Tuesday, 1 September 2009

I knew it couldn’t last

Finally found myself a lock queue today!

I was tempted to stay where I was as it was such a nice spot with the river and some wonderful trees, including many mature beeches. Beech trees are very much my favourite. I did leave though, I can go back there whenever I want. Colwich lock was the first of the day, I’m getting to really like these T&M locks with their bridges over the tail of the lock. Colwich has a comedy bottom gate, one of those that waits until you get to the top gates and then swings back open, half a paddle before returning to close it again dealt with it. It was still quiet when I got to Haywood lock, having to turn it as there was no one wanting to descend, and then plenty of space to moor up for coffee.

Last time I was there I turned off down the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal, but today carried straight on at the junction so am now in new territory. My lock queue put in it’s appearance at Hoo Mill Lock, with 5 boats already there. This meant that I had a choice of hovering in the channel for 10 minutes or so until there was space on the end of the lock landing or making a leap of faith into the vegetation to be able to hold the boat in. Leaping won out and I did land on solid ground rather than canal. As it took a good while to get through the lock it was time to stop for lunch once through and I soon found a suitable looking spot which turned out to be a 48hr mooring in the middle of nowhere. There was some thunder about and a few light showers, but it didn’t seem to be amounting to much so we carried on for a while. As I tied up at Weston lock it started to rain so I put on my wet weather gear, by the time I had walked up to the lock I was drenched as it had got heavier. There was no point taking shelter so I worked through in the downpour. Once through Sandon lock I decided that it was time to call it a day and have found a lovely spot midway between bridges 84 and 85.

One of my favourite things about the waterways is that each canal has it’s own character, with different paddle gear on the locks and their own design of mileposts. The T&M ones are really nice and I just happen to have one of the originals just by the boat.


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