Sunday, 13 May 2012

13th May

After a beautiful sunset last night we awoke to a brilliant blue sky and sunshine so decided to get up and set off early to make the most of the good weather.

* Sunset down the canal

First we had to cross the River Trent on the Brindley Bank Aquaduct so named because of its builder.

* Crossing the Trent

* River Trent with the Rugeley Houses overlooking the river and canal

The canal then follows the river towards Rugeley passing lovely gardens overlooking both the river, canal, and open countryside, much nicer than we remembered from our trip a few years ago. Just before entering the town stretch we saw 7 signets with their parents, the most we have seen in a clutch so far together with lots of Moorhens with their chicks. We seem to have moved out of the Coot area into the Moorhen realm.

* Seven Signets with Mom and Dad

The A513 crosses the canal on a new bridge where the short 130yd long Armitage Tunnel used to run before having its roof removed in 1971 to the combat subsidence effects of the nearby mining of coal. The cutting is so narrow that you have send a crew member in advance to make sure a boat does not enter from the opposite side as it is only just wide enough for one boat.

* The old Armitage Tunnel - no roof

At the other end the canal opens out to expose a subject close to narrowboaters hearts, TOILETS. It is the Armitage Shanks Toilet factory and toilets are stacked up outside waiting to be delivered.

* Armitage Loos
As we approached the Kings Bromley Marina we were followed by 4 Buzzards circling low overhead as we moved slowly down the canal, it was a real treat which unfortunately I could not capture on film.

We soon reached Fradley Junction and as we came out of Middle Lock we were surprised to find Leslie and Sue (June’s brother and sister-in-law) waiting just below the lock. They had decided to come out and meet us on route and so we turned on to the Coventry and moored up at the water point. Fortunately it is a very slow filler and our tank was less than half full so we were able to enjoy a coffee, cake and chat with them before they had to leave, as there was no free mooring space going out of Fradley.
Leslie is an avid fan of Formula One and wanted to be home to watch the race so could not stay with us for a ride along the canal.

We carried on to just beyond Bridge 85 where a new marina is being built and stopped for lunch and watch some of the F1 race. After lunch we motored on to more in a nice sheltered spot near Tamhorn Bridge.

Yesterday we had washed the starboard side of the boat and touched up the paint work where it had got scratched below the gunwales. The sun was so strong that the water was steaming off the hull as we washed the side.
To day we were moored on the opposite side so were able wash and touch up the paint on the port side. Fortunately this time the side was in the shade so it was a much easier job.
Ones work is never ending as a boat owner!

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