Yes, we’re on our way. Hurricane force winds…
I decide to forfeit my day on the tiller.
Lawrance reverses out of the jetty… and immediately goes diagonally towards the slipway, at great speed. He manages to reverse and to line us up with the exit, but then the wind catches us again and throws us straight into a boat that’s fuelling up. We also hit both sides of the exit.
After that it’s a piece of cake. We turn WRT’s head towards the Hurleston Locks and, with the repaired rudder, she reacts very quickly.
We’re not looking forward to the Hurleston Locks. They are narrow, to say the least. The first three are kind of OK, but the fourth one is horrible small. It takes off a fair amount of paint.
It also has lock doors that close themselves. By the time you’ve opened the second door you have to walk back to the first door and open it again. In the mean time the second closes itself, etc. etc. etc. Luckily there is a woman, walking her dog, and she keeps one of the doors open.
We stop at Nantwich Canal Centre to top up with coal and breakfast, and to show our freshly painted boat to Julie. She knows WRT from the time they were moored in Overwater Marina.
Hack Green Locks turn out to have a fairly big by-wash. The locks take off some paint, and one of the new fender hooks. We manage to save the fender, though.
We pass Overwater Marina. We planned to stop there and show our freshly painted boat, but it’s late already, so we decide to keep going. But we are spotted, Dave waves from inside the building, and Colin (on his way home) waves as well.
The first three locks of the Audlem Flight also have a fair bywash. Here we loose our second fender hook (and again manage to save the fender). I know, we shouldn’t have fenders on in the locks, but we want to protect out Alde flue cap. We’ve got two new ones, but decided to leave the old, broken one on until we’re out of the small locks.
We moor at the Shroppie Fly. Well, half of WRT is on a 24 hour mooring, the other half is on a not-timed mooring. We’ve done about ten miles and all three of us are shattered.