Monday, 30 March 2015

We encounter Saturn at bridge 47.

I sometimes feel a little guilty when I read other peoples blogs. There they are covering the miles, clocking up the locks and here we are, loafing about, not in any particular hurry. But then we are actually not going anywhere in particular and, in general, don't have to be there at any particular time. So I think we will continue with our habit of staying put when the weather doesn't look too good or if  we just happen to like it where we are. Having said that we do make it a point not to outstay our welcome.

Having sat out the wind and rain at the weekend we set off this morning and were soon at Tilstock Park Lift Bridge, sixty odd turns of the windlass to lift it, Jill counts every one of 'em. Once through  we were at the beginning of Whixhall Moss,

 a large expanse of peat bog, once exploited for peat cutting but now a nature reserve, famous in the summer for its dragonflies and also its mosquitoes.

Passing the junction with the Prees branch, another canal that never actually got to where it was meant to, it now ends in a marina. I will confess to never having ventured up there, maybe one day, just to say we have done it.

A few hundred yards further on we crossed into Wales, the border being marked with this impressive obelisk. We weren't asked for our passports.

At bridge 47 we pulled over, giving a boat coming down right of way. It turned out to be Saturn, the last Shroppie Fly Boat. Unfortunately we had picked the shallowest bit of the canal to try passing, so as they poled themselves of from the mud on the offside we coasted onto the mud on the towpath side.

Eventually they got free and passed us safely. It's always a pleasure to see Saturn out and about, but not at this particular spot!

Just beyond the bridge is Bettisfield, a pleasant little village, where we have moored in the past so we decided that, as we had picked up something on the prop, we would call it a day. Unfortunately the spot where we had moored in the past had become silted up so we moved on a couple of hundred yards and eventually managed to get in.

Though we still had to use our wheels to hold us out from the mud.
And back to the beginning, strong wind warnings in force for tomorrow so I think it may be Wednesday before we move again.
It was a couple of foot of garden string around the prop, easy enough to remove although the water is still a mite on the cool side.

Watch this space.........

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