Thursday, 13 September 2012

Wednesday 12th September
Left the mooring and had a good journey to Penkridge; the canal was quiet and we did not have to wait for any locks.

* Our Baby the Way to Travel
Passed Stafford Boat Club which looked very nice and had an excellent Painting Shed at the back.

* Stafford Boat Club
Travelled on to the lovely village of Acton Trussell  with its nice properties leading down to the canal. However its peace is shattered by the noise from the M6 which is just across the valley. The traffic noise was so loud we could not hear our engine above it. What a shame for the village.

* Acton Trussell
Passing under the M6 we had to travel through about 40 fishermen just at the time that June had decided to walk Phoenix along the towpath; it was like an obstacle course. We soon reached Park Gate Lock above which is Midland Chandlers as well as the Teddesley Boat Co.

* Park Gate Lock
As we reached Longford Lock a loady on a boat coming down told us about the Wednesday Market at Penkridge and said all you had to do was follow the crowds.
After lunch we set off to explore the village and visit the excellent Market. June saw many plants she wished she could have bought.
On the way back we bought a new collar for Phoenix as hers had almost worn through and called in the local Co-op for provisions and Jaspers bakers for fresh rolls and cake. It’s no wonder we are putting on weight!!!!

* Penkridge
When we got back to the boat we had a real heavy shower but were nice and cosy inside the boat thank goodness.

Thursday 13th September

Boats were on the move early but we had a good passage to Gailey Lock passing a boat named after Phoenix.

* Risen Phoenix
The canal follows the contours and winds around the hillsides passing some lovely bridges and areas of canal.

* Typical Canal Bridge
Gailey Lock is overshadowed by the castellated Round House next to the Wharf above it.

* Gailey Lock
Once through the lock we stopped for water having to breast up with another boat as there were already two boats taking on water. We did not have to wait long however and whilst we took on water there seemed to be a host of Anglo Welsh and other hire boats pass us in both directions. There were a lot of Viking Afloat hire boats moored at the boat yard which made the passage out of Gailey very narrow and we had to wait for boats coming the other way.
We motored on along some very winding stretches of canal to Hatherton Junction which used to connect to the BCN, but is now disused.

* Hatherton Junction
* Boats Moored near the junction
We had initially planned to stop at Coven (Cross Green) but we had spoken to Chris and Lorrain last night and had agreed to make a detour up the Shroppie to have lunch with them at Gnosal on Saturday so decided to press on as the weather was good to the nice mooring at Bridge 7 on the Shroppie.
This meant that we had to negotiate the narrow cutting known as Pendeford Rockin. It is only wide enough for one boat and has a couple of passing places should you be unfortunate enough to meet a boat coming the other way. I certainly would not want to reverse any distance as it is very narrow and rocky.

* Pendeford Rockin

* Pendeford Rockin 2
Once we had moored up I took phoenix a walk up to bridge 11 and spotted a Kingfisher resting on a mooring pontoon. Why is it I never seem to have my camera with me when you have a good sighting!

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