Monday 2 March 2020

Out of the marina

We drove up from home on Friday morning setting off rather earlier than we usually do. The journey was, this time, without incident and the traffic was remarkably free flowing. The reason for the early start was that Mike had a meeting in London overnight Saturday and Sunday but, with an 11 am start, it was not really sensible to travel by train that morning. So, he had already booked tickets and a hotel for Friday night.

Christine planned to stay on the boat whilst Mile was in London but not longer after we arrived she received an email from a friend who had moved from Wadebridge to near Ledbury. She was expecting builders to arrive on Monday to start work on installing a new kitchen but her sister had just been admitted to hospital for observation. Christine offered to go over and help clear the kitchen, an offer that was gladly accepted.

As a result, Christine caught a train from Droitwich to Ledbury where the friend picked her up by car, just 15 minutes away from the house. Not knowing how much of a task it would be, Christine was prepared for an overnight stay although they managed very well and, even with time out for a meal at the local community pub, she was able to head back to the boat late afternoon. The journey back was not quite as expected as a signal failure meant that a replacement coach was laid on to take passengers from Ledbury to Worcester where they could rejoin the railway for their onward travel.

Mike had a trouble free journey back from Docklands to Droitwich, via Euston and Birmingham New Street and Christine collected him by car from the station. She had also tracked down some special sausages from Waitrose - he had had a roast chicken lunch at the end of the conference!

Today we are able to break out of the marina and go cruising, even if just for a few days - we have to return home on Saturday. In any case our cruising options are a bit limited as the Severn is still non navigable, with Storm Jorge the latest to drop a mass of water on the river's catchment area. We did not feel like going up Tardebigge just for the fun of coming straight back down again so this leaves the route to Worcester. But that is only just over a day away so we may need to find other places to visit or just keep the fire in all day and settle down with a book!

One matter we do need go attend to is that the gales on Saturday left our satellite dish with a fatal crack in the base so that it can no longer stand and point in the right direction. Hence we will need to track down a replacement. At least we have Netflix via the mobile phone if books run out.

We moved off our pontoon just after 10:30 but only as far as the service mooring at first as we wanted to pick up a back of coat and complete other servicing. Because of the prblems with the River Severn and the M5 culvert, our marina has been doing well out of providing a couole of hire bases slightly further away, the facility for their hirers to pick up of leave their boats here, A couple were on the service mooring being prepared for this weekend. It seems that there have been a surprising number of hires over the past few weeks.

It was around 11:30 that we finally made it through the marina entrance and out onto the canal proper, turning left up the three locks to Hanbury Junction. As the picture shows, it was a bright and sunny day - quite a change from the almost non-stop rain for what feels like an age. At times it was surprisingly warm.

Our first lock this season
To our surprise there was a volunteer lock keeper on duty - he would normally have left by now but had been delayed - and he was not expecting boats either! Just the other side of the marina, down three different locks, is the culvert on the M5 and that is not navigable when the level in Body Brook rises.

As it happened, when we reached the water level indicator board above the top lock it was showing the culvert as currently passable, but we would still have had to turn around before reaching the Severn and that is even closer than Worcester!

Just after the junction we were rather surprised to see the canal somewhat narrowed by several widebeam boats -after all, this is a narrow canal! There is a boat sales base at the former wharf and we supposed that these had been delivered by road and craned in so that potential buyers can have a better inspection.

The weather continued to be great!

We moored up just after Dunhampstead Tunnel for lunch- Christine had already prepared one of her thick winter soups.

More sunshine but the temperature was falling rapidly and when the clouds covered the sun for a short while it was time for a thicker layer of clothes!

Oddingley Church is very close to the canal (or, perhaps more historically correct, the canal is close to the church since the church was here first!). It looks interesting and perhaps we will take a look on the way back.

We did continue a little further in the afternoon but stopped for the night at Tibberton moorings as we did not fancy the six locks of Offerton or the mooring opportunities (or lack thereof) immediately beyond. OK, so the boat in the picture is not us but the bridge made a better scene and, in any case, that boat is right outside a popular pub so we may well have a quieter spot a few boat lengths away!

4.2 Miles - 3 Locks.

No comments:

Post a Comment