Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Early Bird catches the Locks

Tuesday 2nd October

The forecast was for a good morning with rain in the afternoon so we decided to make an early start and hopefully capitalise on the leaking locks leaving some empty and so speed our ascent. We left at 7.45am and made steady progress up the locks using my light weight pole to help close the offside gates and so save June walking around the lock twice. I won’t let her jump the gates as it is too dangerous when you don’t swim.
A third of the way up we unexpectedly encountered a boat coming down. They had moored in a pound half way down the flight over night and the boat, crewed  by a group of ladies, was being helmed by the owner of Droitwich Marina where we had left the boat over the weekend.
The next few locks were therefore in our favour and we sped on but noticed a boat catching us up. The crew were just letting the paddles crash down (bad boy).
We stayed ahead of them as they had to empty each lock, so we were grateful that we had started early.
We had got a good rhythm going even thought the paddles were very stiff for June to operate and just over half way up came across another boat coming down, the crew was a miserable guy and could hardly mutter “good morning”.

* Tardebigge Resevoir
We soon reached Tardebigge Resevoir where we were met by Gary, one of our boat builders from Sandhills, who wanted to help us with the last 8 locks.

* Gary Joins Us
We flew through these and moored up after the last lock for lunch and a chat with Gary at 11.45 am an excellent 3.5 hours to complete the flight. Not quite on a par with the Boys excellent 2.75 hours I’m afraid.
We passed the Old Engine House which has now been converted into housing and looks very nice through the windows.

* The last few Locks
* The Old Engine House
After lunch we motored on through the Tardebigge and Shortwood  tunnels and on to Alvechurch where we moored up just after bridge 61. There is a dearth of visitor mooring in Alvechurch.
We had afternoon tea and cake and then I walked Phoenix down into the village to post some cards and get a paper. It is a good walk down but quite a climb back up to the canal. Met another Puppy walker in the village, whose puppy had just gone into training in Worcester; so she wanted a puppy fix and made a big fuss of Phoenix.
Just before dark we had two more boats join us at the mooring and a couple more went passed in the direction of Tardebigge; we wondered where everybody had been as we had not see another boat on the move since Tardebigge..

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