Buddy and I set off for Stone at nine on Monday morning. We wanted to call in at the boat yard there to get spare alternator belts and other engine paraphernalia like filters and oil. I was hoping to see Martin on his fuel boat when we got to Stone to get some supplies but it looked like he was away so I filled up with diesel and bought a few bags of coal at the boatyard instead. Shame, as we always like to give our trade to the fuel boats. As it was, they had run out of the alternator belts and filters I needed and weren’t getting restocked until later in the week.
There’s always lots of moored boats in Stone – the old Joules brewery is on the right where the chimney sticks up
There had been a working boat gathering at the weekend in Stone but it was so tricky getting past all the moored boats that I forgot to get any pictures.
As we left the last lock in Stone we stopped to fill up with water. Once we had gone down our seventh lock of the day I decided it was time to stop for lunch out in the country. We were lucky and had avoided rain even though there were black clouds rolling in every half hour or so. But when I was mooring up the wind sprang up and made it quite difficult to get the boat secure as one end or the other kept blowing to the other side of the cut before I could get it tied down.
Moored for lunch near Aston
After lunch we went for a walk as Buddy doesn’t get much exercise when we’re cruising – needless to say, I get a lot as I have to operate each lock so I was feeling pretty shattered by the time we got back from our walk. I blamed it on the strenuous weekend we had had as we have got used to taking things easy recently.
Whilst out we passed a boat called Mallard and Buddy was fascinated by the toy mallard being towed behind.
After lunch I had planned on getting to Great Haywood but after one more lock I decided to moor up for the day at a place called Salt. We have never stopped here before but it does have an unusual bridge.
Our mooring at Salt for the night
Rather ornate bridge behind our mooring
Salt is a little village about ½ mile away from the canal so I’ll probably pop down and have a look before setting out on our journey again on Tuesday.
Buddy stayed on deck whilst I was doing some odd jobs but he kept falling asleep whilst still sitting upright.
Buddy falling asleep sitting up
I then heard him snoring and saw his head was resting on the doorstep with his nose crumpling up
Later in the afternoon, Martin came by on his fuel boat, I waved him down as I wanted to extend the rear fenders to protect the bikes. He had just what I needed but didn’t recognise me at first because he said, “Aaah, Chalkhill Blue 2. I know a guy whose boat is called Chalkhill Blue”. He then realised who I was and we had a laugh about it. It’s funny how boat names can trigger memories but not always faces.