25 May 2012
11 miles - 9 locks - 5 hours
Another fab day with the Severn was at its best, sparkling under the summer sun with rowers out in force training for the regatta season. I guess their training has been interrupted by the recent flooding.
A busy Severn
The mooring, just downstream from the rowing club wasn't the best. The mooring was very close to a footbridge over which drunks were passing at intervals all night - howling their way home as drunken youths do. Maybe next time we will go a bit further upstream by the racecourse.
Dragon Boat dominatrix
We set off amid a gaggle of boats - sculls single, double, fours and eights - coxed and uncoxed plus canoes, dragon boats - just about anything that floats and can be raced.
We ran upstream through Bevere Lock and into the Droitwich Barge Canal, already a firm favourite and a pleasant alternative to the route through the back of Worcester. Quite a lot has changed since last summer, the mats of floating weed dispersed and the shallow channel cleared by passing boats. Sure its a bit of a slow canal but it is all working well.
Droitwich Barge Canal
We started with another boat and expected to share the locks all the way to Droitwich but then we waited and waited at lock three but they didn't show - maybe we scared them off!
Droitwich Barge Canal
The oppressive heat was tempered by a stiff breeze blowing in from the cornfields which surround the town. It was lovely when it reached us but we sweated through the tree lined stretches. The Barge Canal is notorious for its lack of moorings either for lock landings or places to stop, but things are improving. The water depth beneath the lock landings is improving with use and boaters are carving secluded little bays out of the reeds for impromptu stops. I guess you could say that the restoration is maturing and settling down.
Belle was jamming today, Apple and Elderflower Jelly on the hob ready for the first show of the season. New labels have been prepared and its all looking very professional.
Wild Side jams and chutneys
We snuck into Vines Park at 3.3.pm, relieved to find half the pontoons empty, a good overnight spot and convenient for a trip to Waitrose for essential supplies to stage a photo shoot for the WildSide website.
In search of the classic Droitwich photo!
Its a long day tomorrow, all the way to the top of Tardebigge, so early to bed ready for a bright start tomorrow. Forecast is more wall to wall sunshine - again!