Thursday, 11 November 2010

That was another week (end) that was.

The week was soon round again and we were loading up the car and heading off to Minnow. We dropped one car off at Norton Canes and then drove up to the Red Lion at Great Chatwell where we met up with the gang for a bonfire, fireworks and food and the odd drink or two. As Dawn works until late on a Friday we did not get there until after the fireworks but went into the pub to join Dave Ray, Lucy Waldron, Sue Cawson, Mathew Burge and Kaz, Matt Parrott and Sarah, Mike Pinnock and Lawrence Williams and a good time was had by all. Back to Norbury and Minnow fire lit and to bed. A lazy start to the weekend's boating as we collected diesel, oil and water before we setting off. Every time we travel this way we always stop at Norbury and Dawn had said that she would like to stop in Gnosall and try out The Boat, and so the first days boating was only an hour and we tied up and went for a meal at The Boat.
The Sunday morning and we were off for 6.50am and had a good clear run down to cut end where as we approached the stop a boat came round the turn and into the stop lock. It was Rocket Ron and Brenda Withey after an exchange of greetings and words we were both on our way's Ron having warned me of low pounds up the Wton 21. As we made the turn at Aldersley Junction we were met by Horace Foster and Trish and passed them in the bottom pound again greetings, a few words and then farewells.
We hit the bottom lock at 11.59am and did not get to the top lock until 2.55pm thanks to a combination of very low pounds around locks 11 to 8 aggravated by four boats returning from the BCNS bonfire and travelling down the locks in convoy with two boats sharing pounds, the overspills were really running on the pounds below.
We pulled Minnow round into Broad Street basin and made use of the facilities for the night emptying bins, toilet and having a wash in red hot basin full of water. Another early start on the Monday waiting for day break at 6.40am heading off in pouring rain and really high winds. Just as we came out of Broad Street tunnel we picked up a blade full and throwing the Bolinder into reverse to clear it we were caught by the high winds which slewed Minnow across the cut and we ended up well and truly grounded right outside the new posh apartments. It took another twenty minutes with shafts, rocking and the Bolinder ahead/aster at full chatt before we eventually cleared and were off again to make the turn at Horseley fields Junction and head off along the Curly Wyrely. Apart from getting soaking wet and changing into dry clothes half way through the journey was quite dull and un eventfull apart from just after going through Little Bloxwich Bridge when Dawn, who was wearing my High viz work Jacket said she was going into the cabin for a warm. I handed her my empty mug off the cabin top and asked if she would make me a drink while she was down there. Off she trotted along the cabin gunnels with my cup in hand and as she got level with the engine 'ole door she suddenly disappeared into the inky black, freezing cold canal, and of cause I did not laugh (well not then anyway) As Dawn reached the edge of the cut and climbed out she was still gripping tmy favourite mug which she proceeded to smash on the towpath in temper! By just after 1.00pm we were tying up on the Cannock Extension canal at Norton Canes Boatyard, where we have left Minnow for the moment. With the car loaded up we set off home for Dawn to soak in a hot bath and get some warmth back into her bones. The moral of this weekend being, if you have a favourite mug,
don't let Dawn bang 'em about


  1. Poor Dawn! Having been in more than once this year you have my sympathy. I expect the W&E was a lot colder and dirtier than the Thames in August! (Shame about the mug, though!)

  2. She gave the the blade a good looking then while she was down there. No? neither did Andrea.