Friday, 6 December 2013

The calm after the storm

We left Alrewas at the crack of dawn. I haven't been up that early for ages!

The river level marker below the lock was well in the green and there was hardly any noticeable flow where the River Trent crosses the canal.

The weir was hardly flowing

Yesterday's storm had brought down several trees and there was lots of floating debris in the canal. The first fallen tree was blocking the towpath just before the first bridge.

It was lovely cruising in the early morning sunshine and this heron stood and watched us go through Wychnor Lock.

The A38 runs alongside the canal for a long way and this enterprising garage opposite Barton Marina has opened up the fence and is supplying diesel to boaters at 86p a litre.  It certainly saves you having to go into the marina for gas or diesel but I doubt the marina management are too happy about it.

The second fallen tree we came across was almost blocking the canal

I tried going past very slowly but got stuck on a submerged log, so I reversed and Roger got off to pull it out of the way. That made all the difference and we just squeezed through.

We stopped at Horninglow Basin for lunch and also to take Chico to the vets. The ear drops he'd been prescribed in Birmingham had done their job and his ear infection has gone. The vet recommended that he have his teeth cleaned and de-scaled so as soon as we get to our winter moorings we'll look for another vet and get him done.

Dallow Lane Lock gave us more problems. The lock was full of fallen twigs, small branches and leaves which got wrapped around the propeller. I pulled a pile of branches out of the water while the level was dropping but when I tried to drive out of the lock the boat wouldn't budge.  The prop was clear but there was obviously something underneath the boat that was stopping it moving.  It took Roger pulling on the centre rope while I had the engine at full throttle to finally get us moving.  We couldn't see anything in the water other than the twigs and branches so maybe it was just the sheer quantity of them that was causing the obstruction.

Passing over the aqueduct above the River Dove we could see that the river level is well down.  In the past we've seen it rise to almost the top of the arches.

We're now moored at Willington. The noise of the trains is extremely loud outside, but inside we hardly notice them.  This is another major benefit of the secondary double glazing.

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