Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Magical Cuttings. 13th March

Tyrley Top Lock to Norbury Junction Visitor Moorings

P1250189smFor the next 17 miles we will be on the flat to Wheaton Aston Lock. Not being a contour canal the Shroppie has long straight sections, crossing the countryside along embankments and through cuttings. Today we were to cruise through long stretches of cuttings. First up was Woodseaves Cutting. Here trees cling on for dear life to the steep cut rock slopes. Many have long since given up their fight and now lie rotting away on the slopes covered in bright green moss with the occasional scattering of Scarlet Elfcup Fungi. I wasn’t quick enough to take a photo of the bright red cups so here is a link.

IMG_20180313_201223_783High bridges cross over the cutting and the lack of leaves at the moment made for some wonderful views along the mile long straight. The amount of birdsong was amazing, if only we’d been on a silent boat, horse drawn the atmosphere would have been amazing.

Popping out the other end we were greeted by the ‘BEEP BEEP’ of a reversing wagon somewhere, shattering the moment.

P1250250smP1250290smCrows were high in the trees, busy weaving twigs into nests. The sun was out and views across the fields towards The Wrekin and beyond were wonderful.

Long lines of moored boats slowed our progress and today we saw the most moving boats we’ve seen in one day for months. Having noted in our Nicholsons guide where the Shropshire Union Canal Society moorings are we knew one was coming up by bridge 47, so we pulled in for a lunch stop.

P1250291smWe were soon joined by the newest of the Carefree Cruising Shareboats NB Otter, someone has been breaking ice and I suspect the winter maintenance has been completed for this year! Interesting that the hull is cream underneath the blacking.

P1250303smOn we continued, now along Shebdon Embankment. When we passed here last year all the trees were in full leaf and views were hard to grasp, today it was easier. Three birds of prey circled overhead above the trees keeping our attention for much of the way.

P1250319smP1250333smThe Anchor Inn looked shut up for the afternoon. We’ve managed to time our visits twice with the front door being open, but today we wanted to get a few more miles under Oleannas hull. The 6X will have to wait for the next time.

P1250350smP1250358smGrub Street Cutting next, wider than Woodseaves, but just as atmospheric. The two boats are still moored here offside along with the lovely blue car which is kept under cover. An old Land Rover is almost at one with the landscape and a couple of vans seem to have joined the collection of vehicles under the trees.

P1250377smAround the next bend is the photo opportunity of the Shroppie. How many photos have been taken of High Bridge? I know I’ve taken hundreds! The wallpaper photo on our trip computer is one of the first I took of it back on NB Winding Down.

It was getting chilly in all the shade of the trees, so we were glad when it gradually opened out again and we could see the sky and sun. Plenty of space presented itself before Norbury Bridge so we pulled in for the day. I took the opportunity to give the starboard side a quick rinse off in the sunshine as Tilly did her best to create interesting patterns on the roof. Jumping onto the pram cover is great fun and the view from up there is so good. But the best bit is, if I have enough mud still between my toes, sliding down the window part to get down. I could do this for hours!

P1250395smWe resisted the lure The Junction Inn with it’s beer and excessively large pies and stayed in to enjoy my version of a chicken junction pie.

DSCF7114sm0 locks, 9.49 miles, 2 amazing cuttings, 1 long embankment, 3 birds of prey, 1 heron, 1 owl, 8 boats moving today, 1 winey whingey woofer who so should shut up! 1 day ahead of plan, 1 pie between 2 instead of 1 each!


Alf said...

The blue car is a 1949 Daimler

Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

Otter came passed us on Friday, I would estimate the ice was 30mm thick and he was giving it some welly, almost got stuck in the mud on Whatcroft Flash as he was a long way out. We were pleased to see him and went to Anderton through the broken channel It must be a very good quality primer under that black.

Pip and Mick said...

Thanks Alf. We knew it was a Daimler but not what age.

Pip and Mick said...

Hi Brian
They must have been heading back to base as change over day used to be on Saturdays. When we were with Carefree we broke ice a couple of times, but only when it was thin and crumpled in front of us. Unless the syndicate decided otherwise Otter will have been blacked during its first the winter maintenance and will now stay like this until next winter. Hope the primer lasts! Pip