Monday 21st May 2018
The spot where we moored in Stone last night had two tiny Pansies growing out of the bank right beside Jannocks rear deck. Never seen any that small before. My finger in the picture gives an idea of size.
Brenda went shopping in Stone this morning whilst I did a car shuffle. When I tried to start the DiBlasi it didn’t want to play. I finally managed to get it going and made the trip back to Alvecote with no further issues. I decided I may have a fuel supply issue – faulty petrol hose, tap or float chamber valve. Drove back to Stone in the car but then the DiBlasi refused to start at all once I’d unloaded it. Did a strip down on the towpath but fuel supply was fine. However, I was unable to get a spark on the spark plug so I must have an intermittent fault in the wiring somewhere. Put it back in it’s bag to sort tomorrow and we set off towards Star lock.
This mornings weather was fine again and we met two boats heading south as we passed up the four locks in Stone. Then onto the Meaford flight where watched an NPAS helicopter circling a spot over to our starboard side as we passed up on our own with every lock set against us – we’ve obviously lost yesterday’s luck.
This latter fact was backed up by a 30 minute heavy rain storm from 3:45 until 4:15 once we’d cleared Meaford and made our way through Barlaston. Brenda went inside and made a cup of tea whilst I stayed put and braved the storm. I felt really sorry for the Southbound boat we had passed just above the Meaford locks – they would be working their way down the flight during all this rain. Then only bonus was that Jannock looks much cleaner now than she did earlier.
We think CaRT deserve recognition for all of the offside vegitation management that has occurred since we last passed this way. It’s great now that all the trees have been trimmed back revealing the full width of the navigation channel and also improving views ahead around bends etc. Thanks folks.
We tied up on piling at Hem Heath, just up from bridge 106. Sheilded from the railway by the offside houses and far enough away from the bridge for a quiet night. As I was sorting out the TV aerial, I spotted a small bird of prey (Harrier?) grabbing a baby bird from the towpath just in front of Jannock and trying to carry it off. However it was not climbing very well and so dropped the prey when it saw me on the front of our boat. The baby bird hopped off into the bushes alongside the towpath.