Sunshine and showers seem to be setting the tone here on the Shroppie. Last nights spot at Knighton was perfect and we keen & refreshed towards Tyrley Locks, ready for some “action” after yesterdays long stretch. we were behind the hire boat that was chasing our tail yesterday…..naturally, every lock was going to be against us and by the time we got to Tyrley, so was the weather! The wind was gusty and the showers blew in. It made working the locks very hard, although Marcus handled the boat beautifully. However our skill advantage did not translate into any efficiency advantage through the locks, as the boat in front kept on getting blown to the side. A few locks down they got the idea of waiting in the shelter of the lock whilst the next one was being got ready. but it was still slow progress and we wondered of we’d even reach Audlem by tonight, never mind pass through the locks! The Tyrley flight is one of my favourite, but in the rain & mud it looked very uninviting! I kept slipping on the muddy slopes and wet stones.
In Market Drayton, the weather was so appalling that the wind blew the cans off the roof!! Fortunately they were chained on, but gave a heck of a clatter when they tumbled down the side! They were hastily retrieved an brought in to be safe until the weather was kinder.
A slow trip through Adderly and by now the hours were speeding by. More boats in front of us as we wen through the first 2 locks of Audlem. We decided that we did not want to follow anyone down the flight, so if no one moored up, we would in the longer pound; We didn’t need much persuasion as the hire boat carried on and we kinda like tackling flights first thing in the morning. We also did not want to get caught in bad weather halfway down and be committed to the rest of the flight in the pouring rain.
Although not many miles were covered today, it was still a long day- battling the elements can be tiring. Our mooring spot provided us with fabulous views Westwards and the sun shone through the windows. It wasn’t long before a rain laden cloud appeared and blocked the sun and brought with it the most torrential rainstorm- We sure were glad that we hadn’t tackled the locks!
An early night and the optimism of a better day tomorrow both in terms of the weather and distance traveled andfore sure we’ll be on the Llangollen.