Arrive at North Star to a flat battery. Cannot for the life of me work out why, as it's only been a couple of weeks since we were on the boat. Anyway, Bill from NB Valour springs into action with a charger, and 30 minutes later, we are up and running again. Just in time for the wind to pick up. I understand it's the first puff of wind in this part of Staffordshire since the afternoon we arrived. Still, manage to get her around and heading out for the T&M in the lovely afternoon sunshine.
T takes the tiller while I just relax and smile.
We find a hire boat in front and a hire boat behind as we go down the three locks: very friendly families. We stop at The Swan for a swift pint and watch the boats come and go. The house on the corner is still for sale - pity that they have put up such a high hedge.
We motor onto the Coventry. It's really beautiful down this stretch, with thick trees on the right, fringing the aerodrome. We've arranged to meet Diesel Dave tomorrow at Fazeley; the engine is belching more a lot more smoke now, even at slow speeds. It's really embarrassing, and it means we stick to quite a slow speed to avoid creating too much noise. Last time, it was only when you put a bit of power on - now it's even at slow speeds. We have to push on - yet another trip when time is dictating what we do.
We know that The Plough stops serving food at 9pm and it's going to be a close run thing. We tie up early and decide to leg it along the towpath. It was worth the effort - very good food and very good beer.
6.2 miles, 3 locks
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