Wednesday 31 August 2016

Turn right at Fradley

The journey to Fradley was punctuated with occasional moments of excitement – mostly in the form of boats coming in the opposite direction through a bridge on a blind corner. All of those were negotiated successfully – two of them immediately going into reverse and beckoning us through. The narrows just out of Rugeley held the promise of interest.

But nothing was coming in the other direction. Shortly after we crossed with NB Goldberry, and I thought for a moment I'd added to my list of Tolkien-themed boat names.

No such luck – this boat or another identically named is already on the list.

At Fradley the strength of the wind made pulling up in a tight space on the lock mooring rather challenging. Especially as the gongoozlers were still out enjoying the fun.

The chappie on the bridge had a good vantage point.

But we'd seen him tying up his own boat shortly before, so I'm not sure what he was doing, looking on at the foibles of others. Nothing to see here, sir…

So we came down the first two of the Fradley locks and, for the first time, turned right at the junction.

Just opposite "The Mucky Duck" as it's known by beer and boating aficionados.

It was on this final leg of today's journey that we had our final moment of excitement, as a 70ft working boat towing a 70ft butty came towards us quite fast in a curvy section, trying to cope with the shallowness of the water. Unfortunately such events require too much activity to even think about getting the camera out, so you'll have to take my word for it.

It was nice to tie up shortly after in a spot that's quiet in spite of the proximity of the A38, get the washing out on the whirligig and have a restorative cuppa.


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