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Easter Saturday 7th April 2012

Trent & Mersey, Wheelock to Rode Heath

We awoke to the sound of rain pitter pattering on the roof of the boat, but it looked as if it was going to brighten up so we took time having a good breakfast before we set off. By about 10.30am the rain had stopped, the wind was light & the temperature seemed warmer than yesterday.

So we said cheerio to Wheelock, the place where last year we had to call out boat engineer Niel Coventry to replace an absolutely shattered drive plate. The story of this is on the post headed…Hooked! Now we start following the dream.

I had the incident from last year on my mind & at times thought the same problem was re-occurring due to the noisy knocking from the engine compartment, then on the other hand was it just my imagination? I decided to just carry on & see how things evolved, at least this time we know what it is, last year we didn’t have a clue what the problem was & had visions of engines blowing up, gear boxes crunching etc.

At locks 62 & 63 we came across Spey & Chance 2. This is Spey leaving lock 63.

This is the butty following, coming out of lock 62, we had to wait a while as she got stuck & needed some pushing to get her through.

At lock 60 we came across another fisherman with all his gear right on the lock moorings! We like the double locks on this stretch, it makes things much quicker when they are both working.

The rain was still holding off & only a fleece was needed today even the gloves came off! This is the view looking back from Pierpoint Locks

This is lock 54 on the Trent & Mersey still heading for Hardings Wood Junction, inside that huge willow tree is a super tree house! Have a look next time you are there.

We carried on towards Rode Heath as we have stopped there before & it is quite pretty nestled in amongst the village houses, the pub The Broughton Arms does a decent meal & a good pint of real ale & there is a small village shop.

There was a swan on its nest directly opposite our mooring & a large wild meadow towpath side which sloped down quite sharply as it used to be old salt workings & was then turned over to natural wild meadow when the salt mining stopped.

Lochaber is worn out today as he has done 14 locks, not bad for a man with a heart condition! Even Caley the mad spaniel is settling in to boat life this trip. The drive plate was not sounding great when we stopped, but tomorrow’s another day & we’ll take it as it comes.

So, off to The Broughton Arms it is!

Today 5.25hrs, 14 locks, 4 miles, dinner in the pub! 

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