I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Monday, 22 August 2011

Sunday 21st August

A lovely day – blue skies and sunshine :-) we haven’t had a day like this for a while. We left our mooring at 9.10am and set off down the Stoke Flight (six locks) and then Astwood Flight (another six locks). These two flights dropped us 84 feet so added together with the Tardebigge 217 feet we’ve come down a long way in two days. Both flights were quite quiet which made it easier for us. After Astwood Bottom Lock I made bacon and egg sandwiches which we ate at the next lock. Instead of going straight down the Worcester and Birmingham Canal into Worcester we decided on a slightly longer route via the Droitwich Canals. The Droitwich Junction Canal was a lot busier than it had been at the beginning of the month with us meeting three other boats at the staircase locks. We were rather worried about the M5 bridge as the lock-keeper at the top had told us that someone had left a paddle open all night and one pound had been drained so the water level at the bottom might be higher than usual, however once we had taken everything off our roof we got through relatively easily. Its funny how boats differ as Cecilia is much lower in the water than us and got through quite easily. However they can have problems with grounding which we don’t seem to get. Both boats went into the Barge Lock (a double) and we were watched by lots of Sunday gongoozalers. The lock either lifts or lowers you from the River Salwarpe to the Barge Canal however today the level was even and as we shut the gates at one end they opened at the other! At the first swing bridge Penny and I decamped and went shopping in Waitrose. Richard and Jim went on to the basin to moor up and then walked back to Waitrose to help us carry the shopping. There was an ice-cream man in the park as we walked back so we had to make a detour to try one! We found the Town Basin quite busy today, last time we came there were only a few boats in but today there were only a few spaces by the end of the day. As this is really the only place to moor on the canal there could be a problem if things get busier and the basin fills up. People won’t be very happy if they arrive in the evening and find no room at the inn. The macaroni chef did his bit tonight and I made a plum crumble.

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