We collected the boat from Stoke on Trent. As the boat had not been booked out previously we were able to collect it at 12:00. The "Canal Crew" soon had everything stowed on board and we were ready for our safety briefing. The team shirts were then unpacked and a team photo was taken as we joined the canal and were ready to set off. The distraction of the burger stall delayed our start so we had lunch just outside the boat yard with some of us just having the pastrami and humous they had brought. The canal split just after the boat yard and we took the left hand fork on the Caldon canal. After a very tight right hand turn we encountered our first lock. The first of around 21 each way we will have to negotiate. The first couple of hours we thought the out skirts of Stoke on Trent with evidence of the former pottery trade now being replaced by housing. At the first the lift bridge we had to stop the traffic lower the barriers and the raise the bridge. Louise soon had the buttons on the control panel sorted and we let her have temporary charge of out British Waterways key. The scenery soon became more rural as we wound our way past Milton and Stockon Brook. We negotiated the 5 locks of Stockon Brook before finding a pleasant spot to moor for the evening.