Friday, March 15, 2013

Stop n Go

We left our mooring in Stone as planned yesterday morning, but as we left the first lock of the day we were met by thick ice!

As we had just blacked her bum I didn't want to charge through it and chip off the blacking, so we nicked Sir Thomas Brocklebank's private mooring for a while. (He is always moored on a public mooring in Stone anyway!).  We waited for a couple of hours and for another boat to go past and off we went.  As we were so far behind schedule we thought, "bugger it" and only moved through another lock and a few hundred yards and moored up for the night!  A big trip!
Ice about 1/2" thick
Another good reason to stay in Stone was that we could now join a big group from Aston Marina who were going down the 'spoons' for a curry night ... £5.75 for a curry including a pint of beer ... not bad!

Once again it was a really funny night.  Elaine was crying with laughter - they are a great group of people, and I am sure we will meet again on our travels.

Roly and Rob with their double beers !
Ray, Dot and Gordon
I must have been boring Ray at this point !
The whole gang !
From left to right - Barry, Carol, Diane, El, Elly, Sally, Bev, Roly, Rob, Myself, Ray, Dot and Gordon 
Elaine crying / laughing !
El and Elly - not believing what they are hearing down the other end of the table!
(Belgian Chocolate talk !!!)
      So to today (Friday) - there was no ice but plenty of rain !!! We hung around for a while and in the end decided to give it a go!  So it was away with the Arctic survival gear and on with the full wet weather gear!

We did a couple of locks - Elaine walked the dogs along the towpath to the Meaford lock, where there are towpath works, so it was the last chance for the dogs to do their do's for a while!  Elaine went to pop them back on the boat when it had come up into the lock - Sammy jumped on first - followed too quickly by Bombo who missed and went in the water - between the boat and the lock side ... with the propeller going pretty close by!!!!!  We yanked the poor frozen pup out of the water and quickly put him in the boat by the fire ! Poor boy.

So we carried on ... we were going to stop at Barlaston for the night, but by the time we got there the rain had stopped so we thought we would carry on to Stoke!

We had a really nice little cruise, we only spied one boat on the move - NB Uccello.  

Here we are on the Stoke flight - just to show it's not pretty villages!  There was so much rubbish around going through Stoke - such a shame.

Past the old bone and flint mill ...

Elaine having a chat with another boater who was out taking his dog for a walk.  He helped her with the last 2 locks, nice man.

I went into the Stoke top lock, which is a very deep bugger.  I waited and waited for something to happen.....

Eventually Elaine peered over the top and said that they had now fitted anti-vandal keys to the paddles ... they weren't there last May!  It took me a while to find it and I passed it up to Elaine, who was feeling nauseous peering over the edge!

We reversed into the service area at Etruria for a fill and dump ... and another chat with the nice boater man !

We ended today's journey moored up just past the Toby pub so what to do but to pop in for a pint and some grub - very nice it was too !

Elaine is having an early night as she didn't hit the sack till 2.30am this morning! (Mucking about on a teleseminar with American Herbalists she tells me !)

Hopefully no rain tomorrow!


  1. I knew I had a photo very similar to yours from our Debdale days, and had to find it. It was September 2010: