Making A Start Up The Hill. 14th May

Rockery Railway Bridge 158 to Lock 60

Another lovely morning

The sun had been shining for ages before we got up this morning and the batteries were already up to 80% charge, so Mick decided to put a load of washing on without the engine running to see how everything coped. By the time we moved off the batteries had dropped by 12%, so all was fine. It’s nice not to have to have the engine running.

We waved goodbye to Tilly’s friend Ben and moved on up to Wheelock where we’d originally planned to be last night. Our change of plan had given us a better mooring, quieter with more sun and a wider towpath.

We’ve seen this boat about before, I wonder how we recognise it

Approaching the services we could see two boats already there, so we slowed right down and came in slowly, hovering by a moored boat. One boat was just about finished so we didn’t have to loiter long before filling our tank and doing a few chores that involve water. As soon as one boat had finished and moved off another arrived to take it’s place.

First of the paired locks

Now at the bottom of the paired locks we started our ascent. I’d talked to the yarn people this morning and my order was hopefully going to go in the post today, third time lucky, so there was no rush to get to Rode Heath, drying the washing would be more important.

I love this cottage, especially on a sunny day

A Diamond Resort boat was just in front of us, the crew of four kindly lifted a paddle for us on the second paired lock which meant it had emptied by the time we reached it. We decided to do another four locks before stopping for lunch and possibly the day. We soon passed our helpers who’d stopped for lunch and caught up with another boat. We were both having to empty locks, at Lock 62 we had to wait as only one of the paired locks is usable, the other having been converted into a bywash.

Looking back

Lock 61, Cardboard Lock, had a new sign on it (admittedly an old sign as it was originally a BW one). The towpath side lock has shrunk and is now only suitable for boats under 6ft 10inches wide. There are a few like that along this stretch. Older boats with a touch of middle age spread or boats with their fenders down might get stuck. But Oleanna still has her trim waist line so we were alright.

A new old sign

A slightly longer pound than elsewhere and still a distance away from the M6 we pulled in for the day, hung the washing out and had lunch. If we’d been aware of low flying golf balls plopping into the water we’d possibly have moved on up a few more locks, but so far none have hit us!

Spotted on one of the locks today, wonder how long that piece of wood will last

The afternoon Tilly did her thing outside avoiding making friends with a Ginger Tom from a boat that had stopped for lunch. I re-read panto as a third draft had arrived in my Inbox yesterday. A couple of new thoughts, but nothing major to change thank goodness. A Banana and Buckwheat Loaf went into the oven which was just cool enough to enjoy a slice for pudding. Very nice it was too recipe here. I might try the marzipan and raspberry one some time.

6 locks, 2.3 miles, 1 full water tank, 1 clean pooh box, 8 hours for a flap, 1 parcel hopefully on its way today, 4 near misses, 1 springy loaf, 3rd draft, 1 song sheet added.

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