Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Washing Done, To Tixall Wide

 A view from our boat while moored near Great Haywood

As the Travel Power needs at least 1200 revs to run correctly I put the washing machine before we moved, putting it on pause at the rinses while we did one lock and headed to the waterpoint at Haywood Junction. The washing machine continued on it's cycle while we filled up with water. It finished before the water tank was full and nobody else was waiting for water.  Other tanks emptied, rubbish disposed off and we were ready to cruise as far as Tixall Wide. 

Eric reversed back from the waterpoint to make the turn to take us onto the Staffs and Worcester Canal to Tixall Wide. Lovely today as there wasn't a wind, just sunshine.

A quick pop to the Canalside  Farm Shop for lovely home grown strawberries,  there's more for you money if you don't mind the less than perfect shapes ......they all taste the same. There's also a butcher in the shop and a Canalside Cafe and a large greenhouse with seasonal  plants for sale.

A Grebe on Tixall Wide

Ducklings galore!

We've been watching the wildlife Coots, Grebes, Canada Geese, Swans and ducklings with their mum so far. Eric took some photos. Early this morning the Wide looked spectacular with mist hanging above the water, my photo didn't come out due to mist on the lens.

Eric dreams! he loves the old boats.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Painting And Polishing!

A shiny boat on one side

Today we stayed put at Great Haywood and Eric started rubbing down and scraping rust off a section of the roof before treating and priming it. I lightly sanded and repainted the back doors and side hatch doors later in the day. Eric then starting polishing one side of the boat as over the winter the colour had faded.

I took Ben and Poppy for a walk on their leads along the towpath which was surprisingly busy with walkers, dog walkers, runners and cyclist. I ended up getting a Sunday paper in Great Haywood. Eric stopped polishing for lunch and then continued as he wanted to finish one side today. He used Craftmaster Carnauba Wax Polish which is good stuff.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Turn Around, Back To Great Haywood

NB Bendigedig winding near Rugeley
We moored at Rugeley  at the railway bridge end thinking we wouldn't be disturbed by the youngsters who sometimes hang about under the humped back bridge near Tesco's. But we had hassle from two lads on a quad bike speeding along the towpath with little regard for me or the dogs on the towpath outside the boat.  luckily they were on leads so I could get them out of the way quickly. Once we were back on the boat they repeatedly went past the boat at speed making hand gestures until it got dark and started to rain. Not many boats moored in Rugeley......perhaps that's why! 

This morning we turned around and we'll slowly head north back the way we came as we have a boat roof to paint, it's in need of lots of tender loving care. Poppy is still with us and she's been a very good girl. We walked with Ben the dog this morning, getting back onboard just as it started raining. Just Colwich Lock to do today and we moored before Great Haywood with views of Shugborough Hall and it's estate. Rather windy here but now the sun is shining so happy days!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Radford Bank To Rugeley.......On The Trent & Mersey Canal

Tixall Lock & Cottage

Tixall Wide was deserted

Entering Colwich Lock
This morning we left Radford Bank, Eric cruising and me walking the dogs until we got back onboard. We had some help at Tixall Lock from waiting boaters. Passing through Tixall Wide was a surprise, it looked deserted with just a few boats at one end. We turned right at Haywood Junction and we're now on the Trent and Mersey Canal.

Two locks today and the second  Colwich Lock was easier to open although  it was hard to shut the top gates as we left. We finally stopped and moored up at Rugeley. The boat is going well and it's good that the oil pressure problem is sorted so we don't have a beeping problem.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

No More Beeps......Fingers Crossed

The beeps on tick over signalling low oil pressure continued to drive us nuts so I rang Beta Marine and spoke to Adrian. He arranged for Chris a Beta engineer to come as soon as he could get to us at Radford Bank, Stafford. A phone call  later to tell us he'd be with us at one pm and to check where we were moored and the boat name. I can't fault  Adrian at Beta or  Chris for speedy and excellent service at no cost to us due to the engine being under warranty.  The engine was checked cold and hot and Chris replaced the sender and hopefully the problem is solved. 

A short cruise today just to Radford Bank  to meet Chris. Later we walked the dogs as far as B&Q on Lichfield Road via the walkway/cycle track into town and bought some scrapers to attack the rust on the boat roof.

This evening we had a meal from the Carvery at The Radford Bank Inn so suitably stuffed we're watching Eastenders. The dogs are asleep.......what a life!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

On The Staffs And Worcester Canal

Leaving Calf Heath

The Round House at Gailey
Just an hour cruising on Tuesday to moor up for shopping at Morrison's in Pendeford. It's a ten minute walk through the little park to Blagdon Road where there is an underpass under the busy road. We had lunch before the worked through the lock at Autherley Junction, then a left turn towards Great Haywood. Dredgers busy on the offside but no holdups and no waiting at the narrows called Pendeford Rockin by the old boatmen. We moored up near Calf Heath as our usual spot by Bridge 74 was full.

This morning Poppy had me up at 7am to go out for wee and a poo. so Ben the dog went out too even though it was raining hard. Who needs an alarm clock? I called them back in and went back to sleep waking two hours later. Today we planned to get to Penkridge or Acton Trussell, which meant loads of locks. We couldn't stop at Penkridge so ended up at Acton Trussell, one of the places far enough away from the noise of the M6 motorway. Of course the sun's out now we've stopped!

Monday, May 16, 2016

The End Of The Shroppie

Ben and Poppy patiently waiting at Wheaton Aston Lock
Today Eric cruised to Wheaton Aston while I walked the dogs once we were  out of the cutting at Rye Hill, I didn't fancy two wet and muddy dogs. First stop was fuel at Turner's (48.7p a litre for domestic), and you tell him the percentage you want. Then under the bridge to use Wheaton Aston Services to fill and empty as required. I walked up to the lock with the dogs and waited for Eric to finish filling up with water. I helped a couple through  as they'd only been through Autherley Lock and were unsure what to do. Eric then came with the boat ready to come up the open lock. A man waiting to come down the lock stayed well back and watched me! We're nearly at the end of the Shropshire Union Canal, Autherley Junction tomorrow then turn left we're heading for Great Haywood on the Staffs and Worcester Canal.