It was a very pleasant morning for boating, sunny and with little breeze at first. It was my turn to steer and Sheila rode for a while, then hopped off to do Rocky and Gothersley locks. It being Easter Saturday, we've seen a fair bit of traffic about. Indeed, a boat left Ashwood Marina and led us down all the locks.
This made for slightly slower going, but since we wanted to fit a wash load in, that didn't matter either. In the event, we just had nice time for that. Sheila got it going after Gothersley, then walked on again for the sake of the exercise in the sun and to give me warning of oncoming boats. This is the bendiest section of the southern Staffs and Worcs, dictated by the sandstone outcrops which were almost too much for the 18th century navvies, limited in their technology as they were to shovels, picks and black powder for blasting.
It all makes for entertaining cruising. Last time we came this way, we had quite a problem with depth, especially at the tail of the locks, but CRT have had a big dredging blitz recently and the channel was more than sufficient. Nonetheless, I'd underestimated the time it all took and we didn't get down the fifth lock, Kinver itself, until after half eleven.
Wisely, the visitor moorings here are restricted to 24 hours and there was plenty of room. They are on a bit of a curve, but nothing that can't be accommodated with care and three good fenders.
As soon as we were tied, we walked up into the village to shop for meat, bread and a few other perishables; we'll get a good restocking opportunity when we pass through Kidderminster on Monday, there being a Sainsbury's right by the cut. Kinver is blessed with both a good butcher and a baker, both with a very traditional feel.
We got some of the famous pre-war sausages for tonight and a nice granary loaf from the baker. A quiet time was had after lunch, but we have put in another walk since, collecting kindling and enjoying the weather. Tomorrow, it's going to rain but it really is a short run to Wolverley, our usual stop before tackling the badlands of Kidder. Apart from shopping, we'll boat straight through to Stourport on Monday, hoping that CRT have managed to clear the tree which is reported to be blocking the cut at Bridge 5.