Andrew and I organised ourselves a day off on Monday, giving ourselves an extra day for the weekend.
Naturally we headed north to the boat on Friday evening. As we approached Birmingham it started raining, only lightly at first. Once on board and settled in for the night though, it chucked it down. Although the plan had been to cruise to Fradley Junction on Saturday morning, we started having second thoughts.
Saturday morning was still a bit drizzly when Andrew got up but by the time I rolled out of bed it was starting to clear. The final decision was made and once we had filled the water and diesel and emptied the other tank, we departed the marina. We arrived at Haywood Lock, 3rd in the queue to go down.
While waiting I saw a mass of caterpillars on the nettles. Hundreds of the little beauties.
Turns out they are all pre-cursors to the Peacock butterfly. I would love to be there again to see them all pupate and then emerge. We will see, now I know where they are hiding.
Next through Colwich Lock and a long lock free cruise to Wood End Lock and Fradley Junction. What a wonderful day it turned out to be. We pulled in to the last available space at the visitor moorings above Shadehouse Lock. Within a short time we were out in the deck chairs enjoying some liquid refreshments and sunshine.
Later as the sun was setting we went for a wonder down to the Mucky Duck but decided against stopping in. Instead we drifted back to our own space and supplies.
Sunset at Fradley Junction
Saturday morning I was up almost as early as Andrew. As we needed to wind to return the way whence we came, I thought that it might be a good idea for us to get an early start. Seeing as I was already awake and up, we headed towards Shadehouse Lock at 8:30am. By that time we were already in a queue to go down the two locks and once winded still in another queue to go back up. Once past those and Wood End Lock around the corner, it was another lock free cruise to our proposed stopping point between Rugeley and Wolseley Bridge.
|Waiting at Wood End Lock|
|Chaffich at Wood End Lock|
|Going Up !|
|Old building in Rugeley|
We made it in plenty of time to get the tv setup so that I could watch the Wimbledon Men’s Finals. Quite a match but by the time it got to the 5th set I decided that I was missing out on the beautiful sunshine outside which Andrew was enjoying on his own. So on went the radio and I joined him outside until the clouds drove us back in.
Another lovely evening and I had a bit of a play with my camera again.
|Through the window|
Although the weekend was quite busy boat wise, Monday morning was more so. Obviously all those lucky boaties who do not need to be anywhere and mooring up for the weekend to let all the weekend boaties go about their business. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that it was quieter on the water over the previous two days
The weather was starting to look ominous. We were going to stop below Haywood Lock but as there was quite a queue of boats coming down, we popped up and made our way to Tixall Wide for a few hours. Once again out came the deck chairs until the rain came over. At this point we made the short trip back to the marina and were moored up before the rain really started.
|Male Reed Bunting|
A final clean and pack and we were in the car and on the road, after a short stop at the Canalside Shop to stock up from the butchers, by 4pm.
On the drive home we passed through a fantastic thunderstorm with lightning and very heavy rain.
Home again by 7pm and dinner on the go.
All was well in the land of the Howard’s Abroad. Until the next trip that is.