Here I am Rune
Distance 9.5 miles
Total 2582 Locks 122 Tunnels
Running total mileage 3570miles
Taking full advantage of an improvement in the weather we have now come along the Trent and Mersey Canal as far as Stenson. It has however been one of those days when things conspired to go wrong, fortunately never disastrously. At our second lock of the day, Aston Lock, I tied the boat up by the centre line whilst I went to assist in opening the paddles on the lock. Having done so I walked back to the boat to then realise that it was no longer moored as the mooring line had snapped. As luck would have it, it hadn’t moved in the flow from the emptying lock, although as soon as I got aboard the bow began to swing across the canal. This temporarily reduced our number of available centre mooring lines to two. At the next lock, the boat that had passed through Aston Lock had waited for us so we went up together. The locks on the Trent and Mersey don’t fill in the same fashion as the one’s on the Grand Union and when the side paddles on the top gates were raised the boats were drawn forward towards the cill. Not a great problem but on these cills there are cross beams and, despite putting the boat fully into reverse, I couldn’t stop the bow hitting the cill. What happened next was a bit concerning since whilst the bow of the boat alongside began to rise with the rising waters of the lock, ours didn’t, I can only assume that the bow button had caught in the cross beams of the cill; a lot of horn blowing then took place and requests to shut the paddles were made quite urgently. As soon as the paddles were dropped, the boat drifted free and floated backwards across the lock. We wouldn’t have sunk but could very easily have broken the button fender off the bow. It looks as though we will need to fill these locks a bit slower.
Tomorrow we’ll be calling in Midland Chandlers, a couple of miles further along the canal from here, to get a replacement mooring rope (the broken one has been spliced together but is certainly showing its age). We’ll probably refuel tomorrow as well.