And we made the most of it. Penkridge to Kings Bromley Wharf. We didn't set off too early, just after eight. At the first lock, we me up with a chap we'd seen on a hireboat yesterday, following us for some of the way. His name was John, and it tranpired that he was making a trip around the waterways, south-north, on hire boats, going with other people etc. The trip is being done in stages, but each stage had to start where the previous one finished. He asked if he could hitch a ride with us to Great Haywood in return for helping with locks... We happily agreed. It then emerged that among other things he was a Friend of President and had been involved in its epic trip up the Thames, so he did some steering too. It's amazing the people you meet boating.
In the end he stayed with us to Rugeley, where we had arranged to meet Mike (Zulu Warrior). We had been very much looking fuorward to a cup of tea at Rugeley but disaster - the Monitor stove (sorry Carl, I was using Primus generically, rather like Hoover) wouldn't light. After three attempts we gave up and had juice instead but it wasn't the same. We also realised that this meant no hot water at all, for anything.
After a very fruitful trip to Wilkinsons (always the high spot of a visit to Rugeley) we were under way again, having decided to spend the night on the mooring at Kings Bromley Wharf that I've been paying for since April. We got there at 10.15, and had a supper of salad and beer... and a lovely (and very interesting) fellow moorer very kindly boiled her kettle to fill my giant teapot.
But you don't want to hear about that, do you? You want to know how the boat is going. Still going great, is the answer. Had a few more bottom-related incidents but none so bad as yesterday; the worst occurred when I was attempting to drop John off at a particularly tricky bridgehole, so fortunately he was still around to help extricate us. One of the Penkridge locks sent a stream of water straight into the engine room... but seems to have done no harm. tomorrow. Finding the T&M a worthy challenge with its tight bends, angled bridgeholes and narrows, but still no disasters, not even any collisions. Chertsey's ability to stop is so goos that all there have been are the lightest of nudges. Still loving it and starting to get a real feel for it now. Sorry no decent photos yet; I forget the camera everry time I get off the boat.