Monday, 22 September 2014

Cold and annoying start to the day

The decision on which route to take back to Rugby was taken last night..........or was it.   This morning Geoff was having second thoughts..........and then third thoughts brought him back to last nights decision.  

However before decision time at the junction we had to cast off which was the annoying bit.   Since the morning had such an autumnal air I had on 3 layers, woolly hat and gloves and 'twas the gloves that were the undoing.   As I leant over the side to pull in the fender, the darn thing slipped out of my gloved hand and sank to the bottom like a stone!   It had our metal fender catch on so I was all for stopping and trying to rescue it with our big magnet but I was not allowed.   I was very cross with myself........

After a couple of bridges and the gloomy bits through the trees Barney and I alighted (or do I mean disembarked!) and we walked to the junction.   Whilst Geoff watered the boat I walked up to the hire base to try my luck for replacements.  We did have other fenders but not the nice small tyre one I had lost.    I struck Gold........very helpful staff, who produced another tyre for me and drilled the required holes and even better they had just two of the metal thingies (Not sure what you call them) required to attach them to the boat......not quite the same as the ones we have but cheaper and they seemed to fit OK.

So through the stop lock and the decision was taken to turn South on the Staffs and Worcester instead of north,   There will be more locks this way including the Hatton flight but Geoff seems to think we have the time to do it and we haven't been through Birmingham for a while.

Just a little way along was Addersley Junction where the two boats ahead of us were queueing to go up the Wolverhampton flight but we were going straight ahead.   This first bit was rather drear and it was still chilly 
Things did improve and gradually the layers were stripped off.   Here at the Bratch Locks it was all rather pleasant.
The lock keeper has a dinky little hut here with odd things for sale but nothing we needed.
The moorings beneath the locks were in the shade so we decided to carry on as our guide said the moorings at Greenforge Lock were delightful.   However we bit off more than we could chew as we were both flagging by the time we reached March Lock......about a mile and 3 locks short of the goal.
There was just room to moor behind the lock moorings and Geoff walked up into the small village of Swindon (Not quite the same size as Swindon on the M4)  

A bit of a marathon day for us but after the chilly start the sun shone and the idea was to take advantage of the nice weather.........and it was very pleasant cruising gently along meeting a few other boats but not too busy to cause hold ups.......just our stamina let us down or we would have gone a little further.

Total distance:11.81 miles 
Elapsed time:6h47m45s 
Average speed:1.74 mph (3.65 lock/mph) 

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