Monday, December 08, 2014

By ‘eck, that’s a cold wind!

They say there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. Well, today my four layers were completely inappropriate! Unfortunately we spent most of the trip heading into it, fortunately it wasn’t a long trip. Odd flurries of rain didn’t help. We’d left it it nearly noon, hoping to avoid the morning showers but it was not to be.

We couldn’t leave it any later, we were meeting Tescoman at Hawkesyard mid-afternoon.

Leaving Shade House this morning, it’s not as pleasant as it looks!IMG_2774

Only one lock today, the pretty Woodend Lock.IMG_2775
Following much campaigning, the IWA, C&RT and local supporters have succeeded in diverting the planned route of HS2. It was originally intended to cross the canal just above this lock, then again above Shadehouse Lock, cutting a swathe through Ravenshaw and Fradley Woods.

Not much in the way of photos today, I’m afraid. It was a bit too cold to have my gloves off for long, and the rain made everything look quite gloomy.

A little bit of interest was provided by a turnip harvester alongside the canal near Kings Bromley. He was working at the same pace as us, so I had a good view where the hedge was thin.IMG_2781
When the bin was full a tractor and trailer pulled alongside, a conveyor deployed from the harvester and the load transferred, all without stopping. I wonder how the mechanism sorts out the veg from stones?

On the embankment above the two restaurants, Spode House down near the road, Plum Pudding beside the canal. 

It’s recommended that a crew member be sent ahead to check that the narrows that used to be Armitage Tunnel are clear before proceeding, but I wasn’t going to drag Mags out of the warm cabin, and Meg didn’t seem to understand what I wanted, so I took a chance…IMG_2785
…and it paid off. Not too much of a chance really. We’ve only seen two other boats going the other way today.

We pulled in on the water point at the end of the long-term moorings on the offside, filled with water and waited for the grocery delivery. He arrived about 15:30, and we were in two minds whether to pull across the canal and call it a day, or head in to Rugeley. We took the second option in the end, cruising on in the gathering gloom. We tied up at around half-four, I don’t think we’ve travelled so late for a long time!

We’ll be off again in the morning, heading to Great Haywood. I’ve a quick visit to make to Tesco here to get a few bits that I couldn’t get forgot to order online, then we’ll be away. Diesel and gas at Taft Wharf as we pass.

Locks 1, miles 7

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