Friday, 4 August 2017

Cruising From Trent Lock on the Trent and Mersey

We arrived back at Trent Lock after our quick sojourn on the Erewash Canal. Just after we arrived I received a phone call from one of my workmates, he was in the UK and staying nearby so instead of heading off straightaway tomorrow it was lunch at the Steamboat Inn instead. After lunch we took the short cruise to Sawley, mooring across from the marina on our second attempt. Our first attempt was abandoned when one of the more classy boaters you meet was trying to catch his dinner and complained bitterly that tying our boat to the moorings here would ruin his fishing. Our discussion was taking place over the top of the noise from his huge generator powering his boat electrics, I was only too pleased to move down a few boats and moor. We couldn't hear the generator inside our boat but it was still going when I locked up the boat at 11pm.

Overnighting in Sawley, we headed south-east down the Trent and Mersey Canal, this is the first time we have cruised this part of the canal. The countryside was unremarkable as we cruised south until we got near to Willington where it seemed to change, I'm not really sure how it just seemed different for some reason. We were doing double locks for quite a while until they stopped abruptly at Burton Upon Trent. Not sure why but I'm sure if I delved deeper there would be a reason.

On our way to Alrewas we met a fellow Australian over in the UK for the summer.

We spent the next night in Alrewas, our tour of this village went via the village butcher where we picked up some beautiful cornish pasties and pork sausages.

We moved on to Fradley Junction on Friday, only a very short cruise, less than an hour. Back on familiar waters we have cruised time and again, it seems you need to go through Fradley Junction to get to so many places. We took an extra day at Fradley although it turned out to be very busy over the weekend. I managed some more coats on the painting jobs with the extra time and we made several visits to the Canalside Cafe.

What was suppose to be a another short hop of a couple of hours cruising to Rugeley turned out to be the canal version of peak hour to get through the Fradley locks, we started at number six in the queue. Sometimes it can be difficult to get a mooring at Rugeley, it is hugely popular with boaters. The older boaters tell me it is the 'Tesco (supermarket) factor' being 100 metres from the moorings, it was never a problem mooring when there was only Morrison's. Another forty-eight hour stay at Rugeley with a chance to do some more painting and get another quote for some upgrades to Serafina.

We arrived in Great Haywood just after lunch and moored just below Haywood Lock. A few hours later a CRT work boat moored behind us with a couple of lock arms as cargo. My conversation with the two volunteers delivering the work boat was that first thing tomorrow Haywood Lock would be closed for three or four hours for maintenance. I quickly untied the ropes as Rachael set the lock and we now sat on a mooring above Haywood Lock ready for an easy get away tomorrow. Turned out to be a good decision, by the time we left, just after 9am, there were already half a dozen boats waiting at the top of the lock and several more at the bottom.

We cruised just past the junction to fill with water, reversed once full and headed off the Trent and Mersey canal and on to the Staffs and Worcester, all this under a very overcast sky. This will be the second time we have cruised this portion of the S & W Canal this season as it is the fourth time we have been through Great Haywood and several times mooring at Rugeley and Fradley Junction.

The soccerball count is now at 40.

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