Friday 2nd July
I took leave today to get an extra days boating in but ended up volunteering to get a tooth removed after the previous three days of excruciating pain. Consequently we didn't leave home to travel to Jannock until 2pm.
We arrived and unloaded and set off North towards Kinver where we stopped to fill the water tank (the rest of the service block is still out of use). Although the boss reckoned I should be on light duties I decided to wash the towpath side of Jannock whilst we waited for the tank to fill - which included the removal of an extended family of slugs that had moved onto the blacking at the last mooring. We then moved out into the woods North of Hyde lock before settling for a night amongst the tweeting and shrieking of mother nature. So much for peaceful countryside ;^)
Brenda prepared an excellent meal of braised duck, saute' ed potatoes and crushed petit pois au Cannes (OK - tinned mushy peas) It was very scary as nigh on 20 ducks turned up and were definitely giving us the evil eye as we munched ours.
Saturday 3rd July
We awoke to a lovely sunny morning and set off after breakfast at 9am. We had no queuing at any lock, not even the Bratch (Wow- turn up and straight in!), until we approached Wightwick lock below Compton. Here we found a Hudson boat reversing back up through the lock as they had missed the winding hole above it. We decided to continue onto the Shroppie as we were so early rather than stopping at Compton as planned. At Oxley we said Hello to Orph but didn't see Wendy at all although Felus Catus II was open.
At Autherley junction Brenda went ahead to operate the lock and ended up joining a 'steering committee' of three people advising a newby hirer how to get his boat around the tight turn onto the Northbound S&W. Once through the stoplock we travelled up under the M54 and moored for the night on one of the S.U.C.S 48 hour moorings.
Sunday 4th July
Bird of the day - a very splendid Jay
A quiet night, a quiet breakfast and then off. Most of the canal traffic today was Southbound and we were lucky to meet most in the pounds rather than in bridgeholes. I was hoping to do a diesel fill at Wheaton Aston but they are not open on Sundays and as all the local moorings are 48hour we couldn't leave Jannock there till next weekend. We moved on in an increasing wind until we found a suitable 14 day mooring and stopped. Whilst we were eating our lunch a hirer scraped past, having had to move over to avoid an oncoming boat he then got caught by the wind and successfully clouted three out of three moored boats. The first boat owner gave him a right mouthful. We just shrugged shoulders and by the time he'd hit the third boat his wife was desperately trying to hide her head under the slide in embarrassment. Luckily the owner of that boat didn't mind either s shame on the prawn on boat 1.
It was good to see a charity bike ride go through - Helly to Selly(?) in aid of Help for Heroes. Not so good to see kids on motorbikes whizzing up and down the towpath in both directions. They were certainly underage, so uninsured, so heaven help anyone who became 'inconvenienced' by them.