Saturday, 13 September 2014

A little naughty, but needs must....

Our overnight mooring was just south of bridge 35 in Gnosall.  We did not have that early a start as we were not anticipating going any further than Autherley.  So after showering and preparing yet another wash load, it was pram hood down, aerial off and we were ready to go bar casting off.

All of a sudden we heard the roar of an engine accompanied by shouting.  Appearing under bridge 35 came the bow of a Norbury day boat.  Now normally, we would have let a boat pass us before casting off, but the prospect of following this one down some narrow sections saw us cast off and pull out when they were some 100 yds behind us.  Yes, I did feel guilty, but I am glad we did get away and going.  We slowly passed the moored boats, with the day boat rapidly gaining on us.  Norbury obviously give no instruction on passing moored boats!

Brings a new meaning to 'roof garden'! 

Once through the rather short but pretty Cowley tunnel, we were  able to make a little gain on them, until we slowed for moored boats and they didn't.  This continued for a mile or so until we reached Turnover bridge when they misjudged the angle of the bridge and became wedged.  At High Onn bridge we spied a second day boat which had turned and moored, the crew well into alcoholic beverages.  Our boat then turned, or tried to, ramming the bank as boats tried to pass heading north and south.  Peace at last...

Whilst it was again warm, it was mainly cloudy.  We bimbled into Wheaton Aston, not requiring fuel seemed a waste, as this is the cheapest place on the system.  Then onto the extensive services moorings, with four water points. Topped and emptied, then Ali walked up to the lock.  By this time we were third in the queue, but it was busy with traffic in both directions, so soon up and away.

This has to be one of the smallest narrowboats??

A few miles on and we passed through Brewood ( pronounced Brood ).  It was quieter than the last time we visited, with less permanent moorers and vacant visitor moorings.  No need to stop, so on we went.  The S.U. moorings just south of bridge 8 were busy, but space was not best utilised as each boat had at least two rings between them.  No sharing a ring and making best use of space here.  As we were carrying on, not a problem, but why, oh why do people do this?

At Autherley junction, we negotiated the stop lock and turned right onto the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal.  The first mooring was free, so we were in and tied up for the day. 

Tomorrow we are hitting Birmingham.....

So yes, we were a little naughty, but, "Non, je ne regrette rien", as the song goes!

Lone fishermen?  All three in the field as we passed

Miles 13.5
Locks 2
Tunnel 81 yds.

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