Travelled 18.25 miles, worked 11 locks in a time of 8 hours and 25 minutes.
5am alarm call and a 5.55am set off from Brewood. Despite the early hour it was lovely and warm and calm. I do so love early morning cruising, there is not another soul about and you get to see the start of a new day. A Little Owl could be heard calling, but it was not getting a reply. Buzzards were flying over head.
The moorings between bridges 7 and 8 were full as usual.
In time gone past this must have been a fabulous house.
Back at Wolverhampton Boat Club.
It was then on to Autherley Stop Lock and the junction. Just as we entered the lock NB Nemo went across the junction, so someone else was away early. We did not see them again until late into our cruise.
We turned back on to the Staffs and Worcs canal at 7.40am, nice and early for the narrows. As we approached the narrows, I stepped off of the boat and walked in front of the boat, to keep an eye open for boats coming the other way.
As we were about to exit the narrows another boat was coming in the opposite direction, so we timed it perfectly. Keith picked me up and onward we went.
We met up with Roe and Glynn for the second time in a week.
At the Fox and Anchor bend, we happened to meet a boat coming in the opposite direction, thankfully the other boat kept well over because it is so shallow on the inside of the bend and with boats moored on the bend it did not make for easy moving. The Canal and River Trust really does need to think about putting moorings on the outside of bends, or they need to dredge the inside of the bends so 70ft boats can actually get round the bends with ease.
The locks were not all in our favour, because we knew NB Nemo was in front, but on occasions boats were coming in the opposite direction helping the situation. The run down through Gailey and Penkridge was very good and the moorings were quiet above Penkridge Lock, but we decided to carry on.
We got to Shutt Hill Lock and we had joined a small queue. The second of the queued boats was a lovely elderly couple who must have been in their eighties, but oh boy was I worried about them. Going into the lock, the lady steering really walloped the lock wall, which made the boat lurch violently. I asked the lady if she was ok and she just smiled. Her husband was on the lock side, and did not seem to know what he was doing. When it came to winding the paddles, the lady stepped off the boat which was now bobbing up and down in the lock with no steerer on board or centre line to keep the boat away from the cill, so after she had wound up the paddle, I asked her if she was going to get on her boat, because I had visions of the boat getting into trouble or worse still her falling down the lock ladder, she was definitely not fit enough to use the ladder. She stood on the lock side for what seemed like an age and then just managed to climb on the bow of the boat before it went to low. A boater waiting to come up came and helped me work the paddles and gates and even she was worried about the couple. As we opened the gates for her to exit the lock, the ladies husband was wandering round and round in circles and muttering to himself. The lady then shouted at him to follow her. It was all a little strange and a real worry.
After what seemed like a quick days cruising, we moored up at Acton Trussell with vehicles rushing past on the M6 in the sun shining. With it being 2.20pm it was time for a late lunch and then a stroll into Acton Trussell, to find a post box to post a birthday card and to see what the village has to offer.
I found a post box and a telephone box, but no shops. There are a lot of new houses in the village as well as some old places. The church dates back to 1212. The Moat House Hotel and pub is the only one in the village. The pub section of the hotel was the original farm house built on the property. Having walked through the village, we then walked back to the boat via the towpath, where we saw a beautiful garden.
The flowers were stunning as were the huge onions in the vegetable garden.
Back on the boat, doors open and TV on, it was time to put my feet up for a while, before having to cook dinner and feed the animals.