We were woken up at eight o'clock by a boat reversing noisily backwards to the waterpoint at Norbury Junction, so we decided to make an early start. By nine it was hot already as I walked with Ben as far as the start of Grub Street Cutting. I couldn't walk any further along this stretch of canal unless I had wellies- the towpath has duckweed. We cruised through cuttings and embankments until we reached Tyrley Wharf. I stayed on the boat because I knew Ben would get the chance to have a walk on the two flights of locks we planned to work down.
Tyrley Locks had paired bottom gates which leaked so badly they were empty even though a boat had just come up the flight of five locks. There is an array of ferns and mosses which flourish in the sandstone cutting at the bottom of Tyrley Locks. theses locks carry the canal down to Market Drayton.We didn't stop at Market Drayton, we just crawled past the enless stream of moored boats.
Finally we reached the top of the five Adderley Locks and Ben and I got off the boat again- me to do the paddles and Ben to explore and find a shady place to lie down as it was so hot. I bought a lovely sponge cake from the canal side stall at the Top Lock- there cup cakes, sponges and loads of free range eggs. So free range that one of the hens was on the lock side.
We had a cuppa and sampled the cake before we cruised a little further and worked down the first two locks of the Audlem flight of fifteen locks to reach Coxbank. Here we moored up on the visitor moorings after seven and a half hours cruising. A busy day for us and it's been so hot, but we're well on our way to reach Ellesmere in time! Tomorrow we've the rest of the Audlem flight to do.