Having had the new gearbox installed we set off up the Droitwich Narrow Canal, mooring near Hanbury Junction for Wedneday night. Then it was an easy day to the Queens Head where we sampled some rather fine G&T's. The mooring opposite the Queens Head is ok, but as Thursday included live music it was a bit noisy till 11.00pm.
The last boat at the Droitwich Party!
Friday was the big push up the thick of the Tardebigge flight, something we were a bit nervous about given Helen's limited strength and the high easterly wind which made towing very tricky. In the end we swapped back and forth, with me winding the paddles and then steering the more tricky pounds where the cross wind was likely to blow the boats onto the shallow offside.
The first 10 locks were awash with water and it appears that a boat we passed was leaving the paddles open. From then on the pounds were over two feet down which gave us trouble getting the butty over the cills of some locks. This shortage of water continued till we reached the water take off to the reservoir.
Radio Tardebigge gets ever bigger
We stopped just before the top lock, selling some jam to fellow boaters who came over to see the butty.
Saturday was an easy day, using the Tardebigge facilities before pressing on to Alvechurch. Oddly, by passage through Tardebigge Tunnel was simple but then it all fell apart in Shortwood Tunnel. Firstly Helen decided to light a fire just before we entered and then about a third of the way through the butty decided to have a mind of its own and swung from side to side. Nothing I did could bring it to heel and, of course, that was the time we had to encounter another boat! In the and I found myself glued to the left hand wall and the oncoming boat went past on the "wrong" side.
Hmm - a bit of smoke! sorry......
Then, as if by magic, the butty centred up and out we came, shrouded on a huge pall of smoke. My apologies to the boat we passed, who took it all in good part - all in all I made a right mess of it!
So we ended up opposite ABC Leisure's base in Alvechurch where we will spend the weekend. The preserve menu board was put up and as a result we had a steady trickle of customers buying a sample of our wares.