Down to Worcester
Boaters have a rather intimate relationship with the weather and it therefore comes as no surprise that many blog posts start with a reference to the prevailing meteorological situation.
Well, that hot spring weather has well and truly passed and we woke at Hanbury Junction to a very chilly and wet scene. Not a sight which inspired us to proceed with plan a and descent down to Worcester via the canal. Instead, we hatched a plan b and made the relatively short hop down to Droitwich.
The Penguin get it!
Before we turned off the Worcester Birmingham we tied the butty to come work boats at the junction and motored around to the boat yard where filled with fuel and picked up some more logs to stave off the forecast cold.
We arrived at the top locks just as the lock keepers arrived on duty and had a long chat with a new volunteer who was plodding around in a comedic manner. He must have selected some old shoes and both soles were flapping around. I do hope he enjoyed the experience and found some safer (and more comfortable) footwear before the day was out.
The rain had raised the level of the Salwarp and this in turn reduced the headroom under the motorway to little more than 180cm, enough for us to pass but much less clearance than we are used to. Few boats were moving on such a damp day and we cut a lonely passage through Vines Park to adjoining bays in the Netherwich Basin. Carole and Adrian (Harbourmasters) returned to their boat during the afternoon and it took surprisingly little persuasion to entice them into the warm of our boat and ply them with a tipple or two of Gin.
Thinking of Tipples, we met Towpath Tipples at Hanbury Junction who will be one of three trade boats at this years festival. This was a great bonus because I had only just been having a look at their web page and selecting which Perrys I wanted to try. It looks like the trade boat line up will be a select one comprising the Glass Barge, ourselves with the Jam Butty and Towpath Tipples occupying what has been the Homebrew's spot.
The forecast for the event is looking up with temperatures nearing 20, no rain and light southerly breezes so, if you have time, do drop down and take in what should be a great weekend.
Safely off the Severn
After a night in Droitwich we travelled down the Barge Canal, entering the Severn via a very muddy lock. The water levels have only recently dropped and even after a period of drier weather it was still hovering between green and amber. As usual, we breasted the boats up with the butty on the right and idled along with a strong current sweeping is down at about 4.5mph. With this amount of fresh on we were glad not to be pressing upstream against the flow. Fingers crossed that it has slackened a bit more before we go upstream to Stourport after the festival in 10 days time.
Foden Steam Tractor in Worcester
We made use of the services in Diglis Basin and moored just before the first lock, all set for a spot of laundry and shopping in Worcester.