Wednesday 23rd September; Diglis Basin – Pitchcroft
The forecast wasn’t too brilliant for today, with rain forecast for late morning, but we weren’t planning on going far. We made ready to leave at about 9.45, discovering to our great annoyance that a fender was missing. The mooring rings here are the same length apart as the T-stud at the bow is from the stern dollies, so Dave tied one of our spare fenders to a ring to help hold us steady. But this morning it was nowhere to be seen – he had double-knotted it so it wouldn’t have come off by itself, so someone must have half-hinched it.
Coincidentally, the boat moored in front of us – smack on the water-point ever since we arrived yesterday afternoon - was the one we saw on our last trip at Stourport, that had been hogging the lock mooring for 3 weeks since lockdown. No further comment ….
As Dave pulled onto the pontoon above the lock, I arrived, having walked round the basin, at the same time as the lockie. As we filled the lock, the hire-boat that had been taking on water (at the second tap) joined us, so we locked down together.
They were seasoned hirers and are trying to buy a boat, but finding it very difficult as boats are apparently going very quickly once they are listed! The Covid/staycation effect no doubt. A few drops of rain fell as we opened the top gates of the bottom lock - just an hour or two earlier than forecast - and the lockie ran off to get her waterproof with strict instructions for the crews to get on their boats! We were happy to comply. By the time we were fully togged up with our wet-weather gear and lifejackets, it was raining steadily, and she was back and opening the gates.
I was a bit low down for a decent picture I'm afraid! We turned upstream, followed by our companions who were intending to go up towards Droitwich at Hawford Junction.
We however pulled in at the Riverside
moorings next to the rowing club at Pitchcroft.
It’s a good hard edge for us, and just by the racecourse for the delight
of the dog. We were soon tied up and
inside out of the rain – and that’s when we discovered that my shoes were
covered in mud, though I had no idea where it had come from. On with the kettle for some coffee – but oh
dear, the gas had run out! We waited for
the rain to ease off a bit, then I held the umbrella and Dave hauled the gas
bottles about so that the attachment thingy would reach the new one. So at least we could have a cup of tea with
lunch! All this while, there was a
tremendous racket going on by the Sabrina footbridge and we could see yellow
jackets busy at something. They stopped for lunch, and so did the rain. After we’d eaten, Dave took Meg out for a
good run on the racecourse and I went up to the shops for some lined trousers
for winter. I returned as Dave was
starting to mask off the grey stripes on the starboard side, and that’s when we
realised quite how much mud there was ….
I had spotted similar stretches along the Riverside as I walked back – last time the Severn rose above the edge of the moorings it muest have left its muddy calling card. We pulled back a boat length to a dry bit.
I had two pairs of boots to clean, and the mats from the stern, and Dave carried on with the masking tape. He did a bit of painting before realising that the clouds were building up again, so stopped. We put the tonneau cover over the stern area before dark as more rain is forecast overnight and it helps to keep water out of the bilges.
2 locks, 1 mile