Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
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2000 Cruise - April

Cruising Log Index

River Nene

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Saturday 1th April 2000

From to Warmington Lock No 31 arriving at 4:45 pm. The time taken was 7 hours 35 minutes. 17.75 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.13 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 7 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 17.75 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.13 lock/miles per hour.

Started off in sunshine but it soon clouded over. Dumped our rubbish at the facilities at Peterborough. Saw the narrowboat Iron Heart, coming down river, above Orton Lock. At Water Newton Lock we found a notice saying the stretch between Yarwell and Warmington would only be open for 2 days (1st & 2nd) before the stoppage was re-imposed. They were still working on the weir at Elton so the EA people worked the lock for us. Saw a kingfisher below Warmington Lock. Moored at Fotheringhay (2). A mostly cloudy day with light rain.

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Sunday 2th April 2000

From Warmington Lock No 31 to Perio Lock No 30 arriving at 83:5 pm. The time taken was 45 minutes. 2.5 miles and 1 locks, averaging 4.67 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 8 hours 20 minutes. total cruising time, 20.25 miles and 7 locks, averaging 3.27 lock/miles per hour.

Set off from Fotheringhay but found there was a lot of squeaking from the engine so we stopped on the lock mooring above the lock to change the offending belt. Found it was the awkward back belt, that I had changed last at Marlow almost 2 years ago. The job took about an hour and twenty minutes.

From Perio Lock No 30 to Islip Lock No 22 arriving at 5:00 pm. The time taken was 5 hours 40 minutes. 14.5 miles and 8 locks, averaging 3.97 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 14 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 34.75 miles and 15 locks, averaging 3.55 lock/miles per hour.

We got a phone call from Rosemary at Cotterstock Lock (Mother's Day). Had lunch on the move between Ashton and Lower Barnwell Lock the carried on to moored at the Middle Nene Sailing Club. A mostly cloudy dry day but rain at the start and end of the day.

Monday 10th April 2000

From Islip Lock No 22 to Islip Lock No 22 arriving at : am. The time taken was 0 minutes. 0 miles and 0 locks, averaging 0 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 14 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 34.75 miles and 15 locks, averaging 3.55 lock/miles per hour.

Have now spent over a week here as the water levels came up on Monday and by the evening were over the bank where we moored. We, and George on Ivory Gull, were made welcome by the members of the Middle Nene Sailing Club including John Richards who lives at Islip Mill. On Thursday they arranged a very long gang plank so that we could go shopping at the Co-op. They also lent us some scafold poles to keep us off the bank when the water went down. On Friday the water got down below the bank and on Saturday we went th the Woolpack Inn, Islip, for lunch (Leek & Wild Mushroom Tart 5.25, Pork in Mustard Sauce 7.75), very good. Sunday did some more shopping and had lunch etc. on the boat. Monday lunch at the Woolpack again (Mushroom and garlic 3.95, Trout 6.95). Ivory Gull moved off down to Titchmarsh although the lock there is still reversed.Islip Lock No 22: Floods on the Nene -  April 2000.
Islip Lock No 22: Floods on the Nene - April 2000.

Tuesday 11th April 2000

From Islip Lock No 22 to Irthlingborough Lock No 17 arriving at 12:50 am. The time taken was 4 hours 5 minutes. 7.75 miles and 5 locks, averaging 3.12 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 18 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 42.5 miles and 20 locks, averaging 3.46 lock/miles per hour.

Left Thrapston at last and found that the reaches above Islip Lock were down to normal levels although the reach below was about 50 cm up. Stopped on the visitor moorings above the lock for lunch and rang the Environment Agency who say the navigation is now back to normal.

From Irthlingborough Lock No 17 to Wellingborough Bridge arriving at 4:45 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 45 minutes. 5.75 miles and 4 locks, averaging 3.55 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 20 hours 50 minutes. total cruising time, 48.25 miles and 24 locks, averaging 3.47 lock/miles per hour.

Came up to moor in the town for the night. Filled with water after we stopped. Saw a kingfisher just before the railway viaducts between Ditchford and Lower Wellingborough locks. Today we found 2 locks which have been electrified last winter - Lower Ringstead and Ditchford. Ditchford works very slowly and there was an EA notice there promising alterations to speed up the process. A cloudy day with rain all morning.

