Day 8 – Fradley (ish) – Polesworth

Hours cruised – 5

Interesting people – 1

Idiots met – 0

Curries delivered to the boat (well almost)   – 1

Classic Album – Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge over troubled water

One first thing to say is scratch everything I said about the butcher in Stone. Whilst the pork pie he sold us was very good, the steak (which we ate last night) was the worst steak I have eaten in a long time!! To still be in business, obviously, the people of Stone eat more pork pies than steak!

The forecast for Saturday (tomorrow) was not very promising, so on the basis that we might be staying put tomorrow, we decided to push on (still only made 5 hours though). On setting off, the first thing of note was that the Coventry canal is shallow, especially under the bridges. The engine seemed to be labouring the whole way along, and almost every bridge passage involved clearing the prop to get going again! Felt like going up the Llangollen.

Past Hopwas, we realised that we had done this part of the canal before, having picked up a boat (that belonged to a friend of ours) here a few years back for a trip up the Shroppie to Barbridge.

Through past Fazeley Junction, things got better. I suspect this section of canal between Fradley & Fazeley is less used than most!

Whilst stopped for lunch, 2 things happened 1: we were subjected to someone murdering Bridge over troubled water on the radio – leading to the decision re tonight’s classic album and 2: We were passed by a boat with a prow decorated with stylised Dragons. Turned out the crew were welsh (should have guessed really given the dragons painted on the boat, dragon tiller pin and, the real clincher, Welsh flag flying from the stern). 1/2 hour later we caught up with them in Glascote locks. They had been up and down in the lock twice (unable to get it to fill completely). There was a block of wood jammed in one of the bottom gate paddles. Once cleared, they were good to go! Glad we stopped for lunch and let them past!

Couple of hours later, we decided to moor at Polesworth. The Welsh boat (still don’t know it’s name) moored up behind us. Chatting to the guy on board, turns out they were continuous cruisers heading for London. (Apparently the cool dragon design, was actually nicked from the logo of one of the Welsh councils!) They winter on the Llangollen (so they should feel at home on the Cov given the depth) and always make sure they escape through Hurleston junction before the season starts to avoid the madness that the Llangollen becomes in the summer.

We had decided to eat on the boat until, whilst sat in the cratch doing the crossword, we were handed an Indian takeaway menu by a guy walking down the towpath ( “we are happy to deliver” were his parting words). Feeling that we could not ignore this initiative (Rugeley take note!), plans were changed & a takeaway ordered, though being moored only 100 yards from the restaurant we declined the offer of delivery. 

The meal was however well worth the 100m journey to collect it.

Didn’t take any photos today, so I thought I would share a photo of Boo (remember her, the cool border collie from day 1)  pulling her weight as part of the crew.

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