Monday 25th May
After a quiet night at Brinklow All Oaks Wood, we set off at 10 under a grey overcast sky. At Stretton, Graham prepared to hop off to swing the bridge but noticed a pair of swans with their young sat on the offside bank, so he swapped sides on got off onto the towpath. We let a waiting canoeist pass through after Jannock has passed through.
At bridge 19 Graham spotted not one, but two water voles swimming across the cut. He wasn’t quick enough with the camera to get pictures. Two, so close together, suggest a breeding pair. We continued on to Ansty where we stopped for a water fill and were amused by the actions of the horses in the field opposite. A foal was laid on the ground and another pony then went and nudged it to get up. It then found it’s mum and stayed with her.
Later, as we passed the electricity works near Hawkesbury we did see some information boards about water voles. I love a good homophone, but why are CEGB paying good money for spelling mistakes on signage? “Coir rolls help voles get out of the water. And coir roles have a, erm, role to play in establishing a healthy vole population.” Good grief, how many people should have pointed out that error between inception to installation?
We called in to see our friends Christine and Terry, nb Grace, and were invited to join their scheduled visitors with tea and scones with homemade jams. Christine painted the lovely picture of Jannock at Chirk that Graham gave me for my birthday.
They say “one good turn deserves another” and I made a very good (for me) turn at Hawkesbury Junction. I then let Graham to avoid the chaos at Charity Dock as the steam tug Hasty was being extracted from the dock. In order to get the tug out of the dock, all of the cruisers moored across the entrance were moved into the main canal to make room. Graham managed to squeeze through without hitting anything but the southbound craft that we warned to slow right down, didn’t bother to heed our advice and ended up right in the middle of the shenanigans.
Graham then made a good turn into the Ashby at Marston junction. we continued north for a few bridges and then moored for the night near Bulkington, around which we went for an amble after dinner.
More info on Hasty can be found at http://www.tunneltug.org.uk/