I cannot understand how anyone enjoys this hot weather – even the locals that we have spoken to will be glad to see the end of it.
We dared to spend one last night in Alrewas – it was a lovely mooring and we have left mines in the area so that no-one is mooring there when we come back.
|The correct way to keep an eye on the barbie|
|and the correct way to cook - get someone else to do it|
We have readily opted for the Manly Ferry cruising options – start very early and moor up early – we certainly do – before it gets too hot – problem was that on the first day of this new regime the skipper had re-prioritised the day to becoming as dehydrated as quickly as possible whilst walking a ridiculously long way.
|do you think they want us to go left?|
|not that way on this river section|
|this looked a rather narrow bridge hole - it took a little while to |
realise that the towpath wasn't there
|the mother-in-law was with us in effigy|
|a bloody armada of geese - about to attack en masse|
On our approach to
Well firstly the shopping precinct was almost 2 miles away; secondly the temperature was over 25C and getting hotter; thirdly she didn’t confine it to just the supermarket but expanded to anywhere that was likely to sell a smallish folding rotary clothes line; fourthly she went without suitable headwear.
When she returned after 3 hours it was a fatigued beetroot that struggled aboard and then flopped into the lounge – but as she would say – she had achieved – I just think that the 2 gallons of milk on special was a step too far.
After the ice bath and sitting in front of the air conditioning – read that as a bit of a breeze blowing through the boat which was in the shade, she recovered somewhat – very silly girl is that wife of mine.
I was ok throughout all of this – sensibly I volunteered to look after the boat and the dog and get some work completed.
We re-entered the movement on the canal system and carried on northwards seeking more shade in which to moor up – sadly we didn’t find any that was well clear of both busy road and rail – ending finally at Willington on a mooring outside the pub and in full sunshine.
Someone managed to sleep very well that night.
The following day, in order to beat the heat again, we set off early; quick rubbish drop-off; a pumpout and diesel top-up at Mercia Marina – and a chandlery cruise and buy.
This time we found a suitable mooring in the shade at Hill Farm – the focus of attention after that being to setup the washing line and begin utilising it immediately.
|proud owner of a new washing line - she could have waited|
until Xmas - now what will i get her
|even the cows knew how to cool off - shade and cool water|
|Banjo was feeling the heat more than us|
This section of the canal was showing signs of being much like the Macclesfield and
The locks changed from singles to doubles and the depth from “can see the bottom” to “canyons with echoes”.
We moved along and at Weston Lock we found the friendly CaRT guys working the locks there had been a minor breech around bridge 13 which was now repaired, but a gate left opened further down overnight had caused some serious water loss with some boats moored up now being on the bottom.
So a little bit of water was needed to be let through – we must say that there was no delay for anyone moving down – they had been on the job early and saved the situation – why aren’t these guys better looked after by the people running CaRT.
We carried on – carefully staying in the centre and occasionally scraping the bottom and on trying to exit from Aston Lock we found ourselves not progressing at all – stuck in the lock – the level of the pound was down too far to give us clearance over the bottom cill. The lockie opened the gate paddles and we literally were surfing out of the lock on the waves.
Our companions in this lock and the final one were returning after their eight days away from wives and seemingly not looking forward to being under management control again, but they were able to help us immensely with directions to where we needed to be – Lockgate Stoves.
A discussion followed by an inspection of the boat; measurements followed; more discussion; more options; pricing; more discussion; checking at the heater options; on and off the boat on a rickety pontoon and a final decision arrived at.
The end result which needs just a finalisation of the total cost means that the installation will be about 40% of what we had previously been quoted and it will all be done within a day – just could not believe it – how nice to get good pricing and being told that what we thought was possible could actually be done.
Only thing will be is that we need to bring the boat back again towards the end of August (we have a booked time on this) and we will need to look after the calcium silicate boards and tiling ourselves – the rest will be looked after by Lockgate Stoves.
The only price we are waiting for is for a stainless steel diesel tank.
We could not be happier at the moment.
Still very hot here so we were happy to find a mooring spot in the shade and allowed the boat to cool down – afterall it had been out in the full sun whilst all of the heater stuff was being sorted out.
|the final marker...|
|... and the basin|
A side note – the shuddering noise that had been a worry to us appears to be the effect of the engine revs being too low – we have upped the stationery revs and this has sorted it out – we still feel it marginally sometimes but it is only when the revs drop down too low – this may be the effect of a worn governor – we will keep an eye on that for the future.
23 Miles, 11 Locks
Totals: 1915 Miles, 1406 Locks, 61 Tunnels, 29