Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Fradley to Tixall Wide on a Wild Day.

(Boat Sickle - posted by Cath)

Fradley Junction - We were going to Great Haywood
A relatively relaxed start to the day, although we hadn't slept particularly well as the boat kept banging against the piling of the towpath. We knew that we needed to use the laundry facilities at "the Swan", and when we peeped out of the cabin doors there was a blizzard outside. After breakfast Alan headed off to the showers and I went to find the washers/dryers at the pub. One of them appeared not to be working, and was filled with loose washing powder, but the other was OK, although the 'conditioner' dispenser was completely clogged and would not yield to poking and prodding. I put the washing on (£3) and then went back to the boat for half an hour. The dryer was £1 for 20 minutes, but it needed twice that to get it dry enough to pack away.

Wood End Lock - Not far from Fradley and already soaked!
After I'd had my shower we set off into what was now sleety rain for a very windy and wet day.  We took it in turns, with the other one staying inside to try to dry off a bit before the next lock or changeover of steering. Fortunately, Sickle is far less affected by the wind than our other boat, Chalice, which presents a much more sail like profile.

Through Armitage, then onto Rugeley, where we tied up near bridge 66 for the local Morrisons supermarket.

Moored at a windy and very wild Tixall Wide
By the time that we got to Great Haywood Junction it was no longer raining hard, but was still very windy. Turning left we decided to moor in Tixall Wide, largely because it has a reputation of being very attractive. We hadn't taken account of the wind, which was still very strong, and coming from directly behind the boat. The wavelets across the lake-like area of the Wide spent the whole night crashing under the counter of the boat, making regular booming noises - another disturbed night. We realised later that all we needed to do was to turn the boat with the bow into the waves - hindsight, eh?

Fradley Junction to Tixall Wide
Miles: 13.7, Locks: 5

Totals for extended trip....
Miles: 107.3, Locks:43

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