2.75 miles, 30 locks
the call of daughterly duties! Plan A was for our daughter and her eldest son (aged nearly 6) to help us up Tardebigge, but in view of the weather we decided to not bring the youngster. When he went to bed last night he was expecting to join us. Last weekend they were in Vines Park, Droitwich and watched two boats in a broad lock that had some difficulty getting out - apparently the gate did not open as far as expected, so it was a tight squeeze and lots of wriggling was required before one was able to exit. On rising this morning at 06:30 (!!) G told his mother that he had been worrying all night about us getting stuck somewhere, so he had decided he needed to take a bottle of olive oil to ease any close encounters with lock walls!! He was very disappointed when he was told he could not come, but understood and decided he did not want to get WET! We also made the decision to leave Monty at home as he does not have enough sense to sit inside and he would have ended up very, very wet and cold. Walking in the rain is one thing, but sitting around waiting for locks for 4.5 hours is quite another.
It was WET
WET - same daughter, just dryer clothes
Even too wet for the fisherman!
and WETTER still
We did eventually make it to the top
We were the last in a convoy of four boats, but the ones ahead were all very efficient and did not hold us up. No 3 in the convoy was this one:
A Canaltime boat, which made very good time with their crew of 2
We only saw one boat coming down
Once we had moored and stripped off layers of very wet clothing which was placed into dustbin bags we got into Chris' car (pre-positioned early this morning) and drove to The Queen's Head to collect my car. Whilst there we treated our daughter to lunch. It was wonderful to spend some time with her even though we were all wet and soggy and thanks also go to her husband for holding the fort at home with the boys to allow Sarah time to help her parents out. It really was appreciated. As we came out of the pub after lunch the rain stopped and the rest of the afternoon was dry and sunny!! Clothes have been washed with re-waterproofing liquid and are now drying on an airer in the conservatory. Our boots were so wet there was no mud on them - just grass. They too are drying out.
Tomorrow we are taking a day off and Sarah will take us to Tardebigge on Monday for the first 'proper' day or our summer - did I say summer??!! cruise. Here is hoping we can try to avoid the worst of the rain over the coming days/weeks/months. My first job when we are under way on Monday - clean all the mud and grass off the floor and wipe down all the kitchen units (reverse layout, so they get any mess there is to be made).