Canal Date 19th August 2011
Travels There & Back Again (A boaters tale)
Current Location Barlason (South of Stoke on Trent)
After all of the work, pain and excitement of getting the boat out of the water, blacking, anodes, prop repair etc. It was good to be back floating and being retired again.
With all this shiny new paint I was worried to go through the locks. We stayed on the bank close to Rogers’s yard for a few days, just long enough to let the paint harden. We had arranged to meet up with some boating friends in a few days, so while we waited, we had a carpet fitted and whipped for the lounge and dinette, I polished both sides of the boat. Repaired some of the cream coach lines and fitted a carbon filter in the toilet vent to stop the nasty whiffs that sometime escape from there.
Stone is a very pleasant market town. The main street is pedestrianised and is not full of closed down shops or charity shops. There are plenty of eating & drinking places. The moorings are quiet and the tow path is well maintained. Altogether a nice place to stay for a few days.
Eventually it is time to move on. We are heading north to Stoke and then going up the Caldon Canal. The work on the prop has transformed the boat. I think it was damaged before I had it, I did not improve matters when I had to travel through thick ice last winter, and there are always the odd bit of wood to get caught on the prop. The result now is no more vibration on the tiller and more forward power, better steering and less wash and so much better stopping. Money well spent!
We have moved on to Barlaston, not very far from Stone, but it is as close we want to stay to Stoke. We shall make an early start on our next leg and go through Stoke and get a few miles up the Caldon before we moor for the night. I do not like staying in Cities if I can help it, especially cities that have recently had riots!
The mooring we have chosen is not the best. We are too far from the bank; we are too close to a bridge hole, too close to the railway main line. But on the plus side we are close to a pub.