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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Onto the Staffs & Worc

After another early start this morning because of some very noisy neighbouring wildfowl, I have come to the conclusion that because we had been static in one place at Langley Mill for so long, we had forgotten the sounds of the cut. The only noise we heard at Langley was the  constant drone from the traffic.  Apart from two swans, we had no other water fowl in the basin. Now we have, not only noisy geese keeping us awake, but pigeons landing on the roof and cooing, ducks pecking away at the hull quacking there heads off, coots and moorhens constantly at each other and the incessant cheep cheep of the chicks! Would I change it for a quieter life? Not on your Nellie! I love every moment of it. Long may it continue.
So as for today, what a fabulous cruising day. Not much in the way of boat traffic and most were all going in the opposite direction, great for us as we only had to turn around one lock at Tixall.  Approaching Great Hayward Shugborough Hall looked resplendent with the gold of the Rape and vivid blue skies.

The meadows were full of buttercups.

Shugborough Hall
The usual gongoozelers  were around at Hayward lock and Ian was collard by a Belgium family who wanted to know exactly how the lock worked.Then he found out they were hiring a boat from Anglo Welsh this very afternoon and wanted to see first hand how to operate the locks. Hope they took on board everything Ian told them!

Explaining about the paddle gear.
We made the turn at the junction at Great Hayward into the Staffs and Worc with ease as there was very little wind. Its a pig of a junction with even the slightest of breeze, especially coming from the Staffs and Worc onto the T&M. Anglo Welsh also have one of their bases at this junction which occasionally can make turning into it a little difficult if boats are being moved about.

Before we got to Tixall Wide another partially sunken boat lay half submerged. This one looked to have been in the water for quite a while. Maybe we need to notify C&RT.

Still has it's fender attached.

There was a surprising lack of boat movement on the Staffs & Worc. In fact it wasn't until we got to Radford Bridge about a mile from the boat club that we saw a boat. We were beginning to wonder if the canal was closed! On arrival at the marina Pete the harbour master directed us to the allocated mooring. Very handy place to moor as the wedding reception will be in the club house directly above our boat. Just right for when we stagger drunkenly back to bed.

Staffordshire boat club. We are moored 3rd from the left.

Tomorrows blog may be put on hold. It all depends on how drunk I get after the wedding!

Today's wildlife photos taken along our route.

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