Thursday, 5 February 2015

Ice breaking – and tooth breaking

Ice breaking our way from Alrewas
The ice which had been threatening us for a couple of days at Alrewas seemed to have eased; it was a lovely sunny morning so we decided to set off. Besides we had pressing encounters - with the boaters' euphemistically entitled "facilities' at Fradley (think toilets) and, in my case with the dentist in Lichfield. I had bitten on something hard in my morning Fruit 'n Fibre and snapped an elderly crowned tooth clean off at the gum line. It didn't hurt but something unfortunately still had to be done.
So lured by the sun and an ice free canal we set off...only to find half an inch and more of solid ice across the cut as soon as we were out of the village and into the exposed countryside. Harry has plenty of 'grunt' to crunch through ice but we were thinking of our recently applied hull blacking and took things very steadily. In fact at the next lock we stopped for a leisurely lunch hoping the sun would melt the ice a bit more.
Lucky we did because another boat happened along and did some ice cracking for us all the way to Fradley. Here, as we turned off onto the Coventry Canal, the ice was definitely thinner and the passage had been crunched by one or two boats so we kept going. And, fearing another overnight freeze-up, going still further.
The sun had set by the time we reached Streethay but the near-full moon was a vivid light in the clear evening sky with the bright dot of Jupiter alongside it. Next day it was an easy stroll to the bus stop and into Lichfield for shopping and the dentist – who decreed the tooth irreparably broken and yanked it out on the spot.

The frozen canal at Streethay Wharf
After a weekend break to London we will be heading back to Fradley where hopefully Middle Lock will have re-opened and we can start this year's cruising in earnest.

No comments:

Post a Comment