Sunday, 8 April 2012

Retracing our steps - Calf Heath to Tixall Wide

(Boat Sickle - posted by Alan)

On the move again, after a couple of "no moving" days.
Somewhat knackered tired after our several days partying with Dave and Jan at Calf Heath, we now needed to decide if we, (and "Sickle", which has developed a very infrequent "heart murmur"), were up for a further week of boating, that would take us considerably further from home.  We decided we were, despite weather forecasts for forthcoming days that really didn't look the best.

Passing through Deptmore Lock
So (I'm guessing!) somewhere around what should have been lunchtime, (had we not done excessive breakfasting), we said our farewells to the many friends still at Calf Heath, and set off to retrace our steps back North up the top part of the Staffs and Worcs canal.

Good progress, whilst not trying to break any records.
We had found our trip down from Tixall Wide fairly heavy going, with Sickle often bouncing through shallow water, even in what should have been the deeper parts of the canal.  I can't explain why, but there was far less rubbing the bottom on the way back, even though levels were the same - perhaps we had knocked some of the "humps" off on the way down!  Another benefit was nothing like the same number of boats moving in our direction.  On the way down we had had to wait for many of the locks as previous boats worked through, but our return trip seemed a lot quicker, with little queuing.

Back at Tixall Wide - This time without the breaking waves!
Even though we had had a wild and windy night at Tixall on the way down, we decided it would be a very pleasant stop on the way back, and so it proved to be.  Now amazingly calm and serene, we enjoyed a much needed rest, before we would start the next bit of Sickle's first big trip with us, the following day.  Whilst sad to have bade farewell to our friends, I'm not sure either of us would have had the stamina for a further night's bantering".  As it was widely reported that the many who had stayed on were only showing marginal signs of slowing down, perhaps these two "oldies" escaped just in time!

Calf Heath to Tixall Wide
Miles: 14.6, Locks: 12

Totals for extended trip....
Miles: 136.5, Locks:67

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