Monday, 17 April 2017

To the end of the Staffs and Worcs

The weather wasn't quite as bad as had been forecast last night – it only rained on and off rather than all the time. It meant that a waterproof jacket was sufficient rather than the coverall rain suit but wasn't terribly cheerful even so.

Having worked down Wolverley and Wolverley Court locks, we changed our minds about stopping at Sainsbury's to shop. Although Kidder seems to have improved a bit since the bad old days when there were signs on the visitor moorings telling you not to leave your boat unattended, it's still not a comfortable place to hang around. That said, there were a few boats which had clearly stopped overnight at Sainsbury's and a few more at Weavers Wharf. But then, boats stop overnight at Shobnall Fields in Burton and the last Braidbar that stayed there was attacked in the late evening by a gang of youths wielding an iron bar.

We recalled that there's a Lidl beside the towpath in Stourport and, although you can't take a trolley to your boat from it, it's close enough to do more than one trip.

We locked down Kidderminster Lock to the tune of the church carillon and carried on out into the countryside via Caldwell and Falling Sands locks. The final run into Stourport is a bit of a plod, not horrible but not exciting either, especially in a cold drizzle. Sheila did attempt to liven things up by announcing as I was approaching a bridge hole on a blind bend that a boat was coming the other way, only to correct herself immediately, before I'd even got my hand on the throttle.

She later confessed that she'd mistaken a swan's wing briefly glimpsed for a bow flash...

We arrived just before eleven to find plenty of space between Bridges 5a and 5. It's all filled up now, though only just. We had a coffee and a warm beside the relit Squirrel, then ate lunch.

This afternoon, we've had a mooch round the basins, being gongoozlers for once, then made two trips to Lidl. There are a few bits and bobs we couldn't get there so will visit the Co-op tomorrow. The cunning plan is to lock down into the basin and get a pump out first thing, then find a mooring either in the basin, just onto the river or, if all else fails, we'll lock back up backwards and tie on the York Street moorings again.

That will give us a chance to get an up to date guide for the Droitwich from Limekiln chandlers (closed today) and to do the top up shop. I'll also get the anchor out and rig the VHF antenna ready for going down river on Tuesday.


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