Rookery Rail Bridge to Lock 57 - Trent & Mersey
3.5 miles, 10 locks
After half a month's rain in 24 hours yesterday, it was a big relief to wake to a wonderfully sunny morning. As was to be expected there were a lot of boats on the move today, so we set off around 9 am with about 8 boats ahead of us and 10 locks to do.
First stop was to be the services at Wheelock - as we expected there was a queue, so we held back before the bridge and I spotted this charming and very appropriate planter on a balcony across the cut.
I walked ahead to see how many boats were waiting to fill with water only to find that it was a tree that was causing the delay.
Before I arrived the boat in the picture below took a man with a chain saw across the canal to release the fallen tree from its stump. Then another man arrived with a grappling iron - one throw and he had it hooked.
Then it was a question of heaving it across the canal
and then four strong men to try and lift it out of the water
All together now
The chain saw was brought into action on several occasions to break it up in to more manageable pieces
Bit by bit
It was removed
The four men did a sterling job and managed to get most of it out of the way.
The Cleddau crew were expecting a very important crew member - their granddaughter 'The Cheshire One' (back to the camera below) and her Dad got stuck in to help remove the last bits from the canal.
It was a lot of tree from such a small stump!
It had taken 15 minutes since I had arrived and all was clear and we were able to use the services to empty and fill as required before we were on our way.
We managed to get through the first four locks in around an hour with some locks ready, some not and sometimes a boat to come into the lock we were leaving. All very painless.
Then suddenly when we emerged from our fourth lock (no 63) we found we were sixth in the queue as no 62 is suddenly just one lock, rather than two.
There was a good deal of queuing behind us as well
We finally got our turn
and emerged one hour after we had arrived
As we left lock 59 we got the first sight of the M6
through lock 58 as quickly as possible as it is almost next door to the motorway
to carry on and find another queue at lock 57 - our last for the day. Thankfully we were third this time rather than sixth.
There were still others behind us
When we passed this house by lock 62 in May it was looking very tidy, but not particularly colourful.
Today it is decked out in its summer glory
I think we were all glad to moor up and retreat inside out of the sun having hung the washing up to dry first. It is no wonder we Brits talk about the weather. The contrast from yesterdays continual deluges to today's hot sun was quite remarkable.
So what does tomorrow hold? Well we had a slightly pink sky, but we are forecast some rain. Hopefully not torrential or for all day.