Thursday, 4 September 2014

Stay, gate, stay.

Alrewas to The Taft, Trent and Mersey

Well, the barrage of "acorns" on the roof last night didn't keep us awake, although I did hear one or two in the night. Perhaps they woke me up briefly. I put acorns in inverted commas as they didn't look like acorns despite coming from an oak tree. They were funny, shrivelled, sticky things. I should have taken a photo - perhaps I'll find one I haven't ejected yet and take a pic tomorrow.

The first lock we ascended was Bagnall Lock which, if I have the right one, has stays on the bottom gates to prevent them from swinging open when the lock is empty.

This works well, and has the same effect as the chains on Bramwith Lock on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal. I'm surprised English Heritage allowed it, though.

By the way, what's a "grove" in this context?

It took quite a while to get through the locks around Fradley Junction as it was so busy. For about the first time in seven weeks we had to queue for locks, but behind just one boat. Coming downstream towards us were queues of five boats. Oo-er.

Just past Spode Cottage was this weird life-size figure in the undergrowth. Who? And why?

After a stop at Rugeley for provisions - very handy Tesco one side and Morrison the other - we arrived at our second "destination" of the cruise. Sheffield was the first; now we are at The Taft just north of Rugeley. This is where we'll be for the weekend, taking part in a Boaters' Christian Fellowship event. This is really an East Midlands branch event, but people come from all over for the barbecue and games on the Saturday, and the service in the marquee on the Sunday.

This evening fellow BCF members Tracey and Tim, with Tracey's guide dog, Oakley, joined us for a meal.

l-r: Jan, Halfie, Tim, Tracey with Oakley bottom left

We had tied up in the reeds, using a gang plank and a long scaffold board to get to firm ground. All the humans managed it, and so did Oakley when it was light, but after the meal it was dark and Oakley refused to walk the plank. In the end Tim brought their boat, Sola Gratia, close enough to ours for Oakley to get from our stern to their bow. Then Tim and I retied Sola Gratia on its original mooring by torchlight. Hooray for LED head torches.


Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

In his hand is not a wine glass but a rain gauge. We are just behind you moored at Rougeley for the night and will toot when we pass tomorrow.

Halfie said...

We'll look out for you - if we're not on board we'll be in the garden somewhere.