And it shall rain for ever and ever….

From Penkridge - Visitor Moorings above Lock to Cowley Tunnel No 33 (North end), a distance of 23 miles, 1¾ flg and 8 locks.

Well what can be said about Sunday 27th of May 2007 that doesn’t involve lots of descriptions of rain


We got up early and turned at Penkridge Winding Hole and started to head back towards Gailey Wharf and at the same time it started raining. From then on I guess it was a challenge – who would give up first: me or the rain. Kathy worked us up through the locks and stated, quite correctly, that you’ve really got to love boating to do this sort of thing. We got to Gailey and moored up for about 30 minutes – to have some breakfast but, more importantly, to warm up. The air temperature was low enough that mist was rising off the canal – a situation that continued until well into the afternoon.

For some strange reason not many other people were on the move, and those that were agreed that we were all quite mad.

The original plan for the day was to have lunch on the move and then have a hot cooked meal in the evening but by about 11am we’d decided that this plan was just not going to work, mainly because the rain had now been joined by a rather nasty wind which just leeched body heat out of you. So we stopped at about 2pm on the new moorings on the Shroppie (between Lower Hattons Bridge No 6 and Hunting Bridge No 7 ) which are about 3 miles up from Autherley Junction

After a hot lunch of slow braised pork with potatoes and carrots it was time to wrap up warm again and, fuelled by a never ending stream of freshly brewed coffee from the galley, we pushed on.

Wheaton Aston Lock No 2 was actually totally deserted, with no signs of any life : a stark contrast to when we’d come through on the Easter Weekend when we’d had to queue for nearly 90 minutes to get through.

We eventually gave up when we reached Gnosall and moored in the cutting just past Cowley Tunnel No 33 (North end)

We were the only boat on that block of moorings so it was very quiet – and very, very dark. Seriously dark, to the point that I couldn’t see to get out of bed to go to the loo – a task made even harder in that I had to be careful not to step on Kathy, or Smokey, or step off the edge of the bed ;-)

As for who gave up first: us or the rain. Well the title of this post comes from when I woke up in the middle of the night. The radio was on and Classic FM were playing part of Handel’s Messiah. Just as the choir sang “And he shall reign for ever and ever” a lot more rain landed on the roof of the boat….

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