Sunday 12 August 2012

Rocks, blocks and shocks

You can never quite tell what you're going to get between the water and the towpath. Last night, looking for somewhere to tie up for the night, we encountered long stretches (mile after mile would be an exaggeration, but that's what it felt like) of jungle – reeds and nettles and who knows what. Just above Wychnor lock we finally found a suitable place where the canal is edged with the sort of piling you fit a mooring hook behind. But this morning, pushing north-east in as much rural idyll as you can get 30 yards from the A38, it was disconcerting to see that for considerable distances it was lined with random blocks of stone, just below the water. I imagine it was originally above the water-line, forming a proper edge to the canal, and that its position now is due to subsidence. Horrible to run on to with a steel hull – lethal (I suppose) for a GRP cruiser.

Coming to Branston Water Park we pulled up to go for walk. Not so much subsidence here – just a nice example of a gravel pit reclaimed by nature with a bit of help from the Council. There we met Eddy and Jean sailing their boats. But these weren't children – they're 73 year olds, and the boats are radio controlled yachts. It was fun to chat with them about the stuff they and their friends do, though we were amazed that you actually need insurance to sail one of these models. It's apparently all about the possibility that someone keen to see what you're doing might get a bit close and end up with your antenna in his eye.

Bridge 25 on the T&M tonight. Food in the pot, it's stopped raining and we're looking forward to the Olympic closing ceremony. Happiness is…


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