Thursday 23 August 2012

Stuck on the Shroppie

They warned us about the Shroppie. The beautiful, idyllic, captivating, treacherous Shroppie. Roger in particular said get a couple of beer crates as fenders to stop Erin Mae banging against the underwater ledge all night. But nobody told us what would happen if you tried to moor up between Gnosall and Norbury junction. We didn't fancy the dark forest that overhangs the Gnosall visitor moorings, and wanted to ensure we tied up south of Norbury, so that we could easily pull in for diesel in the morning. So we picked a spot with a wonderful view and edged in, only to discover that we couldn't quite get close enough. So we tried again a bit further on, and found ourselves well and truly stuck on the bottom. Concrete shelf we had anticipated, underwater superglue we had not.

I used the long pole to free the front, which then hung out in the most ungainly fashion across the cut. Nothing would budge the back. We tried rocking and revving and transferring weight (now I know why so many boaters find it valuable to have a BMI in excess of 25). Stuck – even though it seemed to be only the last couple of feet of the left-hand side (apologies to my sea-faring relatives for the use of inland terms). I put down the plank to get ashore with the pole, and get my weight off the boat. Still nothing.

Fortunately Tim and Chris on NB Dudley NÂș 3, with about 100 years of boating experience between them, came up from Gnosall. Chris got on the gunwale on the off-side while I shoved from the bank. Slowly Erin Mae swung round and freed herself. I was able to come back across the plank, bring it on board, and reverse away from the peril.

Great to have a helping hand when you need it. We came up to Norbury Junction and found plenty of room on the visitor moorings. So the whole thing had been completely unnecessary! Except that in the great scheme of things, an event today provides invaluable experiene for tomorrow.


  1. Ah yes, been there, done that!There are many places on the Shroppie that LOOK great for mooring, until you get up close and personal!And the ledge in the locks at Tyrley should have a big warning sign on the wall. It took both Mike and I rocking on the offside and a helpful dog walker pushing with the pole from the shore to get us off. A mistake you (hopefully) don't make twice! Like the tip about the beer crates...

    1. I'll remember that about Tyrley, Mo. This time we're not going that far as we need to trickle back to GH for the end of the month.