Last night at Sandon we had a stunning sky as the sun set.
Travelled 6.3 miles, worked 3 locks in a time 3 hours 40 minutes.
Paddy enjoyed his walk in amongst the long grass on the towpath. It looks like the Canal and River Trust, need to do some mowing along this stretch of the canal, because it is so narrow due to the vegetation taking over. When the grass is wet, your trousers end up soaked.
We left our over night mooring at 8.35 am in bright sunshine and nice and warm. It is morning's like this that make you feel so alive. NB Verity came past us just as we were about to leave, so we knew we would be second to go down through Sandon Lock.
We arrived at Sandon Lock and whilst NB Verity went into the lock, I stepped off the boat to help work the paddles, as I knew NB Cara was behind us.
We left Sandon Lock behind with NB Cara and NB Lindola coming down behind us.
There has been more bank repair along the Trent and Mersey.
We came down through Weston Lock behind NB Verity and NB Cara behind us and nothing coming up to aid our passage.
We came past Malcolm Braine's place at Wharf House, Weston, with Cactus moored alongside Perch. There was no one about to say "Good morning too".
When ever we pass through Weston I always smile at this painted notice.
Anyone want a chest of drawers, slight water damage? If you do it is sitting on the 48 hour moorings at Weston near bridge 80. Why could the owner not take them to a refuse point?
On the way towards Hoo Mill Lock there are now some offside moorings and a small holding, where they have pigs, ducks, geese etc.
My favourite gypsy caravan above Hoo Mill Lock.
10.45 am we arrived at Hoo Mill Lock, to find 3 other boats ahead of us and one just going into the lock, so we joined the queue by hovering in the middle of the canal, because the lock moorings are only short, so only enough room for a couple of boats at one time. Because the lock fills slowly, it took until 11.30 am before we could enter the lock. The boat in front of us was a hire boat, and whilst one of the young boys on board was wearing a life jacket, the young lad on the roof was not until just after the above photograph was taken. He was then told to get down and to put his life jacket on. I wonder if me photographing the queue made his father think twice.
Clearly some hires do not see the dangers. This was their first time hiring. We managed to finally get on to the lock moorings as the boats moved up and so I walked up to help work the lock, I was joined by Chris off of NB Lindola, she had got off further up the towpath and walked down the towpath to come and help get the boats through. Whilst a small boat was coming into the lock chamber from below the lock, the older of the young lads on the hire boat, began winding the gate paddle, both Chris and I shouted for him to stop winding and to put the paddle down, as the small craft was getting thrown all over the place. I then explained to him that he should wait to be instructed to work the paddles and always work the ground paddle first, otherwise he could flood a boat by opening the gate paddle first. He was happy enough to receive the instruction and I hope he does it right next time. His grandfather, apologised to the boater. He said that his grandson had always done it properly on the other locks, so was unsure as to why he did it wrong this time. When they went down the lock, I wished them well for the rest of their holiday and they thanked me for my help, they left with big smiles. I love hirers because nine times out of ten they are very happy to receive instruction and take in most of what you say.
Chris helped Keith and I down through the lock and I thanked her for her help. We will see them again at the Shackerstone Festival in September.
Heading for Great Heywood we passed Historic Working boat Darley.
At Great Heywood Junction NB Bass was moored up, Jennifer and Mick greeted us with a wave and a hello. The last time we saw them was last year at Etruria Festival. They are also going to Shackerstone this September so we will see them there.
11.55 am we turned on to the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal.
The aim was to moor up on Tixel Wide, but it became apparent that it was very very busy.
The gatehouse looked pretty in the morning sunshine.
We did however manage to find a gap and moored up before anyone else had the chance to get in.
Every time we come this way the moorings are full and not just by people staying over night or for 48 hours, some of the boats have clearly been here for sometime. But hey ho we are moored up and the TV went on as we ate lunch. Team GB are doing a sterling job by taking more medals than ever. It was sad last night to say goodbye to Sir Chris Hoy and to Victoria Pendleton in the cycling, there was not a dry eye on the boat.
As the afternoon wore on, I got on with polishing the brass, which was beginning to tarnish after all the rain we have had. Paddy lay out on the back deck and Marmite found a nice spot in the grass beside the boat for a while.
It has been a delightful day, where I have met some lovely people.