Wednesday 12th April 2000

From Wellingborough Bridge to South Bridge, Northampton arriving at 3:50 pm. The time taken was 7 hours 5 minutes. 12.75 miles and 13 locks, averaging 3.64 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 27 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 61 miles and 37 locks, averaging 3.51 lock/miles per hour.

Came up from Wellingborough non-stop. Saw a Great Crested Grebe just before Cogenhoe. A narrowboat from Aylesbury arrived just as we were leaving Cogenhoe Lock so they were able to go Straight in. Saw a boat called William, from March, just as we left Weston Favell Lock so we reopened the gates for them. Had lunch on the move. Went shopping in Morrison's. A cloudy but dry day.

River Nene to Grand Union Northampton Branch

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Thursday 13th April 2000

From South Bridge, Northampton to Milton Road Bridge No 2, Gayton arriving at 1:35 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 25 minutes. 4.75 miles and 17 locks, averaging 4.92 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 32 hours 20 minutes. total cruising time, 65.75 miles and 54 locks, averaging 3.7 lock/miles per hour.

Met Bilbo Baggins coming down the Arm as we went up they stopped for about five minutes, to ask about the Nene, and we let them have a Nene key for which they gave us 5. Got up to Alvechurch Boats and had a pump out (12) and bought a new Nene key (4). After that moored opposite for lunch at 14.20.

Grand Union Northampton Branch to Grand Union Main Line

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From Milton Road Bridge No 2, Gayton to Stowe Hill Bridge No 26 arriving at 5:25 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 25 minutes. 6.75 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.79 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 34 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 72.5 miles and 54 locks, averaging 3.64 lock/miles per hour.

Came up and moored just after the bridge. A mostly cloudy day with a little rain in the morning.

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Friday 14th April 2000

From Stowe Hill Bridge No 26 to Whilton Bottom Lock No 13 arriving at 10:30 am. The time taken was 1 hour 20 minutes. 4.25 miles and 0 locks, averaging 3.19 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 36 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 76.75 miles and 54 locks, averaging 3.62 lock/miles per hour.

Saw a little (Jananese?) deer in the woods past bridge 21. Stopped at Whilton Marina to have the stern gland re-packed (22) and to get some diesel (43.58 litres at 26p). Talked with the people from Seamus and Kate.

From Whilton Bottom Lock No 13 to Flecknoe Bridge No 102 arriving at 4:50 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 55 minutes. 8.25 miles and 13 locks, averaging 4.32 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 41 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 85 miles and 67 locks, averaging 3.71 lock/miles per hour.

Came up the Buckby Locks behind Seamus & Kate and another boat. Had lunch on the move before Braunston Tunnel. Came down the Braunston Locks with a Napton Narrowboats boat with a full and experienced crew. Filled up with diesel from Ivor Batchelor (125 litres at 24p). Went on to moor on the rings just before the bridge. A mainly cloudy and chilly day.

Saturday 15th April 2000

From Flecknoe Bridge No 102 to Gibraltar Bridge No 20 arriving at 10:55 am. The time taken was 1 hour 55 minutes. 4.87 miles and 3 locks, averaging 4.11 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 42 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 89.87 miles and 70 locks, averaging 3.73 lock/miles per hour.

A wet trip down to Calcutt Top Lock where we stopped, at 10a.m., to adjust the alternater belt while we waited for a boat to come out of the lock. Met two more boats coming up at the bottom of the locks. Stopped early for lunch, etc and the rest of the day. Very wet and cold.

Sunday 16th April 2000

From Gibraltar Bridge No 20 to Leam Bridge No 44 arriving at 2:40 pm. The time taken was 5 hours 45 minutes. 9.62 miles and 20 locks, averaging 5.15 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 48 hours 40 minutes. total cruising time, 99.5 miles and 90 locks, averaging 3.89 lock/miles per hour.

Came down the Stockton flight with some Air Training Corps girls on a Willow Wren boat. There were two more Willow Wren boats behind with ATC cadet boys on. We stopped for water at Bascote Bridge (20 minutes) and caught up with the end ATC boat at Bascote Locks. We shared all the remaining locks with the crew of 10 ATC cadets who did all the work for us. Had lunch on the move. Stopped for shopping at Sainsbury's just before bridge 43 by the Tiller Pin.

