We set off this morning to clear blue skies and sunshine – with just a little chill in the breeze. It was a lovely summer morning in beautiful countryside, just perfect for the soul.
We timed our departure well – just after we’d left, a single-hander cast off behind us. Even the wait for the staircase at Grindley Brook couldn’t put a dent in our spirits. We were 4th in line, waiting for 3 boats coming through the other way, and told it was 3 boats up, 3 down, but luck was with us as the lock keeper let all 4 of us go up so we didn’t have to wait half as long as we might have done. We hadn’t even bribed the lockies with cookies at that point!
After the staircase it’s lock-free for quite a stretch, though there are a few lift bridges to negotiate. We were planning to carry on for another hour or so, but then the skies darkened and before we knew it, the rain was sheeting down! We decided to moor up for the day when we reached a nice quiet mooring in the country, before we could get any wetter.
I was a little intrigued by what the farmer in the field opposite was up to when I saw him laying this giant hose across the field. We found out later when he started spraying rather smelly stuff all over the field.
Phone reception wasn’t great; our 3-based wifi wasn’t getting a signal at all, and my EE phone was only getting a weak intermittent signal. Meantime, Sarah’s phone on Giff Gaff (using O2 network) was going great guns with a 4-bar signal and 4G – so we propped it up in the roof hatch to do wifi sharing on it. Otherwise it’d be no blog tonight 🙁
Whilst waiting for the locks before the staircase, Sarah spotted some blackberries. We picked a good load of them, and then Sarah turned them in to a crumble for pudding. There was a bit of improvisation, using bread flour instead of plain flour, but the results were great anyway 🙂