Saturday, 14 September 2013

A long, slow climb

 Tuesday 2 September 2013
Stoke Pound to Tardebigge New Wharf

2.5 miles, 30 locks

Yet another glorious day dawned and we set off at 08:30.  We were aware that two boats had gone ahead, but we had left a good half an hour after the last one before we started.  We set off at a cracking pace, but within half and hour we had caught them up.  The one immediately ahead of us was nb The Chiseler who we last saw at Dunhampstead moorings on 7 July and they are also fairly near neighbours of ours at the Marina.  It was the boat in front of them that was very slow and on a couple of occasions they managed to leave a paddle open!

It certainly is a long climb, but with wonderful weather, fabulous scenery and good friends to help it was a very pleasant day

There was a lot of waiting

Pushing of gates

A certain amount of athletics

Yes I do exist and I even get to steer sometimes!

Pateint as ever

My nemesis on this flight - the radio ham's house just before bridge 51
It is running the gaunlet of this chap (or maybe he is a she?) and his/her housemate.  I am sure they are both lovely dogs, but they do their job well guarding the house and poor Monty just hates going past and being 'shouted' at.  One time there was a cat lying on the tow path by the orange fencing, so it was a bit of squeeze trying to get past the house and the cat.  Monty was so worried about the dogs he did not even notice the cat was there!

One of my favourite views from the top of the reservoir looking down over Bromsgrove

This was the result of the second open paddle between locks 56 and 57 (penultimate lock)

To add to the confusion there was a boat in 57 coming down - we had to hold that one in the lock and flush a couple of lock fulls down as the pound was so low nb The Chiseler could not make her way from 56 to 57.

All was well in the end and we finally made it through lock 57 and all jumped on board for the longer stretch to 58

We have made it out of lock 58 - it took around 5 hours which is a lot longer than we had hoped for.  We were, however, not in a hurry and we just settled down to enjoy the day.

The plan was to moor (with permission as we are hoping to get the C&RT reg number painted on to the boat whilst we are here) on the non tow path side right by the place where Tom & Angela Rolt first met Robert Aikman and they decided to form the IWAin 1946?
 No it was 1945 as shown in the amended plaque below
However the canal had other ideas - it was too shallow and we could not get the stern near enough to the bank

so it was full steam 'reverse'

  back to lock 58 down again and planning to reverse back to the 14 day moorings and think again when Chris decided to go back up

wind and see if we could moor facing the opposite direction

We could
 So safely in position by Pinder's for the job to be done - we both love the whole Tardebigge flight (I even did some litter picking on the way up!) and what an idyllic spot to spend a few days.

  Thank you to our crew mates - they certainly halved our work load and we really enjoyed their company.  Monty was quite lost once his friend Kiera had gone!

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