Tuesday 24 July 2007

Caldon Canal - Stockton Brook to Frogall

24th July 2007
Stockton Brook to Frogall (and back to Flint Mill)
Caldon Canal

21 Miles
18 Locks
10 Hours

We covered a lot of ground today, being the first boat up the Stockton Brook Flight. First we took in the Leek Arm, which was very pretty as it contoured round a steep hillside before finally diving through the Leek Tunnel (very dry). We winded at bridge number 9 but could have gone another 1/4 mile or so, as we later learned that a 45 ft winding hole exists at the very end, which would have been just enough for Wand'ring Bark's 43 ft.
We returned to the Caldon Canal and paused for a couple of pints at The Boat, next to bridge 44. Belle had the bright idea of taking in a couple of plastic beer mugs, which we used for a final "take away" round, and returned to the boat make slightly less direct progress down to the Churnet river section.
Whilst the rain had been much less in the upper Trent / Churnet valleys, the water level was sufficiently high to prevent us making a passage through the infamously low Frogall Tunnel. We therefore turned and went back to Flint Mill, using the folding bike to go into the village to collect fish and chips. Watch out - it is a long slog up to the fish and chip shop but only a five minute wizz to complete the one mile journey back down again. We had good weather for the day, the only dry day of the trip as it turned out.

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