Thanks to the continuing stream of commentspam and a particularly heavy attack last night I’ve switched on mandatory registration for comments. This is something I really didn’t want to do, but until I can investigate other solutions it will stay in place.
Month: June 2007
I’m back from the canals, refreshed, reinvigorated and slightly wet. Although if I never see another duck again it won’t be a bad thing!
I have an assortment of notes, pub reviews and other bits & pieces, plus numerous photos to sort through. Once I’ve got these together I’ll bung something online.
A passing thought
“…given the inevitable claims that most floods are in some way linked to Global Warming, I can’t help but notice that SUV drivers are the ones least affected by floodwater…”
Trent Closed Again
Apparently the Trent crossing at Alrewas is closed again, hardly a surprise considering the amount of rain we had. We made it through last night thank goodness and moored up past th crossing (it was strong then).
The Waterscape mobile website appears to have nothing about the closure – it didn’t have anything last time during the 2 day closure. They may have just shut it this morning so there could be some delay in updating, but what is the general opinion abou Waterscape’s mobile update service? Is it normally good or do they tend to take a while to update?
We’re off the Four Counties, having covered it in six or so days. For the record – no speeding either! Some of the days included up to 12 hours engine time and we made good progress through Heartbreak Hill (a set of 29(?) locks in all) in the end with quite favourable traffc and friendly boatspeople ahead of us who’d leave the locks to flood or empty as needed.
Harecastle Tunnel is an interesting little adventure – although I have to admit to being a little bored of it at times! There’s only so much excitement you can get from being in a tunnel for over half an hour … although the Harecastle does have a few entertaining tricks, such as the exit portal doors closing as you approach and the large extractor fans booming through the tunnel to remove engine fumes. I’m hoping to have some nice short time lapse photos of this as soon as I get them on a PC
Finally, since we did the Four Counties so quickly we’re now ahead of schedule to return to Shardlow Wednesday afternoon, so we’re taking things a bit easier.
Last night we stopped in Stone – nice little town just outside Stoke on Trent. That was good but difficult to find a good mooring point anywhere near the town.
Today we travelled to Rugeley – yet to explore the town here but might do so tomorrow morning.
Thankfully we’ve been blessed with slightly nicer weather. Enough even to have a barbeque this evening, although the heavens have opened tonight.
The Trent at Alrewas is reported to be okay, and we ran parallel to it this afternoon & it looked reasonable. The Environment Agency website has no flood warning in force so fingers crossed for an easy passage back.
My posts have been a little intermittent at times but I’m hoping to collect my posts, the cruise log and photos after I get back, including decent reviews of the places we stopped at.
On the Seventh day there will be no rest. We’re at Wheelock heading South and there are locks – lots of them.
More later; including pub reviews and logs.
Canals Day Four
After a setback at the Trent on Sunday we needed to make good time. With plenty of daylight we managed 11 hours cruising, and began our Four Counties tour mid afternoon.
Lunch was from the Ash Tree pub near Rugeley; great food with 2-for-1 deals.
Today should see us join the Shropshire Union just after lunch.
Thankfully the Trent crossing reopened last night at about 9.30 so with the last ounces of daylight we went for it. Calls of ‘good luck’ from the remaining moored boats were very nice but slightly off-putting; what were we letting ourselves in for?
As we drove past the weir we kept well right. The pull was still strong and it was tough to keep steady but we made it past – a definite adrenalin rush. As we passed the inflow of water upstream it was easier (wider inflow so not as great a flow) but we certainly felt the boat shift as we turned (it’s on a bend).
The engine was lovely (upwards of 3000rpm to keep a steady forward pace) and the boat and its contents are intact 🙂
Because of the downstream queue we had to go through two locks before finding a large enough mooring, but found a quiet spot as night came down on us.
This morning we left about 7.15 for an early start but quickly got caught up in queues on the locks. We’ve just hit a 7 or 8 mile flat bit so making good time, and hope to be on the Four Counties ring by early evening.
Success. The Trent and Merseyside has reopened where the Trent crosses. We looked at the weir earlier and it was pretty horrible, but people are coming downstream so it all looks good! Hopefully we’ll get a short way past the weir before we quit for the night.
Thank goodness: it’s shallow water, we’re right next to a dual carriageway and the air smells of pig.
Apparently the River Trent where it crosses the Trent and Mersey canal is closed, so we’re at the Barton marina getting ready to queue up. Can’t seem to find anything about this on the British Waterways website from my mobiel though and being a Sunday all the numbers are unanswered.