Karen and I decided to have a cruise on Sunday whatever the weather threw at us. We haven’t had a good day’s cruising together since we were bringing the new boat back down from Manchester at the beginning of October. Some people would think we were mad as it was raining heavily and due to rain all day. I know we didn’t have to move and I could do the cruising during the week whilst Karen's at work, but we have had withdrawal symptoms lately and wanted to have a day on the move.
We got togged up and Karen drove the car to the Blue Lias pub, near the bottom of the Stockton flight. She was then going to walk back with Buddy to meet me as I started to cruise towards Stockton.
Karen ready for the off
Dark clouds brooding when we were getting ready to leave our mooring at Tomlow on Sunday morning
Cruising in the rain
Near the top of the Stockton flight is a stretch of towpath that has been earmarked for winter mooring. If you buy a winter mooring for any or all of the five months from November to March you can leave the boat and not be penalised for overstaying the 14 day rule. We bought winter moorings here for December to February but haven’t used them yet and it doesn’t look like we will but at least it means we shouldn’t get hassled by the CRT Enforcement people for hanging around this area as we have paid for a mooring.
Winter moorings at Stockton - no room even though we have paid for a permit
I met up with Karen and Buddy at the winter moorings
This is Malcolm’s boat – he has a permanent mooring here at Stockton – Karen in the background in a brief respite from the rain
We soon hit the top of the Stockton flight and were straight into our well established rhythm of locking together.
In Stockton top lock
Looking down the first few locks of the flight
After eight locks we moored up outside the Blue Lias pub – a pub we have never fancied going to but we thought we ought to pay a visit as we won’t be back this way for a few months.
Moored at the end of the permanent moorings opposite the Blue Lias pub
Our mooring for Sunday night
We popped into the Blue Lias and I was pleased to find they served Doom Bar which seemed to have been kept well.
I will probably carry on for a couple more locks tomorrow and find a nice spot at Bascote for a few days. I don’t really want to stay here as we are on permanent moorings and it’s always nice to be out in the open with no other boats around. Unfortunately it looks like rain all day Monday but it’s only a mile or so and a couple of locks.
Going through the pictures we only found one with Buddy in today – he wasn’t happy being in the rain all day but he won’t go in the boat on his own