The ice was still too thick to move safely so we had another day in Alrewas on Saturday. We walked up to Fradley to see if the state of the ice was better that way; unfortunately, if anything, it was thicker. We stopped in at The Swan which is said to be one of the most photographed pubs in the UK. Slightly strange experience as I recognised a guy at the bar as someone from the Narrowboat Users Group on Facebook. Strange because you communicate with these people on social media which can be really useful if you have questions. For example, asking where supermarkets are on certain sections, what people use for internet or how they use their stoves for cooking. We both knew we recognised each other so got chatting. He is retired from the RAF and spends his time cruising around the system.
When we were walking back home Karen admitted she has started looking at words, like boat names, in the same way as I do. If a name is a word I don’t recognise then I immediately read it backwards as it often makes sense then. If not then I try splitting the word up to see if it’s a mixture of, say, the owners’ first names or surnames.
Boats started moving on Sunday as the ice had begun to thaw. We set off after lunch and stopped outside a café to fill up with water where we had a large audience of gongoozlers as many people were eating outside in the sun.
We made it up to Fradley but really wished we hadn’t moved as the sheets were still thick and were probably making a mess of the blacking on the hull.
After going through the junction we were finally somewhere new.
We went through the lock that had been out of service.
The next lock after that is called Shadehouse lock.
Once we were through that lock we had to stop as the ice ahead was unbroken. There was a line of moored boats waiting for the ice to melt and we managed to join them. It is a lovely spot with woods on both sides so hopefully we should be able to do some logging if we are stuck here for a while.