The morning was brighter and drier than forecast, so we set off enthusiastically up the Audlem Lock Flight. Much later in the day Clare asked how come we hadn’t done the morning shop as planned. The only answer I had was enthusiasm – and nobody stopped me.
The flight was relatively easy although there were eleven locks.. Clare did most of the locking, though I hopped out a few times to close offside tail gates to save her walking the length of the lock twice. She commented later that this meant she then had to wait while I climbed (carefully) back down to the boat before she could open the paddle. It’s still quicker overall – the impatience gets shared around.
It was still quite windy, and there were strong currents from the bypass sluices, so it was sometimes hard to hold the boat in the pound waiting for the lock. Fortunately everything was trying to push me against the towpath so I could always get out and push the nose off – I only had to do that once.
We had a few spots of rain and some fleeting rainbows during the main part of the flight. Unfortunately, a very heavy squall blew over us as we were in the last of the locks. Clare got pretty wet but I escaped most of it by pulling the rear cover up. I struggled to steer in the last couple of locks and realised there was something on the propellor. The rain had now stopped again as we limped out of the top lock and moored up. Clare spotted a stall at the canal side from which we picked things we fancied for lunch. There was a physical and electronic honesty box – we paid electronically once we’d got back on board.
Before sitting down for lunch I went down the weed hatch (first time in a month) and found a mystery red item. I called it a cagoule, but Clare pointed out it had no zips – perhaps it was a rucsac or pannier cover. In any case it was less useful as a propellor wrapper. I couldn’t get it off without cutting it, the special saw blade did the job nicely.
After lunch we thought we’d have a go at the next flight of five locks at Adderley. By the time we were approaching them the rain was on again, so we moored up below them instead. Later with the rain off we walked in to Adderley, getting back just in time to see the sun setting over the canal.
A local we exchanged a few words with said there were always great sunsets here. She wondered if she perhaps took them too much for granted. We certainly didn’t.