So after our day of rest on Thursday we set off from Brewood with destination Shebdon, rough timings would be an hour to Wheaton Aston services then 2 hours to Shebdon... just short of Norbury. Well we were untying when a boat appeared so I waited until he passed, nice fella, who was ticking over passed the visitor boats then the boats on the wharf at Brewood. We passed a familiar boat at Stretton and said hello to Jim,
Our lead boat stopped just short of Wheaton Aston Lock and two boats pulled out in front, they were a respectable distance so no complaints, just meant we were instantly into a three boat queue at the lock, still not a problem. Our one hour time to Wheaton Aston had turned into an hour and forty minutes.
There was a lot of activity at the lock as well as the services. The towpath telegraph told of two trees down further up the cut... we took our time to water up and empty the cassettes (I am liking the cassette options especially after watching boats queue at Norbury to wait and pay to be pumped out) I even had time to clean the roof and side of the boat that had got messy under the trees at Brewood. By the time we set off the canal was so quiet, I took the opportunity to stop at Turners to put in 50 litres (53 hours on the clock for future reference), nice fella at the garage. Then plodding on until we got to the log jam.... first sight of the 10 boat queue just after bridge 28.
The helpful boater in front took my centre line as it was blowing hard from the left....and the shelf was making getting close in hard work.
I spoke to the boater at the head of the line and he said he had been there since 12.30....about the time we arrived at Wheaton Aston services.
You can see the large multi trunked tree that had come doen on the right hand side of the photo below.
Then it was three instances of my poor judgement (tiredness?) that frustrated! We needed milk so I decided to stop at Gnosall, it was a 50/50 call should we stop or cruise on and make do till Norbury wharf was open in the morning, I stopped and as I stepped off realised the boat was still in low drive forward.... panic, Rachel was inside and the boat was moving on to hit a moored boat in front, so it was man v's boat and thankfully I won, not without a lot of effort on my part stopping the forward momentum and getting the boat into the side. All of course watched by a boat coming up behind !!
Then my next bad judgement call.... not checking the map which resulted in a good long walk (in the rain for part) to a garage to eventually get milk. The canal runs through Gnosall Heath which is a good walk from Gnosall itself. Milk on board, next bad decision was to expect there to be moorings at Norbury. All week we have had no issue with moorings but arriving at Norbury we were disappointed to arrive in pouring rain and solid moorings (well no moorings but plenty of space between a few boats, enough for another 100 feet of moorings if everyone had been sharing rings).
We cruised on through the long lines of boats, passing the boat that had passed us when we stopped for milk !! We moored after the permit moorings on the wrong side on Norbury for us.
We also had a whistle coming from the engine, that before I could identify Rachel had shut down the engine, she said this cured it !! How pleased I was with that decision!!
I thought the whistle was coming from the alternator... I will have to do some background reading.
Anyhow, a whisky a hot bath and food plus a group hug, sorted us out and we finished out penultimate day of holiday/blacking cruise. At least it meant we had to cruise on the next day and wind in Grub street cutting a real favourite.