To Longport (1 April)

On Wednesday we started the day by going up one lock to pick up fuel and coal at Stone Boatbuilding. However, with a well stocked chandlery, we came away with more than we anticipated. Just stand for a while in a chandlers and it is surprising what you remember you need.

While in the chandlers, Maggie chatted with the staff about Terry & Monica Darlington. It appears that they may be considering Lock Ness for this year's voyage.

As we left Stone we discovered a female mallard with thirteen tiny ducklings. At Newcastle Road lock the pink cherry blossom is out. Spring has definitely arrived!

This year's first ducklings at Stone

Pink Cherry Blossom

It was sunshine all day. Progress up the Meadford flight was slow, because we were following two other boats, but it was very pleasant. We last went through the Potteries in 1999 and so much has changed in the meantime. Shelton Steel Works has disappeared and the new Britannia Stadium dominates the canal near Stoke.

Bottle Kilns - looking like misplaced giant milk bottles?

We moored up at Westport Lake and enjoyed a good walk around its perimeter. Lots of people jogging, cycling and just walking. Quite busy for a Wednesday evening. Even the ice cream van was doing good business at 6.00PM.

Tomorrow Harecastle Tunnel.