Wednesday 13th June 2012
We had a fine night at The Clifford Arms with John, as usual the food was excellent.
Tuesday morning we set off again heading for Rugeley where there is a another good Morrison's and a Wilkinson's where I bought some more engine oil. The service intervals on this engine are very short, 100 hrs. between oil changes, so I don't bother feeding it expensive top of the range oils.
Mooring at Rugeley was tight, but we managed to find a good spot close to the bridge, which some kind soul just vacated as we approached.
This morning we got up early again as we had hoped to make it to Alrewas. The weather forecast is fair for the next 2 days so we decided to crack on before the rain comes again for the weekend.
At Wood End Lock, as we were leaving it our prop picked something up so badly it nearly stalled the engine. Manoeuvring was impossible so we just drifted in cut while I dived into the weed hatch to see what the problem was.
It was a large piece of reinforced plastic sheet, and it took a lot of getting off. By the time the prop was clear we'd drifted onto mud bank and were stuck fast. Luckily the boat that followed us down the lock came to our rescue and towed us off the bank.
At Fradley Junction we pulled in at the services. The water supply here is notoriously slow, and while we waited for it fill our tank the rain started. So far it had been a good day, well, a lot better than it has been anyway, but this looked like it could be in for a while. It was still raining when we finished taking water so we moored up and decided to stay here tonight.