From Leam Bridge No 44 to Coventry Road Bridge No 49 arriving at 4:00 pm. The time taken was 35 minutes. 1.12 miles and 0 locks, averaging 1.92 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 49 hours 15 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 90 locks, averaging 3.86 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped on the visitor moorings opposite Kate Boats. Rang Angela and left a message for her to send our post to Stratford. A mostly sunny day.

Monday 17th April 2000

From Coventry Road Bridge No 49 to Turners Green Bridge No 63 arriving at 1:55 pm. The time taken was 5 hours 15 minutes. 7.75 miles and 23 locks, averaging 5.86 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 54 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 113 locks, averaging 3.91 lock/miles per hour.

Came through the Cape Locks and the first two locks of the Hatton Flight by ourselves, then we were joined by Laxton Castle for the trip to the top. Heavy showers and cross winds as we got to the top. We went on to stop for lunch at the Tom O the Wood (2 minestrone soups, Cod & Chips and Broccoli, Mushroom and Stilton Pie 3.95 each) very good. Walked up the hill to the post box and got soaked coming back.

Grand Union Main Line to Stratford upon Avon Canal

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Tuesday 18th April 2000

From Turners Green Bridge No 63 to Kingswood Junction arriving at 79:0 pm. The time taken was 25 minutes. 1 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.4 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 54 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 113 locks, averaging 3.88 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped just before the first lock after the junction and filled with water (25 minutes).

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From Kingswood Junction to Rowington Lock No 28 arriving at 11:50 am. The time taken was 2 hours 15 minutes. 1.25 miles and 7 locks, averaging 3.67 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 57 hours 10 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 120 locks, averaging 3.85 lock/miles per hour.

A lot of hire boats from Wootton Wawen, Stratford, Bidford and Evesham were coming up the canal as the Avon is closed because of flooding again. Stopped between locks 28 and 29 as it was raining hard. Had lunch.

From Rowington Lock No 28 to Wootton Wawen Aqueduct arriving at 5:05 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 55 minutes. 4.75 miles and 10 locks, averaging 3.77 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 61 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 130 locks, averaging 3.77 lock/miles per hour.

Pushed on down the canal in the rain. Met Pusser's Lady at Preston Baget (lock 37). Tried to moor in three places just before bridge 53, where we had moored last year, but it was too shallow so we stopped on the visitor moorings just after the bridge. A very wet day.

Wednesday 19th April 2000

From Wootton Wawen Aqueduct to Stratford Top Lock No 52 arriving at 1:35 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 35 minutes. 6.37 miles and 14 locks, averaging 4.44 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 65 hours 40 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 144 locks, averaging 3.72 lock/miles per hour.

Saw Florian coming up the Wilmcote Flight amid a fairly steady stream of boats coming from Stratford. Moored just above the lock for lunch then went shopping at Tesco's. A mostly sunny day but clouding over in the afternoon.

Thursday 20th April 2000

From Stratford Top Lock No 52 to Stratford-upon-Avon Lock No 56 arriving at 10:40 am. The time taken was 1 hour 5 minutes. 0.62 miles and 4 locks, averaging 4.26 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 66 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 148 locks, averaging 3.72 lock/miles per hour.

Came down the last four locks, the water was pouring over the gates at lock 54 and the water level was above the lock sides. As usual there was nowhere to moor in the basin so we turned round and moored just outside the basin, by the Red Lion. Collected the post and did some shopping. Went for lunch at Lamb's in Sheep Street (Asparagus Soups, Tortelini and Pork Sausages 9.95 each).

Friday 21st April 2000

From Stratford-upon-Avon Lock No 56 to Wilmcote Lock No 43 arriving at 11:55 am. The time taken was 2 hours 45 minutes. 2.5 miles and 13 locks, averaging 5.64 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 69 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 161 locks, averaging 3.76 lock/miles per hour.

Came up the Stratford locks and stopped at Chaly Beate Bridge for water (25 minutes). Quite a lot of boats coming down the Wilmcote Flight at first but when we got to lock 42 we stopped. The gate had collapsed on the top lock and Water Bowman had been waiting an hour already in lock 41 so we stopped in the lock for lunch.

