting as we waited for the lock to fill. Someday we’ll have a proper chat!
Below Newcastle Road Lock the hotel boats Duke and Duchess were having loo tanks emptied…
…the tanker appropriately painted in a Winnie the Pooh theme!
Meg needed to find a bit of shade as we worked down Yard Lock…
Mags heading for the last lock through Stone, Star Lock, named for the adjacent pub.
Either side above here are the premium moorings in the town, easy access for the town from here. This morning there was space for maybe three more boats but there’ll be taken now.
We pulled over to use the water tap below Star Lock, close to the Oatcake Boat, aka NB Che Sara, Sara.
Now, I’d never tried a Staffordshire Oatcake before, assuming they were biscuit-like. But I thought, give it a go, and I’m a convert! Oat-based pancakes with bacon and cheese filling, wow!
A trio of young sparrows was doing just what youngsters enjoy – playing in the mud!
Moving out of town, chewing appreciatively, we turned up at our last lock for today, Aston Lock.
The steeple of St. Saviours Church, Aston-by-Stone
A close look at the milepost alongside the lock reveals…
..we’re at the halfway point on the Trent and Mersey Canal.
Halfway in mileage, but two thirds of the way through the 76 locks.
A 2½ mile cruise through the delightful Trent valley took us to just above Sandon Lock where we winded and moored. I can get the second coat of black paint on the left side here, then we’ll turn around again to continue our downhill trip to Shardlow.
A flock of gulls rise screaming from feeding grounds along the river…
..and start to mob a pair of cruising buzzards.
Sorry, fuzzy picture and fluff on the lens again! But one of the buzzards is easy to spot.
Even easier to spot was a hunting sparrowhawk (I think), looking for lunch.
Sunday lunch on the hoof..
Moored near Sandon
We’ll probably stay here for the weekend, then move down to Great Haywood on Monday. Tuesday we’ll be at Taft Wharf, we’ve got our Boat Safety Examination booked there for Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning. Cheap diesel, too.
Tom, thanks for the info, watch this space... Do you think they used stretcher or Flemish bond?
Locks 5, miles 5