Huddlesford (back where we started from)

What a day of weathers Tuesday was.  Buddy and I cruised from Fazeley to Huddlesford in what I believe to be the hottest September day for 67 years.  I saw 12 different species of butterflies fly over or settle on the boat flowers on the way – it was like summer all over again.

Leaving our mooring at Fazeley with the old and the new.  Fazeley textile mill (built in 1866) can be seen in the distance and modern apartments on the right – both buildings were built to overlook the canal but for very different reasons

True to the forecast, it was extremely hot and still on our journey but fortunately a lot of the cruise was in the shade of large trees.

Shade from the trees alongside Hopwas military firing range

As with most canals built to follow a contour line there are a lot of tight, blind bends and bridges on this canal.  Not normally an issue for us as Karen will walk to the front of the boat and act as look out.  In fact, most of the time she will be walking on the towpath with Buddy so can get even further ahead to keep an eye out for boats.

Approaching one of the blind bends complete with a bridge on it

Soon after leaving I rounded a corner and found a boat had drifted across the canal.  One of its mooring pins had come loose.  We moored up and got onto the boat to rescue it.  Fortunately it had a pole on the roof so I was able to pole it to the side and re-tie it.  I took a close up picture of the boat to put on the narrowboat forums so the owner may become aware of it. Thankfully a friend of the boater saw the post and said he would get in touch with him.

Boat adrift across the cut

All the stanking plank stores on this canal are rather quaintly built into the bridge sides apart from one that I saw today.  This is a modern structure and I suspect was built when the accommodation bridge was rebuilt without a store.  See Stanking Plank page for more details on stanking plank stores.  

Modern stanking plank shelter

Just before we arrived in Huddlesford we passed the junction with the Wyrley and Essington canal.  This used to go down to Birmingham and enter it from the north.  It is not navigable any longer for some of its length but it is gradually being restored.

The Wyrley & Essington canal leaves to the left (affectionately known as the Curly Wurly at the Birmingham end)

We moored at Huddlesford in a very handy position for Karen to park the car after work

Car parking in the lane outside the galley window

Mind you this isn’t a bad view from the back deck either

Huddlesford is where Karen left to go to work on her first day starting back and we are now back there just over six months later.  In that time we have travelled down to Warwick and popped back and forth between Braunston and Leamington Spa.  In all we have covered just 146 miles through 85 locks; when we were constantly cruising before Karen took her contract then we would have covered about 700 miles and 600 locks in that time – quite a difference.

Back to the weather, it really was hot on Tuesday morning and Buddy wasn’t up for going for a walk once we moored up.  After lunch the clouds came over and a really strong breeze blew up so then we decided to go for a long walk.  Just as we were turning round to come back again the clouds cleared and the wind stopped.  It started getting really hot again so it was a slow walk home.

When we finally got home, Buddy sat in the shade of the hedge and I chopped up some wood for kindling in preparation for the fires which won’t be too far into the future I imagine.  I managed to get a bag full of kindling and then the skies darkened and we had a thunderstorm that lasted about an hour but at least it cleared the air.

As Karen was late home, and we were moored right next to a pub, we went for our cheeky Wednesday pint on Tuesday.

My view from the side hatch whilst I was preparing dinner after the rain had stopped

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