Last year we went up north on the Staffs&Worcs and stopped at Stafford Boat Club. And turned around to go down south. This year we turn left at Great Haywood Junction and moor up at Stafford Boat Club again. At least now we’ve done the complete Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.
But before we get there it’s golf time again. Atherstone Golf Club. Enjoyable as last year.
When we get back at WRT we find a piece of paper in the well deck: “Just passed you, plan to stop at the Kings Head.”
Jim and Maralyn. So at 4 pm the engine is started and we move 1½ mile. Lawrance is on the tiller, so who is doing the locks? After doing a 18-hole golf course?
Our next stop is Hopwas (pronounced Hoppas), like last year. And I notice that things have changed. This time we know exactly how long we can moor here.
The confusing signs have gone.
We stop at Fradley Junction as well. A famous boater’s stop, so we had to stop here at least once once. But the meal we have in The Swan is so good, we might stop there again. If not for a meal, then at least for a real ale. They have a real ale called Old Original, which is the best real ale I’ve had so far.
Before we leave Fradley Junction Lawrance repairs our leaking end cap. Unfortunately he also leaves the bleed valve open, so when we stop at Worseley the entire engine bay is again covered in coolant. The next day, after I finish off the remaining part of the Staffs& Worcs, moor up at Stafford Boat Club, and check the engine, the leakage seems to be fixed.
The next day it only leaks outside…
The rest of the journey to Overwater Marina is uneventfull. We have to lite the fire, because it getsa bit too cold at night. Fuel up at Wheaton Aston. The by-wash at the last Lock at Tyrley pushes WRT onto the rocks with force (nothing I could do). As a punishment I’m the un-locky to do the 18 locks to get to Audlem.
But therefor I’m also the one who’s on the tiller going into Overwater Marina. Because of the strong wind I decide to reverse from the fuel pump to our allocated jetty. We’re back where it all began.
But what a difference between me sitting inside, eyes closed, hands over my ears and praying to every god I know of, or just nonchalant reversing WRT in a gale force wind.
And yes, I had to tell WRT a couple of times that WE ARE NOT LEAVING HER THERE TO GET SOLD!