Saturday, 27 July 2019

WaL days 7 and 8 ... one long and one longer!

Day 7 ...
We left our mooring above Longford Lock, Penkridge at 8:45 on Wednesday (24th) with me at the tiller and George on lock duty.
This is me approaching Penkridge Lock the first of seven to do today
 Filance Lock next just a few minutes away where a boat is waiting to go down so we don't need to close the gates here and George can walk on to the next one ...
 Otherton where a boat was coming down and one in front of us also waiting to go up
It took nearly half an hour for the boats ahead to clear and for us to ascend the lock where the family above had helped with opening and closing the gates.
Not seen these before.

Ten minutes later we meet a long line of competing anglers and I drop George off to set Rodbaston Lock. Once through there Bogg's Lock and Brick Kiln Lock come in quick succession ...

and I'm approaching the last lock of the day at Gailey.

We need to stop here for a pump-out for the toilet system (sorry if that's too much information!) and to top up the fresh water tank.

To pull alongside the services as we left the lock and the top gate had been closed we had to bow-thrust What a Lark about 120 degrees to our left leaving the stern close to the gate.   

We could have done with another 6" of space to get WaL in comfortably but at least the hose would now reach the emptying point.  
Some unusual views of Gailey Wharf and what used to be the Lock Keeper's Tower an icon of the area.
This is how close WaL's stern was to the top of Gailey Lock!
 Our cruise to Gailey this morning through 7 locks took us uphill by 63½' in 7½ miles and including the time at the  pump-out and filling with water took 4 hours.

But the day is not over yet ...

There are no locks for the next part of our journey and George took over the tiller while I sat in the bow with my feet up watching the canal world go by and taking pictures (as I do!)

Leaving Gailey was slow past both moored and moving boats

We were soon passing the Chemical Works at Four Ashes where signs warn boaters not to stop or moor for 200 yards even if alarms are sounding ... scary stuff!

Long Moll's Bridge 76 ... I wonder who Moll was and what her connection to the canal was?
Passing Calf Heath Marina where the bridge informs boaters 
'This way to Autherley' ... that'll be for us then.
Old Grand Union Canal Carrying Company workboat but no indication of name of registration number

I'm thoroughly enjoying the views from the bow

Youngster having fun learning about team work.  They were each holding their paddle in front of them and had to move in a stated direction letting go of their own paddle and catching the next one before it falls ... I could hear lots of laughter as we passed them by.

Neat buildings as we pass through Slade Heath Railway Bridge.

The notice says Schipperkes ('little captain') the traditional barge dogs of Belgium's Low Countries.

Nearly there ...
Our mooring for the night ...
within a very short walking distance of The Anchor pub (which we've always know as the Fox and Anchor) ... 
and of course it would have been rude not to ...
'English Countryside' gins with lavender and cucumber'

a lovely end to what's been a long (6 hours) but lovely day.

Day 8 ...

was the hot one!

Even with the fan going inside What a Lark the temperature was reading 37° and outside it was 34 ... far too hot for me!

We stayed inside in the shade of the trees edging the cutting of our mooring (navigation that is cut through high ground instead of building locks to go over the top) doing very little and enjoying the hour spent with our youngest grandson Ed and his girlfriend Pip who called in to say hello.

Tomorrow is set to much cooler ... I certainly hope so.


Vallypee said...

What a lovely post! I’ll have to catch up with the previous days as we’ve been away too. I love that you’re on a narrowboat holiday. Home from home. Do you do much steering on Still Rocking?

Carol said...

Thanks for you're comment Val,

I hope that you've had as good a time 'away' as we're having.

No, I don't do much steering on Still Rockin', it has a wheel and I much prefer a tiller and I don't feel confident in taking SR into a lock and lassoing a bollard from the stern on the Thames.

But on a narrowboat I've always steered into the locks, in fact I'm much better than George on the tiller on the canals! (He will freely admit that!). So it's all mine just now .... lovely!

Vallypee said...

Wonderful that it’s your turn now! I know Jill Budd feels the same. Maybe a tiller would suit me better too :)

Carol said...

I don't know why it is Val, after all steering with a wheel is just like a car yet to me and perhaps to Jill too the tiller seems more intuitive.

Oakie said...

So it was you two on What a Lark! I was reading Seyellas Journey and saw your names come up, but pics were not bright enough to see you precisely. Are you having twinges of regret or just a period of deja vu? Stronghold is presently at Suttons; The Greyhound and the weather being a good reason to stay for a while longer!

Carol said...

Yes Ray it was us! Lisa and David who own What a Lark are on our boat on the Thames for a couple more weeks. We don't regret having a wide beam but we do miss the variety on the canals.

Hazel Nickisson said...

Hi Carol. Looks like you are having a wonderful time. You mentioned the Belgium barge dogs (can't spell the name), did you know that we used to have one called 'Nipper of harnorth' or Nipper for short. Dad got him as a pup from Aunty Gerry who had the Mum if I remember called darkie. Aunty Vera also had a pup I think the same time as us called Jane. Thanks for reminding me. Keep afloat. Hazel

Carol said...

Hi Hazel, I remember Aunty Vera's dog Jane and every time we've passed that house I've thought of her and Jane but didn't feel that this story was for the blog ...

When Aunty Vera took Jane for a walk she'd often call in at our house and the first thing she always did was to take Jane into the downstairs toilet to wipe her bum! As kids we used to think this was hilarious! She never brought a little bag of poo though to put in the bin! I didn't know about Auntie Gerty having the mum and you have the sister. I remember Jane as a lovely dog.

Thanks for your comment, it's good to know that someone out there reads the rubbish I write!