Wednesday, July 3, 2013

All quiet on the beautiful Shroppie.

Apologies for the lack of posts this week, but there are a few reasons for this. Firstly, and most importantly it was Louise's birthday on Monday (21 again + VAT) and we met up with friends. Secondly we seem to have moored in the worst places to try and get any signal and lastly I'm getting fed up with 'Blogger' particularly when it comes to adding photos. 

Anyway, moans over and we are now down at the southern end of the 'Shroppie' near to Bridge 8 at Chillington. A lovely still and sunny evening sat in the cratch with a glass of wine...perfect. 

Since our last post which should have been there for all to see and wasn't on Sunday, we have covered some miles on the lovely Shroppie. We really enjoy it on here for the spectacular views and the secluded cuttings. It can be a bit monotonous with the long straights at times, but if we could alter one thing it is the vast number of online moorings which stretch for as far as the eye can see at times.

Monday evening saw us head to Overwater Marina where we met up with our friends Christine & Alan who moor there. Like us, they used to have shares in Inglewood, but have since bought their own boat too. We decided to stay in the marina as it made socialising and boat viewing much easier. We had a lovely catch up with them and had a top meal at The Lord Combemere in Audlem before heading back to Blue Moon for coffee.
Some may recognise this boat passed near Overwater. 
We made an early escape on Tuesday morning to tackle the Audlem flight. If you had to pick a flight of locks to work through this would be at the top of most lists we reckon. The lock gear is easy and the scenery is hard to beat. The only problem can be the strength of the bypass weirs and the one entering Lock 10 was in a particularly foul mood this morning. A little touching up required!!!
Looking up the Audlem Flight
We made it up the flight in a little over 2 hours, helped by some boats descending. At the top we passed our other ex shared boat Marbury (again) but this time with different owners, so we stopped for a brief word.

The locks were not finished for the day yet as we ascended Adderley and then Tyrley Locks before entering Woodseaves Cutting. It was noticeable how many landslips and fallen trees have occurred recently, but also the number of trees that had been cut back. It did appear wider than we last remembered it. We moored at Goldstone Wharf and had a lovely meal at The Wharf of our favourites, and it was certainly very busy for a Tuesday night. 

Folks were up and about early this morning. One boat decided that they would moor on the water point beyond us at 7.15am and leave their engine running whilst they filled for over half an hour !! We left about 9.00am and headed south. There were quite a lot of boats heading the other way and I would think the locks towards Audlem would be a long drag today (he says with a wry grin). 
View of 'The Wrekin' from Shebdon 
The former Cadburys Wharf at Knighton.

We stopped off at Norbury Wharf to fill with diesel. 175 litres with a base price of 76.9p saw the tank full to the brim. We always try to use Norbury (or Turners Garage) if we are out this way as it makes a decent saving on the cost of filling up. After an ice cream, we continued south in some decent weather and decided to keep going through Gnosall, Wheaton Aston and Brewood even though we could have easily moored at all three. Even the staff at Norbury Wharf were saying how quiet it has been and Countrywide Cruisers at Brewood had 12 boats moored up, some of which look as though they haven't been used at all this 'summer'. If these boats aren't out, they aren't earning money and people aren't putting money into the economy and subsequently people are going to lose jobs and firms are going to go under which is the last thing the waterways needs at this time. I hope I'm wrong, but all the hire bases we have passed on this trip seem to have more boats in than out. 

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