As the Pain au Chocolate had been eaten yesterday, there was little point in staying in bed too long….coffee was drunk, bed put away a nd the boys were on the move by 8.30. A short time later and one graceful sweep of the tiller saw us onto the Trent and Mersey at Great Heywood.
The canal this morning was very calm and our wash was, for the most part, the only noise in the water- The engine noise is part and parcel of Harebell, so I barely seem to notice it any more. Lots of boats coming down though and not the log jam at locks that we feared. We didn’t close a top gate until we reached Stone- such was the amount of boats heading towards Fradley. We were behind a boat from Great Heywood, who were also heading to the Caldon….As James said, we’ll be Caldon buddies! We’ll probably keep on seeing them throughout the week- nice people and James seems to like helping them.
We passed another Harebell on the way to Stone-that’s 2 I’ve seen now and both on this stretch of the T&M!
We arrived at Stone and we were in the first lock by 1.15pm. Stone itself was bustly and full of greenery-as is everywhere at the moment, I guess.We had been following a boat through all the locks, but they were very efficient and we hardly caught up with them. 2pm saw us through the last of the Stone locks and on towards the Meaford flight. Another boat joined behind us so we were middle of 3…A few boats again coming down made cruising through the locks a pleasant afternoon. The sun did its best to shine, but the afternoon never really turned into a scorcher. However it made for pleasant cruising and we decided to push for Eturia for the nights mooring. We arrived at Stoke Lock at 5.45 and made slow but steady progress through some deep locks and turned into Etruria Junction and the Caldon Canal and moored just below Bedford street staircase locks at 7.00 ish.