16th May 2011 1st solo cruise

moored at Shrobnall

Today we planned to cruise from Willington to Shrobnall where we hoped to be able to walk into Burton-on-Trent.  The wind blew and the sky was cloudy as we set off. Norwyn managed to steer Shell Bell through the narrow exit of the marina without any bumps, so the journey started on a high.  We saw very little traffic in the first hour and this wasn’t because we had started early because it was 10.30 when we left. We were amazed at how many baby ducks and moorhens we saw at the side of the canal.  The only lock today was Dallow and we got through without a hitch.  Sheila even managed to get back on the boat with windless in hand!!!!  After travelling for two hours and twenty minutes we moored  at Shrobnall playing fields but found that the wind was rough so we moved up and on to the other side of the canal which was sheltered.  It was a mile and a quarter walk to Burton town centre.  Burton-on-Trent is famous for it’s brewing industry. Apparently in the 13th C the monks at Burton Abbey discovered that an excellent beer could be brewed from the water in the town due to it’s high gypsum content.  On our walk into town we could smell the malt and saw the Coors and Marston brewery.  Following a look round the shops we bought some supplies and got back to the boat for afternoon tea – very civilised. Luckily by this time the sun was shining and it was quite warm despite the wind.

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