Sunday 19 April

A chilly and overcast start to the day. Storm sanded down the paintwork from yesterday after which I washed off all the dust. We filled up with water while we waited for the boat to dry off and then we began applying a coat of enamel. We had just enough paint left in the can to do the gunnel. Phew!

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I took Max for a walk and he helped gather some kindling for the fire.

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We then waited until after lunch, to let the paint go off and as there was quite a stretch with no obstacles to scrape against, before we set off back towards Tardebigge.

Since we passed this way last year, they’ve created a circular fishing lake beside the canal and it looked strange seeing so many fisherman sitting so close to each other.   We had visions of the fish swimming round and round trying to evade capture.

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We passed NB Lillyanne in Alvechurch and, as all was quiet on board, we left a note on their back deck letting them know that we’d see them at Tardebigge.

The sun came out late afternoon and we passed our first field this year of flowering oilseed rape. Towards the end of our journey we passed through Smallwood and Tardebigge tunnels which are both wide enough for two boats to pass so we had plenty of room with no fear of scraping the walls and we didn’t meet another boat.

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We deposited our rubbish into the skips at Tardebigge Wharf but first had to clamber over a CRT working boat that was occupying the wharf.

By now our paint was touch dry and we headed towards Tardebigge top lock, one of the deepest locks on the canal system. We entered slowly and, as the boat doesn’t move much in the water when going down in a lock, we came out at the bottom with our paint unscathed.

We moored up on the 14 days moorings there to wait for Lillyanne. We had a lovely Skype chat with Summer, Marc & Laura.

Home-made pizza for tea.

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