The forecast said rain by 11am, we wanted to get to the end of the canal before it started. It's about 7 miles and only 7 or 8 locks, so we left our 48 hr mooring and ever so quietly reversed onto the water point past the couple of moored boats, one boat by their own admission had been there for two nights prior to our arrival, but thats folk for you.
We watered up on the fastest ever water tap, and were away by about 7:30am. The first lock is just around the corner, its a little gem as it has a single gate top and bottom and is pretty long, we are 70' and had all this to spare..
|Curiously long lock, no others here were this big.|
Its named after Graham Palmer who, back in 1970 was a founder of the WRG. A band of volunteers who started canal restoration. There is a monument to him which has very sadly been defaced, nevertheless stands still and made me look him up and be thankful as I pass this way.
Minutes after leaving, it drizzled, we knew the main rain wasn't arriving till 11am so was it worth putting on all the wet weather gear? Oh yes. Drizzle became a shower, then pretty quickly a heavy shower, then a downpour and so it remained for the journey down one of the prettiest canals, we looked for the first mooring we could find, none! Finally jumping onto the moorings outside The Queens Head. Soaking and dripping we bolted in. My waterproof trainers hadn't fared so well, intact they took four days to dry out.
The heating even went on.
Hours later we set off again and got to the village of Maesbury Marsh, the terminus of the canal, where we pulled up on the moorings and mistakenly left a gap of one ring between us and the boat in front. This was a oversight as I hate doing it. Again hours later a boat came past, they seemed to be looking for a mooring, but carried on to the winding hole (To non boaters this is a turning around place, only so many of these around the canals). When we heard them approach from the other direction, David stuck his head out and asked them if they were indeed looking to moor up, yes said the wife, no its ok we'll go on said the husband!
We can pull up offered David but he carried on.
Another hire boat went past, a pretty long one too.
Now we were going out for a wander around the village and had put on wellies and waterproofs again, so we pulled WaL back to the boat behind and as we walked past the boat in front, I knocked on the side and ever so ever so nicely explained to that boat that should he decide to move back as well, this second boat could maybe moor up in front of him, the longer boat would have had rings at one end but would have had to have staked or hooked at the other....
"We're just having our tea" was the reply,
"Oh ok," says I, "But if it was something you might want to do we now have coats on and could help you....."
I was met with one blank face and the wife had a face on as long as a door, as my mother would say,
"Ok then I'll leave that with you" I said, Pretty surprised that boaters could be so negative. His final comment was that he would tell the hirers when they returned past that they could stay overnight on the water point opposite.
I didn't say anything, the water point would have meant the hire boat getting alongside him, then reversing back through a narrow bridge hole, unlikely.
Now what say you Reader? Was I being unnecessary or was he in not moving when there weren't enough spaces and the next possible mooring was either 3.5 miles at The Queens Head again or a lock landing?
Anyway, Steve, The pub down here at Maesbury Marsh was closed on a Monday, but a passing dog walker gave it a glowing review.
|Very lovely without hardly a house to spoil it.|
|It was actually raining hard here, even golfer David admitted he looked a wally.|
|Pretty canal side cottage. Look carefully at the upstairs window....|
Supper was sardines mashed with lots of balsamic on toast.