Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Actually, it was 35

Day 17, Forest Top Lock to West Stockwith

Because I forgot about Boundary Lock, 41a, an extra one. Anyway, today I did the remaining eleven, and tonight we are back at West Stockwith, ready to go through in the morning, down to Keadby (watch out for coasters around Keadby lock, apparently!) and then on to Sheffield.

This morning, up on the lock mooring where we spent the night (ahem) all the mud had settled and the water was really clear, all three feet of it, and glinting on the bottom I could see mother-of-pearl, like the abalone shells we used to buy on Guernsey when I was a child, and roughly the same size - about four inches long. I had read about giant mussels on this waterway but had hardly believed it, but here it seemed was the evidence - and I didn't have a shrimping net to try and fish it out. After much deliberation about the various possibilities of the colander, the handbowl and a jug, I settled on lashing a small saucepan to the cabin shaft with duck tape, and pretty much to my surprise, managed to scoop it out with this. It is far more fragile than an abalone or even an ordinary marine mussel, but it is beautiful. Flushed with success, I also managed to get a double shell too.

We have just been to the Waterside Inn at West Stockwith, and the food was perfectly decent, although niot cheap, but my pint of B|lack Sheep was definitely a bit iffy and the landlord simply wouldn't accept the fact, saying it was a new barrell and no one else had complained. So they lost points for that. The customer is always right; as least it is when it's me.

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