“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men. Gang aft a-gley” as Rabbie Burns wrote!
Monday 4th July – Fazeley
Our plan was to continue our cruise to The Lime Kilns Inn near Hinkley for our Golden Wedding celebration, but a ‘Stoppage Notice’ from CRT advised that “We are currently experiencing low water levels on the Ashby Canal”. Given the fact that The Ashby is always shallow and another notice advised the same for the Coventry Canal above Atherstone Locks. Apparently the reason for the low water levels is because “the Griff Brook, where we pump water from, has run dry”.
In view of this we decided we couldn’t take the chance of getting marooned there and so we are headed back to Stourport and will be taking our camper van Jinty instead.
Tuesday 5th July – Fazeley
Today we went up to Fazeley Marina to top up with diesel at the excellent price of £1.31/litre before tax (Who would have thought that £1.31 could be described as excellent!). We also filled the water tank and emptied what is euphemistically termed the Black Water tank!
After lunch we called a taxi and visited Tamworth two retail parks, Ventura & Jolly Sailor! The return journey was problematical as we couldn’t get a cab and in the end took our first Uber ride.
Wednesday 6th July – Handsacre
We set of at 8:30 intending to stop at Fradley, but there was not a mooring to be had, so turned left onto the Trent & Mersey canal and went up two locks and moored at the top next to nb Felix with whom we had an adventure on the Severn last year that you can find here. Before we left Brian last year he took his dog to the vet as she seemed a bit off colour, turns out she was pregnant so this year we met two of the six puppies Brian’s dog had produced and they are as big as their mum now.
HS2 is making it’s mark hereabouts and much activity was going on.
Since it was only lunch time we pressed on to moor for the night opposite The Crown at Handsacre at 4:30pm.
Thursday 7th July – Rugeley
No need for a early start today as we only travelled to Rugeley employing the same trick of following another boat through the Armitage Tunnel who sent a crew member ahead to check it was clear. As our friend Cookie said later “It’s no good getting older if you don’t get craftier!” Cookie & Linda had just arrived back on their mooring yesterday after a trip in their camper.
Joy’s art class was done this afternoon whilst I finished some work I had done on the bowthruster control panel and went and got some groceries, we are fortunate to have Morrisons & Tesco both within a few hundred yards here.
We spent the evening watching ‘The Saint’ and a 1954 film, ‘ Murder by Proxy’ on Talking Pictures
Friday 8th July – Penkridge
We have decided to step up our pace today as there is a lock closure (Hyde Lock near Kinver) scheduled for Wednesday for 3 days next week so we covered 15 miles and 10 locks today landing up at Penkridge moored outside the Cross Keys.
We were going to get a cooling drink there but there seemed to be a wedding reception or some-such being held there and we couldn’t get near the bar so saved our money and had a cold one from our fridge!
Saturday 9th July – Compton
Another longish day today but only 5 locks up out of Penkridge, we stopped to top up our water at Gailey and cruised the 10 miles down to Compton with no locks to worry about.
Arriving at Compton Visitor moorings we saw a boat moored in the only shady spot, it was our neighbours Barry & Julia on nb Stolen Time, but they had only stopped for shopping and we moved into their space when they left.