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Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2016 – Day 56 – Shropshire Union

Posted by indigodream on 4 April, 2017

Rewind to Friday 26th August

Autherley Junction to Goldstone Wharf

Kingfisher 🙂

One of the great joys of boating is the sheer variety that England’s canals, and climate, has to offer. After yesterday’s excess of locks and rain, today we had a day of blue skies, sunshine and one of the longest lock-free pounds on the system. We hardly took any photos yesterday, but today a kingfisher obligingly sat on top of a hawthorn tree for long enough for me to get several photos – such a difference!

We’d had a mercifully quiet night on the mooring and enjoyed a relaxed start, casting off at around 9.30am. However we didn’t get very far – as soon as we’d turned onto the Shroppie via the silly stop lock, we stopped at the hire base to get a pump out. We then moved a boat length onto the waterpoint and filled the tank. Archie and Henry were weary, once they’d had a good rummage at the junction, they were happy to settle as we set off along the Shroppie.

I’ve never known one pose so nicely 🙂

It was a day for services – we stopped at Wheaton Aston, well, it would be rude not to given that it has the reputation for being the cheapest on the system – today it was 51.9p per litre base price. We also got a new gas cylinder.

With various tanks properly full, or empty, we set off for a long afternoon on the lock-free pound. It’s easy to see why the Shroppie is so popular – it’s so pretty and there is a great contract between the cool, deep cuttings and the sudden embankments with breathtaking views across to the far Wrekin.

I dropped Richard off at Gnosall so that he could catch a bus to Stafford then a train back to Birmingham to retrieve his car and collect his new bike from Wolverhampton. The hounds and I carried on cruising, the late afternoon is my favourite time of day on the water and it was a welcome respite after a vexatious couple of days.

As we near the end of a long odyssey, the crew are getting very weary…

There were good moorings at Shebdon Wharf with the 5-day rings totally unoccupied; the long stretched of long-term online moorings made for slow progress but they were leavened by long stretches of unoccupied country canal. I envied nb Gorgeous George, that had bagged itself a prime mooring spot with a magnificent view of the Wrekin. I’ve always fancied mooring there, but it is very isolated so nigh on impossible for Richard to get back to the boat. As I cruised past I was very glad I hadn’t moored – nb Gorgeous George had a cat running loose around the towpath and adjacent field – could have been a close call with the hounds!

I arrived at Goldstone Wharf at 7.15pm – I’d just moored up and fed the hounds when Richard turned up on his shiny new bike. We went to the nearby Wharf Inn for supper – sadly dogs are only allowed in the garden but it was a bit chilly for sitting outside so we left them on the boat, but they didn’t seem to mind 🙂

Photoblog:

Autherley Junction – useful services, including ice-cream!

 

Drama! This poor hire boat had a window broken by a ballistic rock thrown out by the strimmers….

Deep cuttings and dappled sunshine…

 

Classic Canal scenes around Brewood…

 

Aqueduct…

 

Rummaging…..

 

A fine place to stop for lunch…

 

A fine canal for photography…

 

Tempting…

 

Breathtaking views – with the Wrekin in the distance..

 

2 Responses to “Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2016 – Day 56 – Shropshire Union”

  1. s/v Eolian said

    Thanks for this post! This is the section of canal that we toured with our hire boat a year and a half ago. We enjoyed it then, and we enjoyed re-living it again thru your post. We even took many of the same pictures!

    Thanks

    Bob & Jane
    s/v Eolian
    Anacortes

  2. indigodream said

    Sorry I am busy (well obviously not busy enough) changing servers and missed a few forwarding rules so did not see this comment come through.

    I love that you were photographing greyhounds 🙂

    We have not been up the Shroppie for ages. I had forgotten how gorgeous it is!

    Richard

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