|This Month's Totals and Average|
|41.58 miles||14 locks||20.38 hrs||2.73 lmph|
Unfortunately, my pension wasn't paid in so couldn't top up fuel for a trip out (had sufficient for heater). Saturday still a little damp although brighter after lunch.
By Sunday, still hadn't been paid and fuel was too low. Washing machine had failed so would need to be in until a date agreed for repair. Transferred from "rainy-day" fund and took fuel. Not much else doing so got the paperwork up to date for end of month. Nice bright day until late on.
Although both Saturday and Sunday started damp, managed to get the whole of the outside scrubbed down over the weekend. Saturday turned into a reasonable day, but Sunday remained cold even though the cloud cleared. Ice on the pontoon by 1800 Sunday evening. Went to the chess club and got thrashed!
Phone connection very poor from Monday morning till Wednesday evening. Unable to get internet, and calls not great. Beautifully sunny but very cold. Monday took trip on bike to Long Buckby to visit "Anchor Cottage Crafts" but found them closed (couldn't check internet as connection down). Dropped into Whilton Marina chandlery since I was in the vicinity.
Remainder of week generally damp but forecast for coming weekend not too bad. Maybe get out for a short break.
Weather continues to be changeable, but the dry periods are long enough, and according to forecast, to be able to plan to go shopping etc. A couple of full fair days gave a chance to get out on the bike, so included runs to both Braunston and Mercia Marina to visit chandleries.
Time on board has included doing a much-needed proof-read of this site, correcting the spelling and formatting errors which had crept into the original writing. I have also got started again on my cross-stitch which hasn't seen daylight for some considerable time. I've been doing a lot more reading as well. All more relaxing stuff than at home.
The engine is going to need another service shortly so I'll need to contact Bob to see when he can manage to get across.
Bouts of prolonged heavy rain made it difficult to do anything without getting wet, but managed to get the necessaries done during the spells of fair weather. Also managed to fit draught/rain excluders to the aft hatch and side hatch/doors. Hopefully this will cut down on the wind, and reduce the amount of rain bouncing off the roof into the cabin under the hatch lid. I was, however, disgusted to find that the measurements at the front and rear ends of the side hatch were different. Considering the hatch is supposed to be symmetrical and constructed/fitted by time-served welders/joiners, I find that incredible!
Mostly wet during Friday and most of Saturday. Did a few small jobs inside.
Remembrance Sunday dawned wet, but cleared midmorning allowing for dry services between 10:00 and 13:00. I joined the local Merchant Navy Association contingent for a short service at the Royal Navy Memorial at Unification House, then went with them to the parade at Tamworth town centre and St Editha's Church.
Monday was showery, but I managed to get the necessary shopping done dry.
Tuesday, Armistice Day, started damp but again came fair by midmorning. I joined the children of Manor Primary School in Drayton Bassett who held their own remembrance service at the memorial outside St Peter's Church. I then went up to the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas to pay my respects to those of the Merchant Service who lost their lives.
Morning came cold but bright, although the cloud steadily built. Wind was stronger and colder.
After a few small jobs that needed doing, got under way and headed for Fazeley. Arrived back at the marina for a late lunch (after thawing out!), then did the shopping and checked for mail.
|6.75 miles||0 locks||2.65 hrs||2.55 lmph|
Another lovely morning, but with no mist. Stayed sunny most of the day, although cold.
Moved off and continued the final leg to Fradley Junction, dropping down through Wood End, Shadehouse and Middle Locks. Decided that with the amount of 'bits' to get done at the facilities, I'd drop down through Junction Lock as well and moor right on the berth (easier than carting all the rubbish, recyclables and the loo cassette from the visitor mooring on the Coventry Canal; and I could do it all whilst taking water as well!)
Finished the jobs at the facilities berth and crossed over to the visitors berth opposite for lunch. After lunch, reversed back up through Junction Lock and turned onto the Coventry Canal headed towards Fazeley. Found a good spot just at Cheadles Bridge 81 between Huddlesford and Whittington for the night.
|7.84 miles||5 locks||4.61 hrs||2.78 lmph|
Beautiful morning with mist over the water and rays of sunlight filtering through the trees. Colder again this morning. Decided to stay put and potter.
Warmed up a little once the sun got above the treeline, but cloud started to build mid-afternoon. Local forecast is still for fair weather until the end of the week, although the stove will be going on.
More heavy rain overnight, but again cleared by breakfast. Woke to an almost cloudless sky, but a lot colder! Stayed that way most of the day.
Another prompt start, but just moved around the corner to Brindley Bank, where I moored up to have a look for evidence of the Christina Collins murder . I climbed up the "Bloody Steps" and, turning left, walked nearly into Rugeley but didn't find anything. On return, I moved to the visitor moorings at the SE side of Rugeley, and did a bit more research on t'interweb.
Had lunch, then headed into town. Found her memorial stone in St Augustine's Church. Allegedly the Talbot Inn has changed name, and in any case seems a long way to have carried the body after dragging it out of the water at Brindley Bank. Unanswered questions for another time. Did some shopping on the way back to "Paws"
Left Rugeley and continued towards Fradley. Found a spot to moor after clearing Handsacre.
|6.30 miles||0 locks||2.58 hrs||2.45 lmph|
The forecast heavy overnight rain came but cleared by breakfast. A mixture of periods of cloud and periods of sun - still warmish in the sun, but cooler under the cloud.
Got away straight after breakfast and, climbing Colwich and Haywood Locks, headed towards Great Haywood Junction. Stopped just after the junction for a walk to the farm shop. Their new café is now open but I didn't check the menu. Had a brief walk round the shop and an even briefer look in the chandlery at AngloWelsh (they don't have rope, fenders or shackles) and returned to "Paws" for lunch.
After lunch, decided to continue to the next winding hole to turn. This meant ascending Hoo Mill Lock , but I had to ensure I was back down again as there is a Planned Winter Stoppage there from tomorrow. Made it back down and dropped back down the two locks from earlier. Decided to stop just after Taft Bridge 69 as twilight was getting deeper.
|11.86 miles||6 locks||5.94 hrs||3.01 lmph|
Woke to beautiful cloudless sky. Stayed mostly sunny for the remainder of the day. Sun still had warmth in it, if one could get out of the every-increasing wind which got colder as the day went on.
Departed from the mooring as soon as routine chores were complete and continued to Fradley Junction. Quickie stop to post letters at the junction, then turned left heading towards Great Haywood. Ascended the two locks after the junction - the preceding boat had left the top gates open, an irritation at any time but for a single-hander a confounded nuisance. Ascended Wood End Lock (where they had actually closed the gate) and continued northwest, putting in a lunch break just after Kings Bromley marina.
Headed off after lunch through the old Armitage Tunnel which is only wide enough for a single boat. The CRT instructions board says to send a crew-member ahead to check for and stop oncoming traffic; a little problematic for a single-hander. Fortunately, nothing was coming the other way. Stopped for the night just short of Brindley Bank aqueduct.
|8.83 miles||3 locks||4.61 hrs||2.57 lmph|