Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Boats, Boats and more Boats

Well that's what it seemed like today.   Our big mistake was not to set off before 9am........by this time several boats had passed our mooring in Shardlow so there were queues at all the locks.

When we moored last night I had no recollection of our previous visit with Tickey our first boat, but when we set off this morning and rounded the corner and saw the Navigation Clock Warehouse it all came flooding back.   It was originally a Corn Mill and is now a thriving pub.
Shardlow Lock was first and there was already a queue.
Since we were paired up with Epiphany and there was one boat ahead and one behind, we let the last boat ahead.  However this meant that for the rest of the day we were 5th and 6th in line for all the locks.   We discovered part way through the morning that the first pair were both single handing so that accounted for some of the slowness.   Mind you when I reached the first lock, (Barney and I were having our morning constitutional) I found several boaties at the top paddles waiting patiently for the water to rise level, but they had shut all the paddles whilst there was still about 6 inches to go..........I was moved to suggest that would probably have to wait until Christmas........
This set the scene for the rest of the day.  We managed 5 locks and just under 10 miles in 6 1/2 hours!!!  At most of the lock we waited at least 3/4 hour...however as we are fond of saying ....if you are in a rush you shouldn't be on the canals.......
The good thing was that the sun shone and the countryside was delightful and we were back on a canal where if we wanted there were lots of places to pull up and moor.
The tranquil scene at Cow Pasture Bridge
Aptly named, here are the cows
And here are the cows walking on water!!!
We had just passed through there so was very glad I had not ventured too far to that side of the canal.  The depth of water does not look too great....

Stenson Lock which was to be our last for the day, still queuing and an extra boat had snuck in from somewhere so we went up with a Canaltime boat leaving Epiphany to follow.......we were to go ahead a find a good mooring.... 
We decided to stop short of Willington our original goal as several of the other boats planned to stop there and we thought there might be a shortage of places.
We were lucky and found a nice grassy bank with plenty of space.  Barney was not sure which boat to stand guard over 
We have been lucky with the weather most of the time we were travelling.  The first heavy shower came just as Epiphany was mooring and there have been several since, but now we are tucked up warm and snug below.   The only thing to disturb our peace is the railway line which runs adjacent to the canal along this stretch and appears to be quite busy. 
Once again, thanks to Fi for some of the above pictures.

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