Monday, 24 August 2009

Stafford Boat Club to IWA National

Monday

7 30 am.  this morning saw us backing out of our mooring, winding in the basin and heading east along the Staff and Worcs Canal towards Great Haywood. We met one boat on the move before we reached Tixall Lock at 9 am. Between leaving the lock and reaching Tixall wide we met 6 boats. At Great Haywood Junction we turned right on to the Trent and Mersey Canal and sailed straight into Haywood Lock as the hire boat we had met a few minutes earlier had left the gate open when they left, not for us I might add as we were still out of sight.  The next lock on the list was Colwich Lock and as usual here we found a queue, we were in sixth place. Diana went to the lock to help the  boats in front of us through as did all the crews from the boats ahead of us, when it was our turn to lock down the single hander behind us came to give us a hand, we had helped him at Gt. Haywood, but behind him all the crews stood dutifully by their boats, no one coming forward. I just hope the single hander didn't hurry himself.
We stopped at Rugeley to refill the larder from Morrisons and also our wallets from the hole in the wall before pushing on again in the rain, today was proving to be very showery. As we passed the long term moorings at Hawksyard Priory we were haled by an approaching boat, it was our IWA Branch chairman and his wife with John and Joan on their boat, all muffled up in the now pouring rain I didn't recognise them. We stopped for a few words and they told me that they had be set adrift in the early hours by the Anchor Pub at Hartshill and also there had been a stoppage due to a body being found near the canal at Armitage which we knew nothing about. He also told of the queues at Fradley, however by the time we arrived there, almost two hours later we were able to sail straight into the lock and apart from waiting for boats to lock up we did this at all the Fradley locks, between Junction Lock and Keepers Lock I pulled over to the water point and waited while a pair of loaded working boats long lining came by. At Keepers Lock I met the owner of the other "Harnser" that moors below the lock on the long term moorings. We continued on down through Common Lock and moored for the night at almost 6 pm at the first piece of decent bank we came across.

You will find our latest position at
http://tinyurl.com/Harnser-s-route

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