Sunday, 14 June 2015

The quiet after the storm

After all that occurred during the last few days, today seemed unusually uneventful. We hadn't had the promised storm and lightning, but older brother NÂș2 informed us by email they'd had torrents of rain back in Sheffield. As we emerged from the Leek arm of the Caldon, we met a boater who said they'd been absolutely soaked further west. We obviously slipped between the turbulences.

A day boat had nipped out before us on the way from Leek, looking back somewhat guiltily. But they grounded coming out from a bridge, and waved us through. We (very nobly) asked if they needed help or wanted to borrow a pole, but they seemed fine. Later on at the Park Lane water point another hire boat decided to get out quickly from behind us, and then proceeded extremely slowly down the cut. But again, consumed by guilt, they pulled over and waved us past – they were nearly at their terminus anyway.

About the only excitement of the day was caused by (a) a boat coming too fast towards us through a bridge, sounding his horn when he saw us, and (b) the almost inevitable situation that occurs as you emerge from bridge 3 on the Leek arm, faced with a right angle turn that you cannot even start until you are practically through the bridge, and a contrary wind blowing you against the boat (I forget the name) moored against the left bank. The only thing is to drift forward until you nose up to the far bank, and then pole the bows round until you can get under way in the right direction. Actually, pretty tame stuff if you're looking for excitement.

So we came through four locks and two lift bridges and have moored up slightly further out of Stoke than we did coming up. But we tied up early enough to follow England's victory over Slovenia and defeat by New Zealand (depending on your preferred sport). There is now absolutely no sound whatsoever, except from the occasional insomniac bird or sheep. I'm content.

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