Saturday 18th July
Today has been mostly spent getting Jannock ready for the holiday season. Matt will be borrowing her for the first week in August and then we'll be taking a fortnight immediately afterwards. The biggest problem with lending her to Matt is that we have to clear out all of our accumulated rubbish to make room for his crew to store their stuff in. We set off from Penkridge at 9:15 and headed south. The sky was overcast but it didn't rain all day. Through five locks got us past Coven, where Brenda fancied joining the aptly named 'Coven Boat Club' , and onto the summit at Gailey. Then on through the narrows to Autherly junction. I wanted to do a pumpout and fill with diesel so we went down to Oxley marine. I called across to ascertain that they were open and a bloke there suggested we wind at the bottom of the Wolverhampton flight so that the pumpout connector was on the right side. Having winded we returned and Orph did a pumpout before he pointed out that he could not fill our diesel tank as we were facing in the wrong direction. So we went up to Autherley junction and winded there to return pointing south again. 135 litres of diesel later I paid the bill and we set off to turn at the Wolverhampton end again - hence the title Four times past .......
We passed through the stop lock onto the Shroppie and headed North. Once we were tied up near Brewood I fetched the car and we filled it with crates of tinned food and other stuff that would not be needed by the Matt cruise. We then headed home and met our first rainstorm of the day.