From Wilmcote Lock No 43 to Edstone (Bearley) Aqueduct arriving at 2:05 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 0 minutes. 3.12 miles and 4 locks, averaging 7.12 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 70 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 165 locks, averaging 3.76 lock/miles per hour.

Once the top lock was fixed and boats were on the move etc we went up the last two locks and on to a mooring between bridges 58 and 57. A day of sunshine and showers.

Saturday 22nd April 2000

From Edstone (Bearley) Aqueduct to Wootton Wawen Aqueduct arriving at 10:10 am. The time taken was 1 hour 15 minutes. 1.37 miles and 1 locks, averaging 1.9 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 71 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 166 locks, averaging 3.71 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped on the visitor moorings just past the aqueduct while Beryl went to the Farm Shop.

From Wootton Wawen Aqueduct to Claverdon Top Lock No 33 arriving at 12:50 am. The time taken was 2 hours 5 minutes. 2.87 miles and 5 locks, averaging 3.78 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 73 hours 50 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 171 locks, averaging 3.67 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped for lunch just above the lock. It rained while we were having lunch.Lowsonford Lock No 31:  - 22nd April 2000.
Lowsonford Lock No 31: - 22nd April 2000.

Saturday 22nd April 2000

From Claverdon Top Lock No 33 to Kingswood Junction arriving at 6:05 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 40 minutes. 3.12 miles and 12 locks, averaging 4.12 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 77 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 183 locks, averaging 3.65 lock/miles per hour.

Started off as the rain ended and came up the locks mostly in sunshine. Quite a lot of boats going down. Moored above lock 15 on the visitor moorings. Lots of boats moored here.

Sunday 23rd April 2000

From Kingswood Junction to Hockley Heath Bridge No 25 arriving at 12:35 am. The time taken was 3 hours 5 minutes. 2.75 miles and 19 locks, averaging 7.05 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 80 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 202 locks, averaging 3.75 lock/miles per hour.

Took some pictures of the Lapworth Locks before setting off. A lot of boats on the move. Stopped just before the bridge and went to the Wharf pub for lunch (Roast Pork, Broccoli and Cheese Pasta Bake 4.95 each).

From Hockley Heath Bridge No 25 to Lift Bridge No 8 arriving at 3:30 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 10 minutes. 5.5 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.54 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 82 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 202 locks, averaging 3.65 lock/miles per hour.

A mostly sunny and dry day but the rain, then hail, started just as we reached the bridge so we moored a little way before for the night.

Stratford upon Avon Canal to Worcester and Birmingham Canal

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Monday 24th April 2000

From Lift Bridge No 8 to Worcester Bar, Gas Street Basin arriving at 1:00 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 30 minutes. 9.75 miles and 1 locks, averaging 3.07 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 86 hours 15 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 203 locks, averaging 3.51 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped (5 minutes) for water just after bridge 5 on the Stratford, there were three water points but no water. Stopped at 10.20 at Lyons Boatyard for a pumpout (9.50). Swing bridge No 2 was in a very poor state and would not open or close properly. Stopped just after Bridge 88 for water (25 minutes).

Worcester and Birmingham Canal to Dudley Canal Line No 1

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From Worcester Bar, Gas Street Basin to Dudley Tunnel (North End) arriving at 4:55 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 30 minutes. 9.87 miles and 3 locks, averaging 3.68 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 89 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 206 locks, averaging 3.41 lock/miles per hour.

The centre of Birmingham very busy. We came down to the Black Country Museum to moor for the night. A dry day with some sunshine and a few light showers this morning.

Dudley Canal Line No 1 to Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal

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Tuesday 25th April 2000

From Dudley Tunnel (North End) to Autherley Junction arriving at 2:35 pm. The time taken was 5 hours 30 minutes. 8.87 miles and 21 locks, averaging 5.43 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 95 hours 15 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 227 locks, averaging 3.43 lock/miles per hour.

Started off from the Black Country Museum at 9.05 and came down the BNC main line. On the way saw the first batch of coot chicks this year. Arrived at the top of the Wolverhampton Locks at 11.05. Followed a Viking boat down. Quite a few boats coming up. Got to the bottom lock at 14.20 and moored for a late lunch at 14.35.

