Friday 27 October 2017

Into Marina for Winter

Today's Canal - Droitwich

We made a good start, although Andrew insisted on first going to the supermarket for a newspaper. Again, with a clear sky, the autumn sun was only just shining over the trees.

Vines Park was looking good as we set off with Andrew walking ahead to set the first swing bridge.

The river lock as level and gates at both ends could be opened at the same time - not that we did so intentionally, but then life does have its little surprises!

It did not take us long to cover the rest of the distance, and four more locks including the final two-lock staircase, to arrive at the entrance to Droitwich Spa Marina where we had booked a space some time ago for the winter. We paused at the service wharf whilst Christine sorted out arrangements and was shown our pontoon by, we believe, the marina owner. We have only been here once before when we called in for fuel but we certainly found them very helpful back then and this arrival was equally so. We were in urgent need of elsan disposal so did that before moving to what turned out to be a near pontoon - it is quite some distance to the furthest ones.

Sadly we failed to take any photos of the marina so that will have to wait until we next visit.

Next, Mike and Andrew cleaned the roof, the fore deck and the rear deck - the cab sides will have to wait as it was time to change and prepare to do the two car shuffles. As Mike, with Andrew's assistance, found such a good deal on train tickets that we felt we could blow the saving on a taxi to the station.

Andrew caught a train  first, into Birmingham and then out to Wolverhampton before finally a train to Chirk. He had to walk across the aqueduct to collect his car but he had a smooth journey back to the boat.

Mike, on the other had, had some wait before his train at 2 o'clock which took him to Smethwick Galton Bridge where he changed for a connection to Crewe. Finally there was a very short hop, on a very packed train, to Nantwich. A taxi which had booked whilst waiting at the first station was ready and waiting which efficiently took him to Swanley Bridge Marina - much easier than the almost an hour walk otherwise!

Christine took the opportunity of an otherwise empty boat to do a through clean - at this time of the year, especially in places where the contractors have just done their final grass cut of the season, the floor can easily look a bit in need of a clean. When the other two returned, it looked a different boat!

After handing back the gate access card, Mike set off. His journey was the more tedious - the A500 to the M6 had queues at almost all the road junctions and the satnav told him that around Birmingham was not going to be quick.

He was amused to note that the last part of traffic queues was above the repair work that we had seen a few days earlier when we navigated underneath. Eventually he arrived back, almost a hour later than Andrew. At least Christine had already prepared the evening meal. Afterwards, Andrew returned home - he has less than two hours to do.

1.4 Miles - 5 Locks

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