Monday, December 15, 2014

A fine day’s cruise to Gailey.

We should have moved out of Penkridge yesterday, but I thought I’d give Mags the chance to have a lie in as long as she wanted. She’s feeling a lot better, now, a lot of the soreness has eased. I also wanted a quiet day. I’d got a little lost on my morning run and ended up doing 11½ instead of 10 miles. I was feeling a little weary by the time I got back.

So it was around half-ten when we cast off from the visitor moorings opposite Tom’s Moorings.

Leaving Penkridge

Mags is still banned from the tiller, so I was single-handing again.

There’s one more lock actually in the village, then the canal winds out of the built-up area to pass the large Otherton Boat Haven.IMG_2844

It’s here that the sound of the M6 becomes audible over the engine. After Otherton Lock the canal and motorway run parallel for ¾ mile.

Alongside the motorway.IMG_2846
Just after the above was taken we were reversing to pick up some logs I’d spied in the towpath hedge. I only got three, with the shallow sides I had to use the plank to get across and it was a bit precarious. I didn’t want to push my luck in light of recent events…

Approaching Rodbaston Lock I saw a chap ahead on the lockside. I couldn’t tell if he was  a boater coming down when he drew the lower paddles, but then I was beckoned in. It was only when we were going under the tail bridge that I recognised him – it was Paul Balmer, last met when he helped us through the locks to Star City, around Birmingham.
He was out checking for any inaccuracies on his canal guides, today from Wolverhampton to Stafford.

Paul, Mags and Meg at Rodbaston Lock IMG_2847
Unfortunately it was a bit of a flying visit; he was going in the opposite direction. Still, it was good to see him again. And if you’re wondering what to buy boating friends for Christmas…

Another two locks, the delightfully named Boggs, and then Brick Kiln, saw us below Gailey Lock and our planned destination for today.

Looking back over Staffordshire from Brick Kiln LockIMG_2850

We didn’t pull up to the moorings below the lock, instead mooring in a sunny spot about a ¼ mile short. It’s quieter here.

At just over 2 hours it’s been an easier day than the last time we did this self-same trip. Exactly 4 years ago we broke ice to get here, to join Moore2Life and Rock’n’Roll.

Mags has been mithering to get on the tiller again today, but I said no. If she’s feeling up to it she can do Gailey Lock in the morning. That and the Stop Lock at Autherley are the only ones tomorrow.

Hi Steve, Angela. Yes, you’re right. Anyway, even if it happens there’s not a lot we can do about it, eh?

Locks 5, miles 2½

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