On our first afternoon, we went through Fradley Junction where there are 5 locks close together, as it was a Sunday and wonderful weather to boot, every lock we entered was surrounded by people watching us go up through them, there was my poor friend Chris struggling with locks gates (and occassionally she was offered, and accepted, help) and my poor friend Sue getting more and more embarrassed at being stared at. At one stage, she turned to me and said under her breath ' What are all these people looking at?' to which I replied, 'They are watching to see if we are going to sink the boat'. Thankfully I didn't but they had lots of questions and at one stage a lady asked if she could come on board and have a look, which we allowed. She was very impressed with the facilities and we gave her Aqua's number so hopefully she persuaded her husband to give it a go.
I was remembering our first ever narrow boat holiday, which you can read about in the archives, and laughing at the fact that if we saw a narrowboat approaching way up the canal, we would all go into spasms of panic and usually end up across the canal. This time I was complimented on my steering in tight corners, mostly by ladies. (Why is it that most of the ladies do the locks while the men steer?) The men tended to give 'advice' like: You should be in reverse now. Me : I am.....but I take it all in good part and realise they are only trying to help. One lady in her boat on a private mooring just past Hunts lock stood with hands on her hips, shaking her head while we had the audacity to moor up opposite, but after a hot day cruising I was tired and wanted to eat in the pub back up the canal. Shame she wasn't in her boat the next morning, when returning from the rubbish point, Sue and I saw that the boat had come off it's mooring in the front and was spread across the canal. Chris, who was still on the boat, was totally oblivious to the fact and only noticed after I ran back to the boat calling her name and got her to throw me the rope. Mrs hands on hips, head shaker would have positively had a fit seeing that we missed clumping her boat with our bow by about 2 inches.
Here are some pics of our Trent and Mersey adventure
Carved Bench showing some history
A Dragonfly bench
Sue and Chris relaxing after a busy day