Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Quite a day to remember!

Well it was just that, for entirely different reasons. The planned early start just did not materialise, in no small way due to the fact that it was 1 am before we retired last night. Still, up at 0730 and away for 0830 so not too late.

Typically, as we untied and made ready to move the short distance to the first lock of the day,  a boat appeared behind us and beat us to it. Ali assisted them down and another was waiting to come up. This rather set the pattern for the day, in that for the first time this year we have had to queue at nearly every lock albeit only behind one boat. Makes a change to see so many boats moving. ( Tis all the "Silvertops" leaving the marinas now the kid's are back at school methinks!)


Anyway, we were soon at Fradley junction, down the locks and onto the service point. Job done we then headed down to Alrewas. It was warm, but cloudy for most of the day. I am really liking this section and we now entered new territory. As we approached Alrewas whom should we spot lurking under a bridge but Comfortably Numb and the butty Echo. Richard was polishing what already looked a very shiny pair of boats and we exchanged greetings as we passed. They really should leave the marina more often!!!!!

We managed to find a nice mooring spot below the lock near bridge 48 and as we tied up, Richard and Ruth stopped for a chat. Hard to believe that we last met in Stoke Bruene. We had decided to walk to the National arboretum outside of the village. I had visited last year whilst Ali went on a shopping trip and she was keen to visit. It is a bit of a trek for a crock like me, but worth the effort. Crossing the A38 being akin to playing chicken!

It is well worth visiting, very moving and memorable. The number of service personnel who have lost their lives since the last great war is staggering.

RAF Memorial

Falklands Memorial

Bevin Boys memorial

ATS Memorial
Walking back to the boat through the village we just had to visit the marvellous butchers and so left there with lighter pockets but some good produce. Highly recommended.

The bottom lock at Alrewas drops down onto the river section for a short while. The water is clear and somewhat deeper. We set off down river at a steady pace, rounded a right hand gentle bend and began crossing the weir, which is protected from the unwary by large floats chained together. As we were halfway across I could see that the navigation turned left at the weirs end and as we approached I became suddenly aware of the bow of a boat travelling at speed, who was obviously not going to negotiate the bend and was heading towards us. I reversed and watched said boat bounce off the barrier across the weir and then head straight for us. Luckily my reversing had taken effect and the boat then straddled the bend. Now this was a Canaltime boat and I expected to see that the crew were young and probably drunk.  The former certainly was not true as both the gents on the rear deck must have been in their 70's, as to the latter, who knows. That was the closest we had come to disaster all year, if not in my entire boating experience. To say I was not impressed is perhaps an understatement! My voice has yet to recover from shouting at the stupid eejits.
Well this company;s website does say " A surprise around every corner" so I suppose they were living up to the hype!

Just before the incident!

Dallow Lane Lock

Crossing the River Dove

Keeping a watchful eye out

I think we both took a little time to recover from near disaster, but we pressed on through the rather pleasant suburbs of Burton upon Trent and then out once again into rather pleasant countryside. The late afternoon and early evening, as yesterday, was the best part of the day. The sun came out and we cruised basking in the rays. We really had to get TV tonight as the "Great British Bake off" was on for Ali, followed by "New Tricks" for me. Managed to find a brill mooring, TV good, only prob, about five yards from the railway, but hey ho.  True to our promise to try to make the Beacon gathering, we are now moored in Willington.

So really quite a day to remember, for very different reasons!

Miles 15.5
Locks 14


  1. Dave had to do this section on his own as I had gone to see my mum and he said I would not have liked the weir .Met him back at Alrewas and he had found us a lovely mooring spot for the weekend

  2. see you back in the marina enjoy your weekend
    Ruth and Richard


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