Saturday, 12 October 2019

Chilling at Coole Pilate

We woke at about 5am, I was hussled out of my pit to make tea for Himself....and me of course.
We were on the move at 7.45 on a clear autumn morning heading for the fifteen locks of the Audlem flight.

We moored up after completing eleven locks, only passing two boats on the way up, and toddled into Audlem village to look at the artwork in the Audlem Mill and then a quick raid of the local Co'op for a few bits. Back at the boat we had a belated breakfast before resuming our journey.

Joe 'shooting the rapids' as he leaves lock 12.

 The viscious side stream as you leave lock 12

 Shroppie Fly looking just a bit tired and uninviting.

Moored at Coole Pilate for tomorrow's
G1 Grand Prix. 

Friday, 11 October 2019

Destination...Market Drayton

We left Norbury Junction as the ground aired, plans to stop on the water point abandoned as it was already occupied by someone up and about before us..
The first bridge after Norbury was the much photographed High Bridge so I also snapped away.

Approaching High Bridge

The Anchor  at High Offley, probably not much changed since the 1930’s but characterful for all that.

Approaching the ex chocolate factory with its loading dock for Narrowboats where chocolate product was transported to Cadbury's at Bournville.  That cargo must have been better than coal, apart pilfered chocolate isn't going to heat the back cabin...

                                               Deep cuttings require big bridges

                                                 The first of the Tyrley locks.  No water pointthere any longer but we were able to get rid of the accumulated rubbish.

Overnight mooring in Market Drayton. Joe went off into town to buy a hack saw, loads at home but none on the boat when he needs one.  The folding exhaust stack is going to be beheaded.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Another hectic day

A lazy start to the day we had read the papers, done the crosswords and  drunk tea before thinking about getting up and dressed and on our way.  The joggers had been passed at seven am and a buzz saw was busy at the top of the Brewood embankment from just after seven and as we set off at 8.40 the offspring of Brewood were squealing and shouting enmasse ahead of being caged for lessons.
Our first stop was going to be Wheaton Aston for diesel.

Fuel here is still very reasonable and maybe the cheapest on the cut.  As we were almost finished fueling another Narrowboat was pulling in.  We moved across to the towpath side and moored up to have some late breakfast or early lunch resuming our journey after a couple of hours but we did cram a hot shower into that break.

 Sunlit Shroppie with hardly any boats moving.

Moored Norbury Junction after four and bit hours moving.  Time to rest ahead of another hectic day. Supper was on board, homemade turkey burgers, spinach and cheesy mash...oh, and vino.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Shroppie bound

We set off below glowering skies late morning yesterday.  About an hour out the heavens opened and gave the boat a good wash which saved me a job.

We were well wrapped with wet weather gear but we pulled over and moored up to let the worst of the rain pass through and we had a cuppa.  We are heading south towards Authersley junction where we were going to turn on to The Shropshire Union. We haven't been this way for a while so time to revisit.

We passed this floating garden centre enroute to Authersley.

Negotiating the narrows north of Wolverhampton.

Steadfast has turned on the Shroppie and I have prepared the stop lock.  We pulled into Napton Narrowboats for a pump-out before continuing on towards Brewood where we planned to overnight.

Our overnight mooring at Brewood.  We had a walk around this award winning village, chatted to a number of local dog walkers and had the essential 'dog fix' now we are without our own dogs and dined in The Bridge pub which was welcoming, clean, sold good beer and presented us with a pleasant repaste.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Folding Exhaust Pipe

This is work in progress but after our trip down to Stourport last month it was evident that a folding exhaust stack was highly desirable.  Joe had built one for our previous boat, Yarwood, but on this occasion we had access to a highly skilled fabricator so Joe designed what he wanted and sourced the materials then handed all to Jeff for him to work his magic.

We tried it out yesterday and with some minor adjustments around the methodology of getting it to rise and lower job should be a 'good ern.'

Monday, 7 October 2019

Steadfast revealed.

Steadfast was in last week with Phil Jones Marine at Hatherton Marina for grit blasting, two pack blacking, replacing her anodes, removal of cant seats and repainting of tunnel bands. Here are the photos taken of her experience.

We are off this morning to bring Steadfast back to her berth in Hatherton. Joe is going to 'polish' the fuel before we go off tomorrow on our autumn cruise.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Steadfast faces the grit

We traveled over to the boat last Tuesday afternoon as Steadfast was going in to be blacked.  We have decided to have her grit blasted and two packed. While she is out of the water the tunnel bands will be repainted and the can't seats REMOVED.
Wednesday morning we moved her through the lock on the stump of the Hatherton - Lichfield canal to the work shops of Phil Jones Marine for the work to be done.