Monday 11 May 2009

Otherton and back

Otherton and back with friends
2nd May 2009
Staffs and Worcester

12 Miles
12 Locks
5 Hours

Sometimes the best cruises have more to do with the company kept than the route travelled.
Today we went out with some friends from church who we have known for years, but with all the pressures of family life we dont see as much as we would like.

As it was a lovely day, and as we had no cause to be back early we decided to take in a few locks, dropping down the Gailey flight as far at Otherton and having lunch along the way.
Having had my attempts at a pump out thwarted last weekend, I tried Viking Afloat again and this time the pump was in fine form, doing the necessary for the princely sum of £12 including bloo. Good value - one to use again.

Belle took L to the little shop in the roundhouse beside the lock and returned with the exciting news that there is an extensive bookshop on the first floor, stocked with hundreds of waterways publications. You will probably tell me that this has been there years - but it was news to me. Well worth a visit if you are passing. I emerged having sp
ent / invested the change from the pumpout on Steve Hawoods republished One Man and a Narrowboat.

The trip down to Otherton passed in a blur as S and I caught up and Belle and L nattered away in the bows. I managed a near perfect wind in the marina entrance, with the merest blip in reverse to check the forward momentum and allow WB to complete its 180 degree spin, and was shocked when I realised it was already 4.00pm.

Their eight year old son wanted a go at steering so he was let loose on the top pound near the Four Ashes Chemical works, where he managed a mile or so and only needed saving once - pretty good for a first time out!
A final inspection of the engine bay revealed several pints of water under the stern gland, which I tightened up a few weeks ago. Wand'ring Bark is coming out of the water in a month's time for blacking and new annodes, so maybe its a good opportunity for some new packing as well.

A short but very sociable trip.

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