Sunday, 9 July 2017

Homeward Bound and What a Welcome!

Friday 7th July 2017
Diglis to Tibberton

5.5 miles, 14 locks

All good things have to come to an end, albeit temporarily this time.  Just two more days and we would be back in the marina where we will stay until early August.  There are appointments various to be kept, the most important of which is Chris's final (we hope) consultant appointment post bunion surgery.  At the end of July we are off to Pembroke for three nights to help the Cleddau (nb Boatwif) crew celebrate their 70th birthdays. 

It was just a short distance to the first lock of the day at The Commandery

Our first narrow lock since we arrived in Stratford on 15th June.
A refreshing change, but going straight in to 14 in one day did test me a bit!

Worcester seems to be trying to make something of its bridge holes

a splendid Worcestershire flag

It is just such a shame for people who lovingly created the art works that others see fit to deface their work.

I am sure this was not hiding in the bushes when we came this way two years ago

This is Lansdowne Park, the site of the Worcester festival in 2015 and we both feel that this rather lovely mural was not there then

At the next bridge a reminder of the festival we attended and a picnic we missed last year!

Moving on to the next bridge, yet more artwork, which has escaped the addition of unwanted graffiti - well for now at least

Just past Lansdowne Park there are some new canal side properties

We were very fortunate at this lock that this C&RT employee happened to be there as the cogs had become misaligned and needed some serious tlc which is beyond our field of expertise.

We were back to wide open countryside

with far reaching views

interspersed with the narrow locks

It was not the quickest journey as we were at the end of a long line of boats - as the C&RT man said 'it is Black Prince Friday' - they all needed to be back at Stoke Prior for early on Saturday.

We found a mooring at Tibberton and settled down for a quiet night in.

Does anyone (Irene?) know what this rather pretty butterfly is?

Saturday 8th July 2017
Tibberton to Droitwich Spa Marina
3.75 miles, 3 locks

Yet another hot and sunny day and back on a canal, so Monty and I could resume our normal practice of leaving a bit before Chris and walking ahead.  I do enjoy the peace, quiet and solitude to enjoy my surroundings

We jumped on board again just before Dunhampstead Tunnel - all 230 yards of it

Before we knew it, we were at Hanbury Junction - we had come through the bridge on the left.  It is a very sharp turn to enter the Droitwich Canal through the bridge on the right.

Just the three very big locks at Hanbury to do.  There was a bit of excitement at the top - they seem to have a mink running around.  We  had several sightings, but never with a camera to hand!

There is a new sign warning of the low headroom through the M5 culvert

I am always delighted to see voluntary lock keepers at these locks.  Today was a real bonus as we were the only boat, so had the services of both of them meaning I could get back on the boat before we went down the last lock.

So here we are back at the marina.  Once we had filled up with diesel we moored up. Our daughter came and collected me and took me home to collect the car.  All that remains to be done is clean the boat inside and more particularly outside, pack and head for home and go back to the real world for a while.

We decided to leave most jobs until tomorrow and have a relaxing afternoon when Chris' ears pricked up at the unmistakable sound of a Merlin engine.  We both rushed up on deck, me with camera in hand and to our delight flying right over our marina was The Lancaster which is part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

Round  it went

and then came back for a second pass!
 As much as we would like to think it came to welcome us home we know that there was a big event on at a local hotel - Chateau Impney, but we can dream!

Monty needed another walk and as we headed towards the M5 we came across the marina swans with their family taking an outing of their own.

On our way back the Red Arrows flew over to complete our day and this our Summer Cruise part 1. They were too quick for me and unlike the Lancaster did not make a second pass, so no photos I am afraid.

So where to next?  That is to be decided.

Final Stats for this trip:
167 miles, 142 locks, 28 swing/lift bridges, 5 tunnels, 2 aqueducts
Best bits - Stratford, The Avon, Tewkesbury (particularly the Abbey), Gloucester, kingfisher sighting,  some great walks and three sets of visitors - our daughter and family, Patrick and Angela and 5 WI ladies
Worst bits -  the leak, breakages - one brandy glass, television, camera, cocktail stick, watch strap & a laptop.  A total of 6, so that should be that we hope! Being used as target practice by birds various - the worst being the gulls in Gloucester.  Sadly they rarely miss and despite constant wiping down, we have a big cleaning job on our hands!

Overall Stats to date since we started in July 2013:
1961.25 miles, 1966 locks, 162 swing/lift bridges, 74 tunnels, 76 aqueducts and we have passed under motorways 73 times.


nb Chuffed said...

Hi Jennie, your lovely butterfly is a comma. There are lots around at the mo. When its wings are closed you can see a little white comma shape on the underwing. Apart from Gloucester we are covering a lot of your route - but in reverse!
best wishes for Chris's foot,

Jennie said...

Thank you for the information Debby. Enjoy your trip, but watch out for those pesky gulls in Gloucester - I continually wiped the boat en route, but the amount of S**t I got off today was incredible! The starboard side was the worst, so I guess that was waterside more than the port side. We also found we ended up with a lot of plant debris on the roof on the Avon - but it was worth it! Jennie