Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Off again in lovely sunshine

At last we’re able to get back on the water.  We had a surprisingly easy journey with no hold-ups, not even at the M5/M6 junction.  We arrived at the marina soon after 2 and after unpacking, returning the pontoon gate fob and filling up the water tank we were on our way at about 4.  The sun was bright and the breeze stiff across the marina, but luckily we were moored stern first so had no trouble getting away (unlike the boat coming in to moor which got caught by the wind). To get to the exit we had to cruise right through the marina before we could turn towards Aston Lock and pass our berth once again!

1 leaving berth at aston marina  2 aston marina entrance

Aston Lock was in our favour, and a hire boat was coming down as we left it.  Star lock was also ready for us, as was Yard lock, so we made good time although we were too late for the chandlery.  So we went up Newcastle Road lock and moored just before the railway bridge, so we can visit the chandlery before we start in the morning.  There is a horse tunnel under the road at this lock and it’s a long walk round to operate the lower gates. The lock was nearly full so I had to turn it as well.

3 horse tunnel newcastle road lock stone

We tied up just before 6, and Dave set to on the brasses.  He has cut a template (to protect the roof paintwork) out of an old plastic ring-binder (I knew those resources from courses would come in useful one day …).  It made the whole process much quicker and easier.

4 mushroom template

The trains are quite noisy as they screech and trumpet their way into Stone station but we don’t really mind.  Rather trains than a busy road.  We’ve not seen any ducklings yet – just a lot of males lazing around and a swan on her nest.  But we’ve not gone very far today.

2 miles and 4 locks

I am impressed by the bloggers who have running totals as well as the day’s stats.  I shall have to try and keep up!

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