Great Haywood to Stone

26th September 2016

Huge sleep in today with neither of us poking our noses out until 10.00am. It was wet and miserable weather and quite chilly for our final day.

Headed out with heavy hearts with heavy rain pounding down so Di and the pooches stayed inside and commenced packing up. There was a final flotilla of swans to say farewell to us.

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Our two umbrella’s we purchased have been invaluable and today was no exception.

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On our way around the system we have been collecting brass plaques of the canals and rivers we have been on as well as any of the inland waterway wonders we have done. We are probably missing about four altogether which we will have to purchase on-line.

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The countryside around here is stunning and oh so green – wonder why. When we were stopping to do the locks the ground was so soggy underfoot that you actually sank down into it.

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The weather cleared enough for us to allow the deck hounds up for their final hour of cruising. They have never been particularly happy when they have not been included on the poop deck as they guard nb Lucy with zealous energy barking at other dogs. Toque also has quite the issue with cows and horses and becomes extremely animated when we cruise past. They meantime just think she is an annoying gnat.

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This sign denotes that we have half way along the Trent and Mersey canal which is significant to canal boaters. It is hard to see it but we are 46 miles from Shardlow and 46 miles from Preston Brook.

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And there it is, home base of the town of Stone.

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We had two final locks to go and this one is right next to The Star pub which we will frequent tomorrow for our evening meal as our larder is almost bare. We have done extremely well running everything down and the only item that we have not successfully finished is the Bailey’s Irish Crème. We will donate it to the cleaning staff tomorrow.

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Approaching the final lock.

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Closing the gates on the final lock.

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Inside the final lock which just happens to be the deepest lock on the Four Counties Ring at 11 foot 6 inches.

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The lock boy signing off.

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Ground level view from Di as she was rising up the final lock.

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Nb Lucy on her final stretch home.

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And this is where it all started 18 weeks ago!!!

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It has been an amazing journey and we have seen and experienced so much. We can only but recommend canal boating to all our friends as a way of escaping the rat race for a little while and to see the countryside of England from a totally different angle.

We will spend the next two nights in Stone as there is substantial work to do in packing up and need to take the pooches to the vet to get their fitness to fly certificates.

We won’t sign off from the blog just yet.

A few final statistics for you all :

Number of Locks:                                           624 – total number of locks on the system is 1,573

Number of Miles:                                           739 – total of miles on the system is 2,000

Engine hours ran                                             497 hours

Fuel used                                                          606 litres

Number of Days on water                            125

Locks averaged per day:                               5.0

Engine Hours averaged per day:                 4.0

Miles per day average                                   5.9 miles

Number of Canal plaques collected           25

Drownings or planned swims                       Nil

Scary moments                                               A few

Weight gained by Di and Fras:                     Not for publication (but it’s a bit of a problem that will need working on in winter!)

 


5 thoughts on “Great Haywood to Stone

  1. It has been a fantastic journey. As they say, “One for the Ages, and One to Remember”. I hope the blog will be available for some time, as some of us have not been able to read every day. Have a safe journey home.

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  2. What a wonderful adventure you have shared with us . Thank you for taking the time to record your journey in so much detail when you have worked so hard and been so busy on your relaxing holiday !. It has been a pleasure seeing rhe views our country’s waterways have to offer and the knowledge we have gained in such an entertaining way. Look forward to the next trip….. more news please and scones ! Safe and easy journey home to all of you.

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