A late summer cruise

Well, it’s been a funny old week. There we were settling back at our mooring for winter, getting our ‘new’ car sorted out (but that’s another story) and catching up with the local news, when last Wednesday we had a tip-off about the possibility of a mooring which might suit us.

So, what to do, we need to go and see it of course and as it was a nice day we decided to untie the boat that afternoon and set off to go and see it straight away!

It turned out to be a good decision as we had a glorious few days travelling, making it as far as The Anchor at Coven the first night, a four-hour journey.

Thursday morning we departed bright and early and got through Autherley Narrows before many boats were about.
It’s single-width working here with passing places where the canal squeezes through a sandstone outcrop.

Autherley Junction where the Shropshire Union joins and  Aldersley Junction followed in short order.

At Compton, today’s locks began but before we could moor up a lady came running up saying their boat was stuck in the lock.
It transpired that a log had wedged between the lock ladder and their boat, her husband managed to free it by skilful bashing with the boat pole, but how to get the log out of the lock?

I suggested he reverse the boat out and refill the lock so the log could be removed more safely, this was successfully accomplished and we could all be on our way again.

Six more locks today and we made it to The Bratch Locks by 5 pm just in time to see the lock-keepers going home, so we moored there for the night next to nb Hakuna Matata (“no problems” in Swahili, but you all knew that!) who we know from Kings Bromley.

Friday morning we left before 9 and with the help of the lock-keepers we were down the three locks and passing another familiar boat, Fruit of the Vine but there was no signs of life, well it was early!

Through the curiously named Bumblehole Lock on on to the Botterham Staircase of two locks. All the locks here have tail bridges which makes for easy working.

We made it as far as Wolverley where we moored near The Lock Inn, we thought about going there for a meal, but as their website wasn’t working and they didn’t reply to a Facebook message we ate on board.

Nearly five hours travelling and a total of 12 locks today.

Saturday saw a 10 am start, five locks today, just the two Wolverley locks and we were soon at Kidderminster, then through to Falling Sands Viaduct, I don’t envy the guys using those cradles!

Just over another couple of miles and we were in Stourport, moored up outside The Black Star Inn before 2 pm where we enjoyed a drink and a a bowl of chips.

Being the weekend we couldn’t visit the mooring, but on Monday morning the call came and we dropped down York Street Lock and into Stouport Basin and onto our new mooring.

It’s nice here with all the services at hand, it’s a working boatyard too with a chandlery. There’s even a funfair here, oh and seagulls!

There’s plenty to see with traffic coming in and out to go down the locks to the river or visiting the wharf.

We have retreived our car from the garage at Cannock where it had been to have the injector seals replaced, it runs much better now and doesn’t smell of diesel!

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