Friday was a real summer’s day and it was nice that the wind had dropped.  It’s been a while since the water has been still enough to show reflections.

We needed to get to a supermarket so cruised five miles and eight locks down to Stone.  Stone was where construction of the Trent & Mersey canal started and hence the town signs welcoming you.

I was on the phone to my Dad and told him we were heading for Stone - he told me it was near where he trained to be a gunner.  I don't remember ever knowing he trained to be a gunner - I assume it was when he did his National Service as he was an academic all his working life.

There were a lot of boats on the move; in fact, 13 had passed us in the opposite direction in the hour before we set off.  We had left our washing out on the line all night and as there was no dew it was bone dry in the morning.  The journey seemed to take forever as there were so many boats and we queued at practically every lock - such a change from being on the Caldon.  At least we had plenty of conversations with different people as we waited. For the second time in two days we met a couple who used to moor at the marina in Newbury when we were moored there several years ago.

The main lock in Stone is by the Star pub so there were plenty of gongoozlers out in the sunshine.

A trade boat was selling oatcakes on the tow path.

We moored outside the park at Stone and I inadvertently knocked our rosemary off the boat.

We soon realised we were in the middle of Stone music festival.  It was opera and folk during the afternoon so we wandered into town as we are not great lovers of that type of music.  The evening bands weren’t too bad – sounded like local bands doing covers – they finished at eleven and it started raining soon after.  It rained all night and it was still raining when we got up on Saturday.

Here are the other seven locks we went down today.


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