A foggy old start to the day. It was like pea soup when we left our mooring at just past 8 am. Our friends Dawne and Stuart came and saw us off and helped with Great Haywood Lock. We then stopped at the water point, to top up with water and get rid of rubbish. I had removed the nappies from under the floor, so we were able to dispose of them as well. I do like to get everything done in one go if I can. With the fog still thick, we headed off into the eerie gloom. Being back on the Trent and Mersey (Motorway), we met a few boats coming towards us. Three made me giggle, because they had their tunnel lights on. They are absolutely no use at all in the fog, so I could see no point in them having them on. Funny thing though if they were doing it so on coming boats could see them, then they should have also had a fog light on the stern for those boats following them LOL. Waste of time having your tunnel light on in the fog. Hoo Mill Lock we had a boat coming down as we did at Sandon Lock as well. The boat going up before us also had me giggling under my breath. He lady working the lock, said “Please do not do the lock for us, because the lady on the tiller likes me to do it”. My reply was “That is absolutely fine”. So I stood back and watched. She then said “ I get told off if I do not wind the paddles really slowly”. So there she was winding the ground paddle so slowly and then the steerer shouted “Its to fast” So the woman winding the paddle shut it down. If she had gone much slower we would have been there all day. Honestly I do wonder why some people are on the cut. Of course I understand when people want to work their own lock and I am only o happy to stand back and let them get on with it, but some people take the biscuit.
We had thought of stopping above Sandon Lock, but it was only around 10.30 am and with the sun now out and warming the skin, we decided to carry on to Stone. We were chased by a male swan. He had a go at our back fenders and my trousers. It does not bother me at all, after all he is just protecting his mate and nest. This was not the Aston one, who was happily sitting on the nest. For those who do not know the Aston Cob is known for chasing boats and anything that actually moves when he and his Pen are nesting.
Up through Aston lock and on to Star lock, which was with us as a boat had just left it. We met Nick on Aldgate, so I left the lock ready for him, whilst I walked up and got Yard lock ready. Newcastle road lock and Lime Kiln lock were also with us with a boat descending Lime Kiln lock. We moored up opposite Roger Fuller’s boat yard and the birth place of our boat. After getting a few things done, we walked round to the boat yard and had a coffee with Roger. It was lovely to catch up with him and to find out his plans for the future, because Roger is not building anymore new boats. He is going to take a step back and enjoy life a little more. He will still be taking on other work though and we reeled off a few things we needed looking at whilst there. I got to catch-up with Tina our boat painter and good friend. It was so wonderful to see that some things never change. The Stone part of the cut looks like it has been stopped in time, because nothing had changed. I had a quick chat with Nigel on Enseebee. Nigel is selling his lovely Dutch Barge after many happy years of cruising. It was also lovely to see Clare and Collie Wish. I expect we will see Roy over the next few days.
We will be staying for a few days, so lots more chatting and catching-up to do I expect.