Thursday, 11 November 2010

Caldon 2010 - Tixall to Hem Heath

Caldon 2010
Tixall to Hem Heath
29th October 2010

15 Miles - 10 Locks - 7 Hours

Maybe Tixall wasn't quite such a good idea. A storm blew up overnight and we rattled and bumped our way through the night, needing a nocturnal sortie to tighten the mooring ropes but nothing could stop the howling through the air vents.

Hoo Mill Lock

The wind maintained its vigour all way, sighing through the trees, pushing the bows this way and that and filling the air with leaves. All very attractive but a bit of a pain.

Sandon Lock

The stretch from Gr Haywood to Stone is never on of my favourites. The upper Trent valley, like the lower, is broad and featureless and can seem somewhat humdrum. But every canal seems to has a season and late autumn is the time to make this trip. The leaves were a riot of colour and were a joy to behold, intersperseded with Pendelino's zipping along the adjoining tracks.

Another good thing about this time of year is the absence of other boats. We pretty much had the place to ourselves as we crept along the lonely miles in glorious isolation.

 Stone's Star and the "nude" statue next to the lock

A bonus was meeting Nebulae exiting the lock at the Star at Stone. Chris and Maralyn were returning from the Caldon Canal and the chance meeting gave us the opportunity to thank them for the loan of the book.

Wand'ring Bark at Trentham Lock

We had planned to reach Etruria today, but in the event the light started to fail and we decided to stop in the cutting at Hem Heath. Whats more, we were not too excited about Etruria on a Friday night where hassle is more than an outside possibility.

Shame about Wedgwood


Anonymous said...

Am loving your cruising blog as always - it makes it feel as if we're cruising so much more than the miles we've done ourselves in Indigo Dream.

Sue, Indigo Dream

Halfie said...

Looks like you got off the Caldon just in time - I see the pound above the staircase locks is dewatered so BW can attend to a towpath collapse.

Captain Ahab said...

I'm glad you enjoy the posts> I gain a lot of pleasure from writing them - but possibly not as much as atually cruising them.
The Caldon is well and truly closed with several locks being regated and pounds dewatered.
Have you been up there?

Halfie said...

Yes, most memorably in 2005 on Lee Swallow. We crept through Froghall Tunnel - on "hand power" - with less than an inch to spare. We were only the second boat (as I recall) to go down the restored lock on the Uttoxeter Branch to spin round the basin with all its brand new empty pontoons. We picked up a few passengers for the return passage through the tunnel which made it much easier!