Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th November; Droitwich Spa marina to Dunhampstead
We're going to have a few days aboard before winterising. We drove up to Droitwich Spa marina on Wednesday, leaving rainy Devon behind, and even saw a few gleams of sun before it got dark. I left Dave in the engine hole and took Meg off to stretch her legs. She is very good in the car when she knows we are coming up to the boat – if she has her bandana on and the back seat is packed in a certain way she just lies down and goes straight to sleep. But she does need a good walk when we arrive! At the top of Hanbury locks the indicator board showed that the Severn water level is in the yellow.
Our original plan was to do the Droitwich Ring, but there are stoppages on the locks coming up from Worcester. We then wondered about going down to Worcester and mooring at the racecourse but having been a bit scared on the Avon a few years ago we don’t do rivers in the yellow. The board says the Severn is going down but rain is forecast, so we’ll just potter about on the canal.
We stayed in the marina overnight. After a trip into town for some shopping, and topping up the water tank, we started up Hanbury locks in the sunshine. At the top lock I took a photo of the drained side pond. There is a large hole in the ground by the bottom one but I didn’t have the camera at the time.
There is a warning notice on the bottom gate of the top lock. My mental conversion program isn’t that accurate so I wasn’t sure whether it meant the lock was wider or narrower than normal.
Google tells me it’s barely over 7 feet. So yes, it’s a bit tight – in which case why not say so? How many boaters will know straight away 2.14m is a bit narrow?
The electronic board was still showing the Severn in the yellow. We made the tight turn to go south on the Worcester and Birmingham as the sun disappeared and thick cloud came over. I took the photo of the bridge at the end of the Droitwich Junction canal as we were about to go under the bridge by the Eagle and Sun.
We moored a couple of miles on at Dunhampstead visitor moorings, which are now a designated winter mooring spot. I found out when researching stoppages that only 50% of a VM can be thus used, and anyone can moor if there is space. No problem today - just one boat there, and two more on the permanent moorings at the far end. We saw no moving boats, though the one moored yesterday near the junction had gone on his way to Stoke Works.
It became very windy during the afternoon and evening. Glad we are tucked up nice and warm.
2 and a half miles, 3 locks