Friday, 1 January 2010

New Year Cruise - Day Seven

When we looked out just after midnight last night, there was already a very hard, sparkly frost, and ice was beginning to form in around the front of the boat. This morning, we were woken up by a tremendous cracking noise -- which turned out to be a load of ducks breaking the ice. It was a beautiful morning: cold, frosty and sunny. We set off at 9.30, breaking the relatively thin ice between Market Drayton and the Tyrley Locks. There were quite a few walkers about, and we all wished each other a happy new year. At the locks, there was quite a bit of ice about, and the frost was so hard it looked like snow.

There was no ice through the Woodseaves Cutting, but along the next stretch, towards Goldstone Wharf, the ice was up to half an inch thick. We could see that a boat had left the moorings there, so we were no longer carving a path through the ice. It turned out to be the Anglo Welsh boat we saw yesterday -- we met shortly afterwards heading back towards base.

By now it had clouded up, and soon started snowing. At first it was just a few small flakes, then the flakes got bigger and the snowfall heavier.

We stopped for lunch and a warm up at the Knighton moorings, where the sun came out again. After lunch, we continued back to Norbury, passing the miles of moored boats. At Norbury, we decided it would probably be wise to spend the night in the basin, as more freezing temperatures are forecast tonight. Even so, getting into a mooring alongside another OwnerShips boat, proved hard work. We had to smash lots of ice with a pole to get close, but if it freezes it will save even more work tomorrow morning.

11 miles, 5 locks. (35, 50)

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