Day : Sunday
Date : 8 September 2019
Start : 0900
Finish : 1700 Westport Lake
I have uploaded our proposed route to Canal Planer AC https://canalplan.eu/journey/12200_cp if anyone wants to see where we are likely to be. It gets updated with actual position each night.
It was a tad cool in the early hours of this morning, not quite a frost but very close to it. We were away at 9am but a couple of boats moored behind us had already passed so it was no surprise to be behind a hire boat at Aston Lock, the good news they were stopping at M&S food hall below Stone lock. When we arrived at Stone locks he was just filling with water while the ladies went shopping so we were able to pass, this gave us a good run up the locks. Above the lock The Star Pub has a new slant on outdoor seating with this row of chairs along the towpath.
Joules Brewery who originate in Stone are building a new Tap House on Crown Wharf and also turning the old fire station into a heritage site.
Our run through Stone with the locks went well apart from a hiccup at Meaford Bottom Lock where the prop fouled just as I was about to enter the lock. I pulled the boat in on a rope and as Diana locked us up I delved into the weedhatch to remove a rope fender that was wrapped round the prop and shaft. As the next lock was in our favour a boater coming down had opened the gates and walked down to see why I wasn't leaving the lock. I do wish people would not go through locks with fenders down. Sorry to those that had to wait for us.
We met up with some old friends at the top of the flight from Suffolk on their share boat.
In Stoke on Trent there is an online mooring site known as "Dolphin shooting fishing and boats" A lady there has a boat with a wicker cratch and sedum top to it, plus the boat is covered with flowers.
At Stoke bottom lock our luck changed with a boat going up the lock ahead so from now we had to turn each lock, in Stoke top lock there was a large dead Pike, I would estimate it to be between 600 and 750mm long, over half the length of a bottom gate, the head section doesn't show as it had sunk.
Festival Park has had a new addition since we were this way last. Waterworld with flume rides and lots of other activities
As we were making good time we decided to carry on to Westport Lake for the night, but when we arrived it was pretty full with all boats except one sharing a ring, as we passed he popped out and offered to shuffle up for us which was good of him. He explained that last night everyone was sharing a ring, but as boats have gone and others come some of different lengths he got left with a gap each side, so when he thought we were looking for a mooring he was more than happy to help. Unlike a boater yesterday we followed, he asked a boater to move forwards or backward and she refused saying she wanted a full 30 feet empty each end of her boat.