Wednesday 23 July 2014

Big Trip Home Day 12 - Up with the Sparrows

The merest mention of a market and Chris grabs her shopping bag with a purpose.  Our destination today was to be the market at Market Drayton.  We still had some distance to travel so unusually we upped pins at 7am and slowly passed the moored boats on tick over. One gent wiping down his boat roof commented he never heard us coming so I did not feel so bad about making any noise.

I quite like cruising at this time of morning.  The sun is up but the morning air still has a chill about it and everything seems still and calm.  We crept past Shebdon Wharf, formerly a chocolate loading facility but now home to historic boat moorings

Shebdon Wharf

Early morning sunshine through the trees

Views out from the raised sections of the canal
Next we came upon  Woodseaves Cutting, yet another section of the canal hewn through sandstone 100 feet high in places.  Many landslides blighted this section in the past and occasionally now so a 2mph limit is required.  Like other cuttings Woodeaves is narrow with passing places but in the shade of the cutting we could not help feel just a little bit like Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn in Africa Queen as the the hugely tall over hanging trees, ferns, mosses and narrowness of the cut gave the area a slightly jungle like feel.  At least I did not have to jump in and haul AmyJo through the water like Bogart did with Africa Queen.

Bridge 57, a portal marking half way through Woodseaves Cutting

Could not help wondering if the natives were watching.
Finally after bridge 58 (not unlike 57) the cutting comes to and end and Tyrley locks (pronounced Turley) block your way.  These 5 locks descend into more sandstone and overhanging trees so the cool shade makes working the lower locks in heat comfortable.  Beware the by washes of these locks as the currents from them can catch the unware with force.  I found steam out on full power the best and then slow when clear, but do not attempt this unless the next lock is available to you. 

Tyrley Top lock

Descending in to shade and more sandstone

Cheeky chappy an his dog fishing as you leave the bottom lock
Not long after the locks we found a mooring at bridge 62 outside Market Drayton.  From our mooring steps descend to the road below for the walk into town.

AmyJo is moored on the bridge on top right of picture
The river Tern runs through the arch below left.

Funny looking deer they have in these parts

The market awash in sunshine

The towns corn mill with small bells on roof

Quite a sizeable market full of interesting stalls
After lunch to get out of the heat in the local Weatherspoons we retreated to the cool cabin of AmyJo and dozed for the rest of afternoon.  At tea time we were delighted to watch historic boats Aquarius towing butty Ilford pass by, both laden with coal.  It was then we learnt there is a historical transport rally at Audlum over the weekend.  Looks like another up an a sparrows f.... tomorrow to get through before too many boats arrive.

Aquarius and Ilford pass by laden with coal

Our mooring for tonight

our route today

Total distance:8.63 miles Elapsed time:4h12m17s Locks:5Bridges:22
Average speed:2.05 mph (3.24 lock/mph)

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