Friday 21 February

Having secured a day’s IWA Helmsman Training for next Monday morning at Norbury Junction I nipped back into town to get a passport photo which I hope I will need for my certificate, before we cast off and headed towards Tyrley Locks (five locks).

Someone had had some fun providing a canal side sculpture.


Tyrley Wharf comprises a delightful group of buildings and we got a cheery wave from the retired couple who live in the left end cottage who watched us come into the top lock.

We then headed off towards Woodseaves Cutting.   This is an amazingly atmospheric place, made even eerier by the shrill cry of the circling buzzards flying above us.  We wouldn’t have been surprised if we’d been attacked by trolls.


This deep cutting was hewn from sandstone by man without any powered machinery, and over years has become tree lined with everything covered in a bright green woolly layer of lichen.


Following last week’s high winds the canal had been closed here due to a couple of felled trees but the CRT guys have been down and made the canal passable again but we still needed to pick our way carefully between all the floating vegetation at two miles an hour.


The Wrekin became clearly visible about 15 miles in the distance.   Just before we got to Shebdon Embankment we ground to a halt mid-canal with a loud grinding noise coming from under the boat.   We cut the power and by applying our weight to one side of the boat, and using the boating pole, we managed to get ourselves afloat again and although there was nothing evident we assumed we’d run over a large submerged log.

Being out in the open, the temperature had plummeted and we decided to moor up at the end of the Shebdon Embankment next to the aqueduct, where surprise surprise, there is a pub!