Sunday 15th and Monday 16th November
1 and a half miles, 3 locks
After a wild night (the weather, not us ……) the wind was still blowing hard. This morning it was coming up the canal towards us, so it wasn’t a problem cruising down to the visitor moorings at Hanbury Junction. Lots of leaves and other floating debris about though. Dave had read that you don’t necessarily have to put the engine into reverse to remove leaves from the prop – just put the engine in neutral and they drop off. It works! Doesn't do anything for weeds though, and if you have reeds caught round the rudder you (I) still have to lie down on the deck to reach them without overbalancing. Dave cycled into town to get the paper while I took Meg for a run back to Astwood locks. It was lovely on the way out, but unfortunately into the teeth of the wind coming back! Not very nice for Dave on the bike either. Just time for a lovely hot shower before repairing to the Eagle and Sun for a carvery lunch – very nice.
After a cup of tea and a read of the paper, and hoping the wind would have dropped a bit, we finished our journey down the locks and into the marina. The river level board still showed the Severn in the yellow, stream decreasing. There is a plaque at the top lock commemorating Neil Pitts, whose legacy helped with the restoration of the flight.
This is the hole which has appeared by the side pond at the bottom lock. It looks quite deep.
A boat had just gone down ahead of us on its way to Droitwich Spa, so I had to turn all three locks, giving Dave plenty of time to think about how to get across the marina in the wind, which was strong and blustery. He slid Chuffed alongside our pontoon without trouble, having perfectly judged the approach. This was lucky, as we are the last-but-one berth before the rocks at the edge and there is no room to manoeuvre if you overshoot!
We spent the rest of the afternoon and the following morning on the multifarious little tasks involved in preparing for winter. Oven and galley cupboards cleaned, perishables packed up, weed hatch inspected (and cleared of some weed), anti-freeze topped up, etc, etc.
When we drove home, we had an unexpected diversion past Black Prince at Stoke Prior to get to the motorway – road works prevented access to Droitwich Spa.
Home now. Where to go next year?
Meg on the stepping stones at Uppermill, Huddersfield Narrow canal.