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From Autherley Junction to Hatherton Junction arriving at 5:55 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 10 minutes. 5.37 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.48 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 97 hours 25 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 227 locks, averaging 3.36 lock/miles per hour.

Moored a little way past the junction and the marina. Found the long bolt holding the alternator mountings had fallen out so had to put that back. Then broke a bolt we tightening the seapower alternator unit. A mostly dry day with some sunshine but a few light showers early on.

Wednesday 26th April 2000

From Hatherton Junction to Gailey Lock No 32 arriving at 12:35 am. The time taken was 45 minutes. 2.37 miles and 1 locks, averaging 4.49 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 98 hours 10 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 228 locks, averaging 3.34 lock/miles per hour.

Went to Haterton Marina a couple of times to get help with the Seapower alternator. The engineer was away but I got a bolt but had no luck fitting it. Called JD Boat Boat Services who sent someone out. Advised to take off the belts and make our way up to Gailey. Got it fixed for 25. At 13.10 we had lunch while we filled with water (30 minutes).

From Gailey Lock No 32 to Penkridge Lock No 38 arriving at 3:40 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 0 minutes. 2.75 miles and 6 locks, averaging 4.38 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 100 hours 10 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 234 locks, averaging 3.33 lock/miles per hour.

Came down the locks in sunshine and showers. Met several boats coming the other way. Stopped on the visitor moorings before the lock. A wet morning but a brighter afternoon.

Thursday 27th April 2000

From Penkridge Lock No 38 to Tixall Lock No 43 arriving at 3:40 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 10 minutes. 8.62 miles and 5 locks, averaging 3.27 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 104 hours 20 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 239 locks, averaging 3.25 lock/miles per hour.

Went shopping at the Penkridge Co-op, which has now been enlarged. Set off and had lunch on the move following Shutt Hill Lock. Moored at Tixall Wide.

Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal to Trent and Mersey Canal

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Friday 28th April 2000

From Tixall Lock No 43 to Weston upon Trent Bridge No 80 arriving at 12:20 am. The time taken was 2 hours 30 minutes. 4.87 miles and 2 locks, averaging 2.75 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 106 hours 50 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 241 locks, averaging 3.19 lock/miles per hour.

Came on to the Trent & Mersey at Great Haywood and cruised up to Salt Bridge, No 80, where we stopped and walked into Salt village. Had Lunch at the Holly Bush (Salmon 6.75, Celery, Apricot and Walnut Rissotto). After lunch did the 5085 hour service.

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From Weston upon Trent Bridge No 80 to Stone Bottom Lock No 27 arriving at 5:10 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 5 minutes. 6.37 miles and 3 locks, averaging 4.5 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 108 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 244 locks, averaging 3.16 lock/miles per hour.

Quite a few boats coming down from Stone. Moored a little way before the lock. A dry day with sunshine and cloud.

Saturday 29th April 2000

From Stone Bottom Lock No 27 to Barlaston Bridge No 103 arriving at 5:15 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 10 minutes. 3.37 miles and 7 locks, averaging 3.27 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 112 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 251 locks, averaging 3.13 lock/miles per hour.

Went shopping at Somerfield before lunch. Filled up with water at the bottom of Stone Locks (20 minutes) then went on through Barlaston and moored before Oldroad Bridge No 104. A dull morning with some showers but a sunny afternoon.

Sunday 30th April 2000

From Barlaston Bridge No 103 to Etruria Junction arriving at 12:55 am. The time taken was 3 hours 20 minutes. 5.75 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.53 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 115 hours 25 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 257 locks, averaging 3.09 lock/miles per hour.

Came up the locks and turned at the Marina. Tolerance came out of the Caldon as we left the top lock. They were also going to the Marina so we followed them. Got to the marina at 12.20 and after Tolerance had been served we got a pumpout (12) and diesel (101.36 litres 25.34). Moored for lunch just before the junction.

Trent and Mersey Canal to Caldon Branch - Trent and Mersey Canal

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From Etruria Junction to Hanley Park Bridge No 5B arriving at 3:05 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 10 minutes. 1.12 miles and 3 locks, averaging 3.53 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 116 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 260 locks, averaging 3.09 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped for water at the junction (10 minutes) then went up the locks and moored in the park. Saw three boats coming down the Caldon. Walked to the station (10 minutes). A cloudy start but a sunny afternoon.

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Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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