Monday, 28 March 2011

Welcome wagon, agricultural style.......

Hello again; the blog that reaches parts that others can remember only with dread IS BACK!
I am now on first name terms with Martlet's fuel tank drain pipe and a number of 20 litre cans. The tank has been flushed and refilled with clean diesel to which I have added fuel set. The first thing I have noticed is that the Shire engine now emits very little smoke all of the time which is especially good news in locks. Enough of the news from the power house.

We left Endon Wharf yesterday (Sunday) and stopped for the night below Engine lock, a good first day as we were finding out again where we had stored the everyday boating items such as coffee mugs, windlasses, BW and handcuff security keys.

Monday. Moved off at 7.25am in thick fog which lifted as we approached Stoke and the Ivy House lift bridge. Myra had let down the bridge after Martlet had passed and had lifted one of the barriers. She walked across and began lifting the other barrier when a woman (YES) in a beetle began to drive underneath until my shout and waving fist stopped her. The barrier did bounce and begin to descend, stopping a few inches off the car. Now that would have been an interesting point of liability in law......

By the time that we had joined the Trent & Mersey canal at Stoke on Trent, the Sun came out and stayed that way most of the day. We had to wait at Harecastle Tunnel which gave Myra the opportunity to make our lunchtime snack and for me to open the weedhatch cover and to clear the prop before the run through.

We were alone travelling North as the boat following us from Stoke did not have a working light and was refused entry. 35 minutes later, we were out into the light again and heading for the Macclesfield Canal. The last two times that we have arrived at Scholar Green, we have met Marie from the Stoke Boat Club: today was no exception as there she was taking the dogs for a walk (or is it the other way about?). Anyway, a brief chat ensued as a boat was leaving the stop lock and Martlet replaced it.

A short stop at Heritage boats for some coal; it takes more than one sunny day for me to be persuaded to let out the fire. A mile further along is one of our many favoured mooring spots where we indeed moored up for the day. We are now officially boating again, it says here!

We received the traditional local welcome. Last year; on 29th April as the log shows, the farmer was muck spreading on the field opposite. He is earlier this year and began two hours after our arrival. We will give next year a miss.......