We set off after adjusting the tension on the Generator Drive belt. The screaming stopped and the voltmeter reassuringly indicated that it was generating at 14v.
We then entered the Hazelhurstlocks. However, we were unable to exit the second lock because the pound was so low. We had to take water through the lock to make progress. From then on we were in relatively low water all the way.
At about ten o’clock the generator belt broke. I spent some time trying to get a replacement on but eventually gave up and fitted a belt that was slightly larger. The generator light extinguished we were under way again.
I lost count of the number of times we went aground or almost came to a halt under a bridge. However, the scenery is idyllic and we share a valley with a steam railway. It is in steam because it is Wednesday! The river Churnet joins the canal for a period (or vice versa) and there are no roads. The flowers around were amazingly beautiful.
Getting to Froghall was a disappointment. We are only allowed to stay 24hrs! I met a man taking photos of the large Bolton factory that is under demolition. He started work there and mourned the loss of 1200 manufacturing jobs. He could not understand how we could give up our heritage and lose all these skilled men to ‘redundancy’.
We are moored next to nb Electra, a Wilson shell bespokenly fitted out by Louis and Joshua. It boasts more electricity than I could ever dream of with an 11kW generator, electric cooking, tumble dryer and even a ventaxia in a porthole! The owners are really lovely and we shared a few tales with them.
I confess! We overstayed. As we needed to collect our other crew member from Uttoxeter on Friday, we had little option but to do so.I noted that the lucky people with shrunken boats that fit through the tunnel are allowed to stay 48 hours in Froghall Basin!
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