Thursday, 3 October 2013

A Dirty Dart

Tardebigge below lock 58 to Stoke Pound
2.5 miles, 29 locks

We checked the weather forecast again and rain was forecast from 1pm, so we decided to get up and go for it.  We left at 8am entering the first lock at 08:15. 

We stopped at one point for a quick coffee for about 15 mins.  We were out of the bottom lock at 12:15
  and moored opposite a very empty pub garden by 12:30.

The rain – well that started at 12:40! 

The reservoir will be glad of the rain as it is looking very low at present
 We had met five boats going up.  Three had started at 07:30 and were going at a good pace.  The fourth we met about half way and the last one was coming out of lock 29 (the bottom lock) as we were about to enter it, so I am afraid they would have had a long, wet climb.

This was the first time we have done Tardebigge by ourselves and we were surprised how (relatively!) easy it was.  We certainly prefer it to Lapworth where the top gates are so heavy that I cannot move some of them at all.  We are certainly most efficient at present when Chris is steering and I am locking.  I am not a natural helmsman and as Chris has an injured foot he cannot leap the great divide from one bottom lock gate to the other one.  Hopefully Chris will be fully fit next year and I think I might take myself off onto a helmsman’s course before we go out next Spring.

A shower, clean clothes and then over to the Queen’s Head for lunch.  We rewarded ourselves with a good meal, so no cooking tonight.  Our daughter brought her two sons over for their tea.  G is 5 and J will be 2 next month.  J is at that lovely stage where he is chatting more and more each day.  Apparently there are crocodiles in the canal round our boat!!  We have not seen them for 3 weeks, so it was wonderful to catch up. Yes, I know that is not long, especially to those with grandchildren on different Continents, but since moving to this area two years ago, we are used to fairly regular visits. 

This was the sky a short while ago.  We are expecting morning rain and a better afternoon, so a slower start tomorrow

when we head back to Droitwich Spa Marina and the end of our autumn cruise and first long (ish) trip.  

We had not expected too much noise from the pub garden as it is chilly and damp, but.....  well we shall see how long it lasts!  There is live music tonight (we had not realised that when we moored), but hopefully the night air will drive them all indoors soon!  MInd after all those locks I don't think we will need much rocking tonight.

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