Well today I set off to explore the Cauldon Canal for a few days. I stopped at the services to unload the boat full of trash I was towing. There was a lot of stuff in there including the trash I have collected since I came back from Harecastle.
Paul, a boater pal from Stoke, came by to help. Up the first two locks (staircase pair) no leaks in the middle gate. On to the third. That's an odd one. Why did they build it with no straight line access into the lock? Before we got to Hanley Park we came across a work boat. They told us the canal was closed at Stockton a few miles up the canal. Oh! So we carried onto bridge 12 to the only turning point on that stretch and came back. Bridge 9 is a bit low and almost cleared my roof off, twice! Something very noticeable about the Cauldon is its similarity to a muddy country track. The experience was akin to running through puddles. What ever the problem is, not enough water or to much bottom, CRT have to get it sorted. I am only two foot in the water and struggled most of the short trip we had. I think it must be the bottom. If you put more water in boats would never get under Bridge 9.
So I am back outside the Toby again. I had a couple of beers with Paul in the pub where we discussed, of all people, my mate Norman Bate. Yes you know Norman! He’s the guy that hates CCers because they overstay on visitor moorings, a practice he likes to reserve for himself. He is actively trying to get CCers banned. Yeah you got him that’s the arsehole. Norman apparently told Paul that the would never find anywhere to moor in London. This is an odd thing for Norman to say because the last time he was there (2013) not only did he get a prime mooring in London he overstayed on it. Norman is a member of that elite band of boaters that are allowed to overstay, he knows a director on the board of the CRT don’t you know, even has dinner with him, and of course he is a member of the IWA!
I think I will go back to Stone tomorrow to do my washing and come back on Fri/Sat for lunch with family.
Thanks for your help Paul.