Lock 61 to Rode Heath
Yesterday we’d moored under trees so the solar panels didn’t do quite so well. However we’d been grateful for their protection from the driving range! Mick decided to experiment with the dishwasher this morning. The heating cycle uses a lot more juice than the washing machine, so he knew he’d be getting the engine going before it had finished. These experiments are not that scientific, there are other things drawing power, but it’s interesting. The first heating cycle drew 17% of our battery capacity.
Just after breakfast I had confirmation of my next panto meeting, so quickly purchased an Advance ticket. Cross Country now charge for you to pick up your tickets at a machine! So I opted for an e ticket which was free.
Several boats had already come past this morning, the last two going down hill, so we hoped that at least the first lock would be in our favour. We’d actually timed our departure with a lot of boats coming down hill, so we didn’t have to turn too many locks.
Lock 60 is a pair, the towpath side chamber has had a width warning on it for some time. Today however it was locked up. Padlocks preventing you from operating paddles and no leakage through the gates. Looking down I could see where the lock was now bulging, a damp area of bricks highlighting it.
The first two locks brought us closer to the M6. Mow Cop visible for the first time on the horizon.
The blue sky today was filled with vapour trails from planes. We wondered if there were any clouds up there or was it all being produced by planes?
Boats came towards us, at Lock 57 we had to wait for one coming down before ascending. Two short boats waited their turn to share the single lock down. On we pootled catching up with a boat we were following at the last lock of the day, Thurlwood Lock 53. Here I helped them up, another boat down before we came up into the pound we planned to moor on.
We pulled in just before the winding hole and Tilly was let out to explore. Rode Heath must have at least one dog per human! There is a constant stream of them being walked in the field just below the moorings. Tilly found a suitable gap in the woofers and headed for the large trees below, these kept her busy for quite sometime.
Time to get back to work, my model won’t finish itself. With a new list of jobs to be done, I set about sorting out the flying in the model box. This isn’t anything fancy, just thin bits of wood with model scenery attached so that they can be lifted in and out of the box. I added marked rests on either side of the box, so that positions would be accurate. This took all afternoon. I’ll need a few none cruising days before my meeting in Chippy to get everything finished and there are still plenty of locks to come.
8 locks, 2.75 miles, 2 in a lock, 1st sight, 2 initials swapped over, 6 hours, 2 red boats moored in the winding hole, 6 flying bars, 1 parcel left till morning, 2 fingers crossed that it’s there.