Monday 17 March 2014
Droitwich Spa Marina to the M5 culvert and back again
2 miles max, 6 locks
We have our Brother in Law, Mike, staying with us and as the weather is so glorious at the moment we decided to take the boat out for it's first trip of the year. The boat builder is fairly convinced that he has cured the leak that caused the header tank to empty, so a trial run seemed like a good idea.
The plan was to to down to Droitwich, moor in Netherwich Basin, have lunch in the Gardeners Arms and then head back, however it did not all go to plan. Fist snag - we got to the marina when Chris realised he had left the boat keys at home! Back for the second time and Mike and I were despatched to walk the dogs (we have a visiting black lab whose owners are on holiday) down to the M5 culvert to check on water levels. The water was well in the green
we could just see the island
and the levels at the culvert seemed to be okay.
A stroll back to the boatyard enjoying the sun and scenery (you can actually see the canal this year as a lot of reed cutting has been done). We then set off,
Crew were waiting and ready
through the stair case
and the single lock and onto the culvert, but no joy - we could not get through. We think the water we sent down from the locks must have just raised things too much. Maybe if we had waited we would have made it, but then would we have got back?
Full stern reverse into the single lock, gently does it
Success - we are in
The crew are wondering what on earth we are doing!
back up the staircase locks into the marina.
Put everything to rights, lock up, into the car and off to the Gardeners Arms for a late lunch, head for home stopping at Stoke Prior to walk the dogs up the Stoke Flight and back to the car.
Boats are beginning to move - we saw three on the Tardebigge flight on Saturday and two of the Stoke flight today - they will be doing Tardebigge tomorrow. We have seen a few lambs around, the daffodils are dancing in the breeze - I think spring has definitely sprung.
We will go back to check the boat in a day or two to see if the header tank is still full, then I think the big clean up starts along with some touching up ready for the summer. Our first 'proper trip' will be to Birmingham and back towards the end of April. It was good to be on the cut.
ps - I need to get back into the habit of posting promptly! It is now 13 April! The news on the header tank is that it seems to be okay. Since the above trip on 17 March we have cleaned and polished one side and the inside is all spick and span. We need to go back and turn her round to do the other side. Mind you side one might need doing again as the 'sand from the Sahara' arrived after we cleaned her. We have just come home after 10 days visiting friends in Spain, so a visit to do some more cleaning and touching up is on the cards for this week prior to our trip to Birmingham which is due to start after Easter. Well hopefully it will happen - see next blog report,