Abrupt Change

The forecast for the weekend again has some strong winds – 20mph with gusts to 40mph – so we reckoned we’d probably try to sit still and let it blow over.  We were thinking of going as far as Fradley Junction and then finding a sheltered spot.  Clare stocked up a little before moving as shops are a little far away from there.  We were just about to set off when I got an email telling me about hospital appointments back in Burton-on-Trent, the first of which is on Monday morning….

So we decided we needed to get back to Burton today instead.  Fortunately it wasn’t far to a winding hole and we had time for the journey.  Clare did the winding – it needed more throttle than she’d expected to force the stern round in to the wind.  That was the trickiest bit of the driving today, though we did have to push the boat away from the side more than usual.  It’s still great fun, as described on the side of a house.

"Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING, absolutely nothing half so much more worth doing as simply messing about in boats." -- Ratty
The Wisdom of Ratty on a Canalside House

We were going along this piece of canal for the third time in as many weeks.  This allowed us to savour some of the interesting quirks.  Many lock gates have planks along the outside which serve as a narrow bridge when the gates are closed.  At one of the locks on this section, the planks are unusually high. I think this is because the drop in the lock is unusually low, so this keeps the planks above the cabin roof.  A small step is provided to help with getting on and off.

The temperature was a little lower again today and it was windy too.  I was trying out my new thermal leggings – I didn’t get cold today, so I think that was a success.  We were in the last lock when we noticed a squally shower coming towards us.  The shower lasted only a few minutes, but it did include some small hailstones.  I made a tactical retreat inside while we descended in the lock.  Clare chose to tough it out, and didn’t seem to mind.

Squally Shower Approaching
Dramatic Cloud – Undramatic Shower