Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Droitwich, here we come

After a domestic morning traipsing round Worcester doing various things I met Emma from the train just before noon.   The various visits included trying to pay our mooring fee for Worcester.  It is £3.50 per day, not unreasonable.  However we were not in when the man came so he left the bill on the boat with instructions of various ways to pay......ie post or at an address in Worcester.  This same information is on several boards along the quay.   I duly located the building but was told the mooring fee place had moved and I eventually found the next place.   This was in an ultra modern building and housed the library and various council functions.   When I explained to the central desk what I was trying to do I was directed to join the queue for Position 10.   Whilst paying I casually mentioned to the lady that perhaps they should amend their notices.  She said they had been asking for it to be done but they had only moved 2 months ago!  
All that for a £3.50 fee!!

Still it  was a nice day and we were soon off down the river heading for the Diglis basin and the Birmingham and Worcester canal which would lead us to the Droitwich.

We stopped in the basin to water etc after going up our only wide beam locks of the year.   Happily they were incredibly gentle fillers so hardly needed the line on.
At the next lock (back to narrow) we met our first obstacle.   One of the bottom gates refused to close properly.  A lot of heaving and pushing and engine reversing to throw the water back was all to no avail.   By now we had acquired an audience.  Gongoozlers and also another boat waiting to come up and 3 waiting to come down.   One chap went to fetch his magnet bud had no success.  Geoff then remembered that he had a small grapnel anchor way down the bottom of one of the lockers.  It had never seen the light of day on Petroc but was from our days with our wooden catamaran Sisumari which we kept in the pool outside St Just Church near St Mawes!!  It was about to come into it's own..............
This is what it caught!
Before finding it I had called CRT as we didn't think we would be so successful.  Afterwards I called to report our success but suggested they needed to remove said article before someone threw it back in.......will it get done??
Going around the back of Worcester is not the most attractive.  This canal is very narrow in parts and extremely shallow.  Emma was getting her hand back in steering when she had to pass another boat (one of very few)  In moving over for him we went very firmly aground and it took a lot of pole work by Geoff to get us off again.
The paddles on all the locks today were excessively stiff, worst we have had all year.  
 Geoff was very glad Emma was there to share the burden.
Intrigued to know what the round hole was for
Although we did 17 locks today it was much easier and quicker with 3 of us.  In addition, for a change, every lock apart from the first 2 wide ones were set for us, no one ahead.  So we managed to reach Tibberton our intended goal in time for our pre supper drink at the pub.   Geoff recognised it from a previous visit ( June 2004 when we hired a Viking boat with friend Sue and Dave)  Needless to say I have no recollection whatsoever of being here before........
6.74 miles, 17 locks, 5 hours 56 min

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