Sunday, 23 December 2012

Weekend cruising

Friday 21st December to Sunday 23rd December 2012

5 Miles, 10 Locks for this period

Totals: 1441 Miles, 1170 Locks, 46 Tunnels, 24 Lift Bridges, 96 Swing Bridges

It wasn’t Planes, Trains and Automobiles these few days – more like walk, cruise and drive – the arrival of my eldest daughter Rebecca was a much anticipated event and we were there (just a little late due to traffic) to pick her up from Stafford station.

I am very glad that she packs light – well at least I would have been pleased if that was the case – I am sure that there will be a few airport workers off with crook backs after lifting this case.

It was nice to drive around for a change – we have the car for over two weeks as we have a bit of travelling to get through – certainly a busy week coming up.

The last time that Bec was with us was October last year (2011) and it was a particularly windy and unpleasant time and so we didn’t get to do any cruising, so this time we couldn’t and wouldn’t put it off again – that was despite the forecast for more rain – and so it came to pass that in a heavy drizzle we set off from the mooring for the short cruise up to Stone – a few locks to be done – Bec handle the first one without any problems and then showed that she has some talent with her handling of the boat up to Star Lock – only relinquishing control when we approached some moored boats.
That's Bec on the right

We moored above Star Lock and as I returned from the marina with the car, Diane was chatting away with Maffi (nb The Milly M) – he was in the process of moving up through the lock to “drier” moorings – I think that they are all pretty well soaked wherever there is grass next to the boat.

In the midst of this there was a shout from Barry on Winton’s Folly on the town side (24 hour moorings) – I had to reassure him that we were not spying on he and Carol after they had left the marina yesterday for a couple of days out – they had not long moved onto the mooring before we had come along.

It was interesting to note that on these same 24 hour mooring we saw that nb Sir Thomas Brocklebank was still in the same place that we had seen them over the last few weeks – mmm not bad for 24 hour limit – and all of this despite the fact that just above the next lock there is an allocated mooring for the boat – so in reality taking up two mooring places – why wouldn’t CaRT be moving them along. The word is that they are looking to get a licence to operate their business from this spot – thus removing it from the use of other boaters.

Diane and I had been so impressed with the Dog and Doublet last weekend that we had to return for an afternoon tea repeat – still very good, only this time we couldn’t finish – so the napkins were well used taking care of the chocolate cake and scones that we couldn’t quite demolish.
A dose of soaking light rain was just the trick

It did dry out later - Bec showed the skills that many novices
would like

During the first part of the cruise Bec’s iPhone was in the pocket of her wet-weather gear and it seems to have picked a bit of moisture. So we tried some “home-made remedy/recipe to see if it helps – half a cup of rice and an iPhone.
Are you sure about that recipe - some of the
ingredients are just not mixing in

Both Bec and Diane are Strictly fans so for me it was a rather quiet evening – they were in the lounge watching the TV and this left me to get some work done and walk the dog – the weather at 9pm was so nice – over 10C and a stroll along the High street showed the restaurants were all full; the pubs were full and everyone was having a good time.
Getting ready for "Strictly"
Sunday was a perfect day for this time of the year – in fact it really was a bit warm – very unusual for this time of the year.

Firstly we were off to rise up through the remaining three locks and wind – we then moored up on the off-side in front of the new estate – no we weren’t really being that naughty – Lynn and Phil from nb Valentine had phoned and we were popping in for a cuppa and a catch up chat – it is always so very good to see them both and they were both well (for all intents and purposes).

Then we were off again to go back down the locks and to the marina – Bec was again doing a fine job of steering; Diane was the observer and I was on lock duty again.

After the Star Lock I left them to bring the boat back down whilst I headed back to the marina with the car.

It seems that the canal resembled summer traffic for a short while as there were a number of boats on the move – one of these was going way too fast for being anywhere near moored boats and as Ferndale passed this boat the bow was very strongly pulled in behind the passing boat meaning that the stern swung widely and hit nb Mallard – Diane apologised profusely to the owner who was justifiably upset about being hit – so if you happen to be reading this we are sorry about the accident, but most of this blame does lie with the other boat and its speed.

Have a chat with Hayden on nb Tinker as he knows the boat was travelling too fast.

When she arrived at Aston Lock where I had been waiting in readiness, Diane was still very upset about the whole thing for as it was mostly out of her full control.

Yelling at anyone after these incidents does not help the situation – at least wait until you hear the facts before going off the deep end and if you don’t yell you might hear the sincerity of the apology.

Anyway through the lock and back into the marina; a little bit of wind and another reversal into the mooring spot without incident.

Within about 15 minutes we were all moored up; replugged into the electricity and everything else completed – we almost have it down to a fine art.

Bec was very concerned about her iPhone as it picked up a bit of water on Saturday when in her pocket whilst it was raining – it simply isn’t working at all and we will need to get to an Apple outlet to see what can be done.


  1. When a phone gets wet DO NOT attempt to see if it is still working. Simply take the battery out, take the sim card out and put it in an el cheapo from Tescos. Then shove it completely in a bag of rice. Then stick it on the mantle piece or very close to the fire for days, three maybe four or five. Most important only ever buy a NOKIA, they tend to survive dunking very well.

  2. Thanks Maffi - phone was an iPhone and didn't respond to the rice treatment, but did respond to being put into a plastic ziplock bag with calcium chloride chips (the dehumidifying solids from the permeable bag) and the phone was put into a measuring cup to keep it away from the CaCl2 and managed to dry it out enough to then be able to extract information form it - it has had to be replaced anyway but the important stuff was saved.
    It wasn't my phone - but like you i have a Nokia and i don't take it with me when i am cruising.