Tixall Wide to Rugeley to Taft Bridge
The depth of the canal at Tixall was too deep again for Mick to explore the bow thruster tube so after a cooked breakfast we moved on. I can vouch for the gluten free black pudding, a little more crumbly than normal, but very tasty. A lot of the git gaps had vanished as boats had moved off before us. Prime position was available with the view straight out across to the gate house, but we were moving now.
Turning right at the junction we pulled in at the end of the line of moored boats above the lock. There were a few trading boats here including The Pirate Boat, owned by Heidi who we met on the Macc last January when trying to refloat the sunken boat. No-one was home, so we’ll have to say hello another time. Mick popped to the Post Office to collect a parcel of more fuses for the bow thruster and then we were on our way again.
We took our turn at Haywood Lock and cruised our way to Colwich Lock. This lock for us always seems to have a queue, not as bad as the queuing lock on the Middlewich Branch, but still bad. Today we were surprised as we were next into the lock and below there was not one single boat waiting. Shortly afterwards we realised that this is only the second time that we have been in this direction along this stretch, we seem to prefer heading north.
As we approached Taft Bridge I went up the front so that we could pull in on the off side for diesel at Dexta. There was no sign on the roof, so maybe they didn’t have any. Mick tied up the stern as a chap walked over from the farm buildings. He had to get the keys, they’d had a delivery this morning so he’d have to pump some down to the boat if we could wait a while. This was fine, at 63p a litre we’d have waited a while longer. On his third trip back to Dexta there was enough diesel pumped down and we filled the tank.
He stayed put for quite a while before darting off again into a tree. Here he sat and waited until we’d almost come level before swooping down, touching the water and doing the Heron thing of moving up a short distance hoping we wouldn’t follow.
We could have winded before Rugeley, but with a wool shop in town I wanted to have a look at what they did. So we pootled on into town, Oleanna rearing up on an underwater obstacle as we went. Mick stayed to look at the prop whilst I headed into town only to find that the shop had closed ten minutes earlier! With a mug of tea in hand each we carried on under the railway bridges to wind. We were now heading north for Christmas.
Finding a mooring opposite Dexta we pulled in away from the noisy dog a few boats behind and let Tilly out. The fallen down tree was great to climb around, it was nice of all the birdies to welcome me with so much singing too. The depth of water was measured, around about hip height and a lowish bank. I think I know what we’ll be doing in the morning.
2 locks, 9.11 miles, 1 right, 2 winds, 1 reverse, 1 Rum Wench, 4 more fuses, 1 big house, 124 litres, 3.30pm closing time, 2 conditioners, 1 big lump under the water, 2wice found, 0 camera shy kingfisher, 2ft 6ish, 1 pair of waders coming out in the morning.