Thursday 28 July 2011

Droitwich Double 9 - Wolverley to Dimmingsdale

Droitwich Double 2011 no 9
Wolverley to Dimmingsdale
9th July 2011

13 miles - 20 locks - 8 hours

The area north of Wolverley offers some excellent boating, through wooded hillsides with the canal carved into rocky cliffs. Lock after lock rolls up, each in its unique setting rarely separated by more than a mile of water.

Dimmingsdale moorings

Kinver is something of a boating hot spot in there parts, crowded with moored boats which we passed by, the summer sun beating down on our heads and the air a heady mix of warm water and newly mown hay. What little traffic existed petered out at Greensforge Lock leaving us to carve a solitary course into the evening, 5.00pm became 6.00pm and then 7.00pm - a day you want to go on for ever.

The tail end of the day offered some the the boating gems I particularly love:

First the Botterham Staircase pair which have been the site of high spirits over recent weeks, tempers flaring as boated failed to follow the golden rule - walk to the other end first and check that the way is clear.

Bratch Locks

Then there are the massive ramparts of The Bratch, three towering chambers stacked one upon the other but oddly, not a staircase. It feels like a staircase and there is no way to pass within the flight but, as if by magic, water swirls into and out of side pounds hidden from the boater. Having travelled this way many times the operation of the flight was familiar and I was left to my own devices by the lock keeper, but guidance is needed for the uninitiated. Don't worry if you have to wait your turn, this gives you time to get the camera out and get some great shots of this unique site.

Echo's of Austria at Bratch Pumping Station

The plan was to moor on the offside above Dimmingsdale Lock and I was a bit disappointed to see it fully occupied. But its not a real issue, the area has loads of good moorings and we pulled over opposite the arm which usually contains nb Aquarius. Quiet and tranquil with just the distant roar from the lock by wash to lull you to sleep.

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