Sunday 6 April 2008

Tixall to Calf Heath

Sunday 6 April 2008
Tixall to Calf Heath Day 17
Staffs and Worcester Canal

Miles 13
Locks 12
Hours 6

As this section is very familiar there shouldn’t be much to say about the last day but as it turned out the trip saved the best till last.

The Capt woke with the dawn at 6.30 am and was puzzled by the strange quality of the light which permeated the saloon. One peek through the curtains revealed a dazzling winter wonderland with the last and heaviest snowfall of the season covering everything in four inches of crispy snow.

Not only had it snowed but the sky had cleared immediately afterwards crystallising everything with a deep frost. This presented a fantastic photo opportunity so Ahab dragged on a fleece and lined trousers and dived outside armed with his new digital camera and shot over 150 photos around the Wide and the lock. The sight of colourful narrowboats burdened with a rich layer of snow and sporting wisps of wood smoke was magical.

By the time The Capt returned to WB the rest of the crew had emerged and proceeded to engage in a snowball fight along the towpath, to the bemusement of the adjacent narrowboat.

Bagman cooked up one of his legendary breakfasts and we set off through the mist covered water and the picture postcard loveliness of Cannock Chase in winter. The snow was never destined to last this late in the year but enough lasted to allow the children of [ ] to enjoy sledging down the hills which run beside the canal on its approach to Stafford Boat Club.
Bagman and Little S left us at the Moat House in Acton Trusell bound for lunch with friends leaving Tilly and Ahab to complete the last four hours back to Calf Heath on out own.

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