The Audlem flight is fifteen locks; at eight I decided to make a start. Just as I was untying the ropes I spotted 'Drusilla', the crew of which I'd been chatting too at Grindley Brook queue, doing the same, so suggested they go ahead and I wait a few minutes so they weren't stuck behind a single hander. The hire boat moored between us obviously heard what was going on, and ran out and pulled their pins - so I found myself third in the queue that wasn't there minutes ago. I feel sorry for Russel & Lesley on 'Doris', who were very quickly behind me, but were not only lovely and helpful but stopped for water after three locks so I didn't feel rushed. Looking forward to a pint with you two.
Got through in around four hours, mainly single handed, only crossing a couple of boats, one of which stole an empty lock as I walked up to open the gates, opened the paddles then ran away back to the boat... my gain, I got to put the kettle on, and didn't help them work down the lock. ;-) Did I mention the rain? In fact a thunderstorm... Then the Adderley locks, another five.
Stopped in Market Drayton (after topping up 35l diesel at 68p/l) for internet for visitor planning & the usual charity shop & food run. ALso spotted Marmaduke, so got to chat with John & Cathy and meet the dogs. Decided a little too late to press on, and finished the Tyrely locks by headlamp, which was a bit daft, especially as I managed to get grounded on the rocks after the first lock - damn my habit of closing lock gates behind me (some people do seem to think it's optional, like the HB I ended following up Audlem).
Making a dash for it. - 8am and the Herbies are still lying in bed wondering if we'd get through Nells Bridge today. Suddenly we hear the sound of an approaching boat from the di...
47 minutes ago