Having had to moor up on previous night due to "tree down over canal" we decided to move on earlier than usual today so set off at 8.45am having made sure Spot had been out for walk, TM tidied up, etc. Only a few boats passed us going upstream by then. Having tackled first 3 locks on Audlem flight on our own, thought "should not be a problem" - think again!! We were soon followed by nb Ibex (working boat built 1927 and recently bought by young couple, moored at Norbury Junction with friend Peter on board). Peter was brilliant through the locks with us: as we entered each lock Jan and I opened the lock and got TM into lock, once lock filled up with TM ready to move out, Jan then went up to the next to 'set' it leaving me and Peter to exit TM and enter Ibex, was fast and furious passage (Jan: felt like a working passage). This went all the way onto the top lock of the Audlem flight, then (no rest for the wicked) we pushed on (or were pushed on by Peter) to the next Adderley Flight of 5 locks. Again, same routine followed and we were soon through there. Does this guy ever slow down? Onto the next flight, Tyrley Locks - could not lose this chap. Same routine and we sailed through the locks in short time.
Cannot thank Ibex crew (small baby on board) and Peter enough helping us through the locks. Stood looking down the Audlem flight, there was a boat in each of the 15 locks coming up - only 2 boats were going down!
At the end of the climb of the 3 lock-flights, we had been through 22 locks, covered 10 miles, all from 8.45am to 4.15pm. Amazingly, due to Peter's help and the couple on nb Ibex, it was nowhere as an arduous task as would have been thought. Although a cup of tea was welcome at the end mooring!
Mention must be made to the state of the lock paddles and gates: all mechanisms really well maintained and the gates light-weight.
The top of the Tyrley Locks was total chaos! By the time we managed to get through the melee we counted 26 boats that had finally got passed the downed tree and were now waiting to go down the flight.
|Working boat Woodseaves Cutting|
We finally moored at Goldstone Bridge next to the Wharf Tavern. Probably one of the most dog unfriendly pubs we have been to. Spot found a new friend - picture above. Friend very interested in coming aboard TM - could be something to do with a bit of Spot's tea left in her bowl?!
While at Goldstone we met nb Melusina and her new owners of 3 hours. Watched them unload a van full of stuff onto the boat - mattresses, etc just before the heavens opened! and talked to them about what they will be doing. nb Melusina is unusual in that her engine in front mounted. Saw them again this morning: mum in Marigolds cleaning.
|Shebdon Embankment looking over to The Wrekin|
We set off heading to Norbury Junction, first onto Shebdon Embankment then back onto Grub Street Cutting. Switching between huge views and tree tunnels.
|Knighton Cadbury Wharf|
|Grub Street Cutting|
|Norbury Junction and the catch-up with the working boats|
|Ibex moored at Norbury Junction|