Friday 28th May 2010
Index of posts in this series:
1. - Starting the Stourport Ring - this post
2. - Into the BCN
3. - Photographic expedition to Gas St Basin
4. - Birmingham to Stoke Prior
5. - Diversion to Droitwich
6. - Droitwich
7. - Stoke Prior to Worcester
8. - Worcester at night
9. - River Severn
10. - Stourport to Wolverley
11. - Wolverley
12. - Wolverley to Bratch
13. - Bratch to Calf Heath
3 miles - 0 locks - 1 hour
I do envy these boaters with loads of time on their hands. Our boating has to be crammed into frenetic schedules which causes the "real word" to impinge on nearly every trip. Compromise is our watchword.
This May trip has become something of a standing landmark in our boating calendar, when Mr Truth and I join forces and do battle with some or other bleak outpost of the BCN. For one reason or another Jeff seems to end up on the boat for all or part of the time and this year was no exception.
The plan had been to enter the madcap BCN challenge but the threatened lack of water put paid to that event and instead an alternative plan was devised. The three day bank holiday stretched to four, then five, six and seven days before prior engagements drew it dack to six. What to do in six days?
Mr Truth was laid back in the extreme, but fancied a bit of rural cruising. Fine I said, and promptly made a plan which headed straght into Birmingham! To be fair, the plan was to do the Strourport Ring in the clockwise direction (going down Tardebigge) which would be mainly in the country.
Wolverhampton bottom lock
We made for Wandring Bark on Friday evening with the aim or reaching the Fox and Anchor for the first night. Events conspired against us from the outset, when Mr Truth realised that he had left all the sausages and bacon in a bag on his kitchen table. With no on else at home and the thought of week old meat stinking out the house we made the 60 minute round trip back to Aldridge, whilst Jeff unpacked and readied the boat.
We finally cast off at 9.30pm, arriving at Coven at 10.30 pm and just in time for a swift pint (or two) before retiring ready for an early start. The Wolverhampton 21 is locked overnight and is opened at 7.30 am and the plan was to be the first boat up of the day.