Having achieved what we needed to in Brewood, namely having a better look around and getting into and back from Birmingham, we were ready to move onto achieve our next goal later in the week.
It may appear a relatively carefree roaming existence but there seems to continue to be an awful lot of planning that goes into our life - both for the coming week and for a month ahead.
Living aboard and with predominantly only public transport, you need to be aware of what lies ahead in time and plan on where to be to achieve what you need to achieve.
Well we headed off and there were a few miles of simple cruising ahead; the sun was very nice on the back, but it was a tad coolish in the sheltered areas.
|The aqueduct over the A5 - could do with a coat of paint|
|...and the A5|
|quiet, peaceful and cool in the shaded areas...|
|...and a bit of sun sneaking through|
Diane had once again, this cruising season, offered to do all of the locks today - just the one at Wheaton Aston.
|this fellow opted for a bit of a lift on the boat|
Once I was through the lock and it was clear where I would moor up for the services, Diane helped a hire boat crew understand what needed to be done to get through the lock - this being their first one. They seemed to not have a good understanding, so you really wonder what amount of training and checking of their understanding do they really get before being unleashed on the canals.
On the downside to this was the Diane took it upon herself to help when the guy in the boat behind us, on hearing that they were not sure, just walked off and couldn't be bothered - we all have to learn at some time and it is incumbent upon us all to provide guidance to anyone who is not sure of what to do.
I doubt that he would be reading this but even so, he is what we Australians would call a real p___k.
|Approaching Wheaton Aston Lock|
We were in need of the services block - the water tank needed filling (down below half way) and with two cassettes chockers and the third half full, it would have been legs-crossed time without a chance to do a full empty; the bags of rubbish were starting to pile up as well.
The water pressure was not the strongest, but the tank had filled not long after we had completed the rest of the jobs.
One last thing to be done was to fill the fuel tank which was getting down - we had last filled back in the middle of May at Debdale - half a cruising season since then - just over 6 weeks ago.
As countless boaters before us had done we filled at the Wheaton Aston garage - the price not affecting the wallet as much as it would elsewhere and we were full where we needed to be and empty on the other side of the ledger - the wish of all boaters.
Finally after a couple more miles we moored up for the day just after Bridge 25 in a nice open position with plenty of sun to relax for the rest of the day - tennis and football would be on our minds as well.
|finally moored up|
Have to say we were pretty pleased to see young Nick Kyrgios doing so well with the racquet in defeating Rafa Nadal.
We have noticed how busy the Shroppie has been - boats moving either way; the idea that tickover is something other than slowest possible seems to have permeated through to a great many people travelling past - the straw poll has the hire boaters much better at slowing down than those who are not on a hireboat.
A full day of not moving for Wednesday during which we walked into Church Eaton to have a look around - all we knew was that there was a pub and a church and a school - could have saved the walk really - that was what we found; but it was a pleasant walk there and back and it is a pretty little village.
|This lovely house in Church Eaton|
|and the village hall|
|St. Editha's church|
|not a canal but the walking certainly was in pleasant surrounds|
|the views were lovely as well|
More tennis in the afternoon; I managed to get a lot of work finished and just about finished the book I am reading - an autobiography of Hillary Rodham Clinton - well worth the time spent on it.
So tomorrow we will be heading off, but it won't be very far - part of the master plan.
6 Miles, 1 Lock
Totals: 2622 Miles, 2002 Locks, 90 Tunnels, 32