Thursday, September 17, 2015

Henri goes AWOL as we head up to Droitwich

We were up at 'the crack of sparrows' on Wednesday and watched the local weather forecast to hear that the dregs of tropical storm 'Henri' were to descend on us by 1pm. Torrential rain said the weatherman, localised flooding and strong winds. Worcester was covered in green on the was going to be bad !!  Having heard the bad news and our early morning cuppa still steaming, we were away by 7.30am and into Stourport Basin just after 8am to water up and empty the loo tank. The sun was shining and all was well. 

We had to wait for a boat to come off the river, but the two volunteer lockies were very efficient and soon had us out onto the Severn and heading south. Not a breath of wind and the river pretty much to ourselves. 

We only passed two boats all the way down to Worcester. We spotted numerous kingfishers including this little chap as we exited Holt Lock. 

We travelled down as far as the cathedral before turning and mooring up by the racecourse just after 1pm. 'Henri' was late, so late in fact that we enjoyed a good afternoon walk with the dogs on the racecourse followed by some excellent fishing, another walk with the dogs, dinner on board and another hours fishing and even a police helicopter circling overhead and not a spot of rain. Maybe the cops were out looking for 'Henri' too. Now don't get me wrong, we're not complaining, but how can they get it so wrong.

Today we headed back upstream and through Bevere Lock before joining the Droitwich Canals. These are new territory for us and it's always good to explore new ground. Originally built in the 1770's the route has been recently restored and opened again in 2011. 

Hawford Lock

The route has been very pleasant, if not a little narrow due to the reeds. The locks are in good order but surely some could be cut back to make some mooring spots which are sadly lacking. Luckily we knew what to expect, but some boats we met clearly didn't. 
Ladywood Lock. 
We headed for Netherwich Basin and found there to be plenty of spots on the secure 48hr moorings. We also found a real gem in The Gardeners Arms, closeby on Vines Lane. Great choice of real ales, superb food, freshly cooked from the largest menu I think I've ever seen and dog friendly too. The stagger home to the boat was most enjoyable !! If you're up this way, it's an absolute must. 

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