On Friday (20th), in wet cold weather, we travelled from our overnight mooring at Polesworth to Fradley Junction. It didn't start off too bad. In fact we woke to sunshine and we watched larks singing on the wing over the wheat field opposite. However, by the time we got to Glascote it was raining hard. It was at this point that the Adverc indicator decided to indicate over voltage. It turned out to be an Adverc problem not the alternator. The company are trying hard to help us get it fixed. We hope to have more news on Monday.

Field patterns at Polesworth

We stopped at Fazeley for lunch and NB Calypso Rose from Braunston passed us and stated that it was going to be a fine afternoon. Sadly they were wrong.

Passing Streethay we saw Granny Buttons moored up in a clutch of boats just outside the dock. It appears she has had a bottom blacking and hull paint job. No sign of Andrew Denny - I presume he is busy working.

We got to Fradley Junction at 6:30 and found it difficult to moor, lots of boats that appear to have been there for some time. The only vacant spot was on second water point close to the junction which luckily was not in use. That night we had fish and chips at The Swan.

Fradley Junction

Saturday saw us moving down the Trent & Mersey towards the Trent. It was a good sunny start and we had a delightful cruise through Alrewas. As we approached Barton Turns we ran over something leaving the lock. It appeared not to have caused any problems but as we approached the next lock we heard a load thumping from underneath the prop. The usual removal of the weedhatch revealed nothing. Eventually we found a pipe fender and lanyard wrapped around the bottom of the rudder near the skeg! No wonder it made a noise.

Opening the bottom gates of Alrewas Locks - getting some leverage

We moored up for the night by the water park at Branston - a delightful spot. We enjoyed a good walk around the lakes looking at the birdlife in the late afternoon. That evening  we had an excellent meal at The Bridge inn which is now a pizza and pasta restaurant. We can definitely recommend it. Unfortunately, returning to Albert we found the toilet had suddenly become overfull! How we shall probably never know because the flushing system appears to be working OK. We spent the next day cleaning up the bilges - great smelly job! We shall have to keep an eye on the toilet.

On Sunday (22nd) we had a pump out and refuelled at Shobnall Wharf. Good service but tight entrance. We had a steady cruise to Swarkstone with a lunch stop near to Mercia Marina. Some fierce storms moved around the area in the afternoon - very dramatic but they missed us.

Shobnall Wharf

Stenson Lock Cill - the water has still some way to go with a 12ft 4ins drop