Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Back to serious "Sickle" boating.

(Boat Sickle - posted by Alan)
Retrospective post for Tuesday 29th July.

 Deep cuttings often mean very high bridges,
The first full day with "Sickle" on her own, and as we were half a day adrift of original plans, a fairly long day to try and claw back a bit of time.

But it is not all cuttings of course
On the "Shroppie", all but a handful of the locks are in the flights at Audlem (15 locks), Adderley (5 locks) and Tyrley (5 locks), and these are all concentrated into a relatively short length of the canal.  We did the first two of those flights yesterday, so today Tyrley was fairly soon after we got going.  The lock flights are busy, with a bit of queuing, but not excessively so.

Former Cadburys works at Knighton with "Birmingham" tied up
After that we settled into more or less non-stop miles, with only a single lock at Wheaton Aston towards the end of the day to relieve the feeling I always get of "Roman road".

Norbury Wharf, with Tench & Ilford tied up opposite.
I say "more or less" non-stop, as the push button used to engage "Sickle's" starter motor was playing up, and I feared damage was being done when the starter motor failed to engage cleanly at the first attempt.  I wasn't sure I'd find a replacement at Norbury Wharf, but they came up trumps with something similar.  It would need some wiring mods to fit it, but I was unlikely to find anything better, and I considered it needed fixing before something failed completely.

One of the hazards of trying to use the laptop on Sickle's tug deck.

I can't think of a caption for a dog and a short tunnel.
We hadn't planned to try and go as far as we did, but calculated we could just about make Brewood.  This we did, and we were already much nearer to our originally planned schedule.  It was too late to consider cooking, (which with "Sickle;s" largely al fresco facilities can take a while, so the meal would need to come from the pub.  The vegetarian choices were rather more "snack" than full meal, and we would certainly have hoped to find a proper "veggie" main course.  They say the pub trade is really struggling, but sometimes my verdict is "need to try harder", if you want as many customers s possible.

Market Drayton to Brewood
Miles: 0 (Chalice), 22.0 (Sickle), Locks: 6

Total Miles: 301.3, Locks: 169

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