Thursday, 23 July 2020

Bratch to Prestwood

We departed Bratch visitor moorings Monday morning immediately after the What a Lark crew left us.  We are under no pressure to cover too much ground as we have 'appointments' to meet friends along the way, a blessing after this extended lock down.
Our next destination was only some five miles away but twelve locks was well as we continued to drop down from the summit of the Staffordshire and Worcester (Staffs and Worcs) towards it's finish at the River Severn.

Descending the Bratch lock flight

A circular weir typical of the Staffs and Worcs

Moored in the sunshine at Prestwood

Monday, 20 July 2020

Boaters Meet

A lazy start Saturday morning as we pulled pins and headed towards visitor moorings above Bratch locks.  We had arranged to meet David and Lisa of Narrowboat What a Lark (WaL) on the Sunday for a BBQ.  We haven't seen the WaLLY's since early January when we away with a group forof friends on a weekend to Ramsgate bar the weekly Zoom meetings to stay in touch.

On the VP's at Bratch

The food is starting to arrive for our picnic

Joe got our new bbq out and started to assemble it when discovered that he hadn't got the correct regulator so it was all packed away again and Lisa cooked on board WaL.

Stern to stern

Monday morning after a coffee  together Lisa and David head north and moments later we are on our way south.

Friday, 17 July 2020

Unlocked at last

Free at last!  After a good night's rest and a lovely hot shower this morning we prepared Steadfast for an escape from the marina. Centre lines on check, water tank filled (eventually), check, mooring pins to hand, check engine fired up (a steam analogy I think) moorings lines untied and we  slip out of our berth.
A glorious sunny day as we headed south towards Wolverhampton. Plenty of boats about including three that we met a bridge holes! We navigated the Pendleford narrows without meeting anyone and the three boats that were tailing us turned onto the Shropshire Union as we continued on the Staffs and Worcs.

 Continuing on to Compton and our first lock we were planning moor below the lock for a quick run to the Sainsburys Local that is conveniently sited for passing boat traffic.  Here I realised that my shopping bags had been left in the car so had to make do with what could be found on Steadfast. Anyway I was able to get food to see us through the next few days. We lunched and then continued our journey through the next two locks and moored at Wightwick for the night.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Hot water, what hot water?

We came up to Steadfast as soon as lockdown was relaxed with the view to getting out on the blessed ditches.  The weather was less than inviting, high winds and persistent rain forecast so we did a couple of jobs and wrote a 'to do list' and then we scuttled home again.
Back the following week we found on our first night on board that the heating element in the calorifier had died and the only place we could get a replacement was from the manufacturer on the Isle of Wight. Joe ordered on-line having checked that they were in stock and I drove home to receive the parcel when it was delivered leaving Himself to tackle jobs from the 'to do list'.

Deceased element

Element removed ready for the new one

Tuesday, 24 March 2020


We headed back to our home mooring this morning and returned home to comply with the measures being put in place to combat Corvid 19.  On arriving at Hatherton we were met by John the manager enquiring about our plans. The marina doesn't want people self isolating on their boats; we were able to assure him that we had not intention of doing that. 
The journey home was made much easier by the light traffic we encountered.
So here we are ensconced in our home and ready to sit it out until the virus is overcome and we are freed again..
Keep safe everyone

Monday, 23 March 2020

Going South

On Sunday we sat tight at Great Haywood and let the new solar panel earn it's keep.  Arriving back at the boat after a two hour isolated walk the batteries were 100% charged.  We wanted to be able to moor up with no engine running and have solar power replace what we use to run the fridge, tv, shower, loo, water pump and phone/tablet charging in any given day and it does seem that we have got our wishes.

There were significantly less people about on Sunday than on Saturday so it seems the Government pleading for compliance is working and the closure of Shugborough Hall gardens switched off the pull factor.

Today we sauntered off at 7.15 turning on to the Staff's and Worcester canal wending our way south mooring up after four hours.

320 Watt solar panel

Great Haywood junction bridge golden in the morning sunshine

Passing the Anglowelsh hire boats

Tixall lock ready and awaiting Steadfast

No metrication here, miles and furlongs

Journey complete, our overnight mooring

Saturday, 21 March 2020

A two hour cruise..

We left Rugeley at six thirty this morning and we had the world to ourselves and the birds.
After a gentle bimble we arrive at Colwich Lock which was in our favour.  The wind had got increasingly chilly so I walked the next pound to Great Haywood lock to warm up, worked Steadfast through and moored up before the junction with the Staffs and Worcester canal.

We are running the diesel stove 24/7 on a low setting and that is keeping Steadfast warm and cosy and as Anglowelsh were close by it was the perfect opportunity to buy more fuel for the stove.  Joe lugged the jerry can and I did the interaction ( payment, paperwork) from a 6 foot distance.
We will stay here overnight, maybe two, before moving slowly on towards Hatherton. Plenty of walkers about today though the Anglowelsh hire fleet has suffered a lot of cancellation/postponements due to the current health crisis.

Coming up through Colwich Lock

Heading to Great Haywood

Great Haywood lock

Anglowelsh fleet all in at Great Haywood