|Example of winding|
Yep we are sort of mostly back on the Cut but our times are a changing. We were overjoyed to find DB had worn well over the long cold winter as Cptn had not gone the full hog of winterising her. He thought the water tank had been emptied but I knew it was close to full. I remember him saying he had turned off the water tap so that no water could feed through to the pipe indoors. Really I should write down what, and its location aboard, that has to be done. Fortunately there was no sign of water where it shouldn’t be and no smell of gas. In fact the boat was water tight, smelt fresh and in fantastic order ready to go. The batteries had been trickle charged by solar power, yeah who needs full on sun! The engine started with the first turn of the key. What a boat!
|Plastic fantastic naturally lights up life over the wheelhouse. It's great!!!!|
Ashwood Marina kindly allowed us to plug into land power for our first and only night in the Marina. Best to be safe than sorry. The immersion tank will heat the water until the engine runs the calorifier, the fridge/freezer doing what a fridge/freezer does and we could enjoy lights indoors. DB’s batteries would be fully charged the next day. I think the biggest pull on energy is the Microwave and normally I start the engine when I use the microwave....so we had scrambled eggs á la microonda for dessayuno. I am a lingual mess but the scrambled eggs were yum.
We woke early morning with the sunlight greeting us. Yay we reversed out of Ashwood and kept going in reverse for a mile or so including 2 Locks along the Canal until we got to the winding hole that was fit for our size. There is a winding hole in the other direction but our ‘Nicholson’s’ canal book measured it as 60ft. Word had it that it would take 70ft but word was not definitive. (I have seen written proof since, that the winding hole below Hinksford Lock can accommodate 70ft Nb).
|Navigator back on the job|
DB is class at being reversed but was not happy with Bow thrusters’ battery overuse but she kept up with it and it was a relief, for me, when we winded to face in the right direction! Kinver was getting closer. I had my first steer (not of the venison variety) of the season. Yep it felt natural and I even got DB into the Stewponey Lock without faltering with the steering. I thought the Bow thrusters battery was flat but that was only because I didn’t switch them on!! Tee hee!!! I can do it!!
Kinver was our chosen destination for a few days as we had our own yearly health maintenance to undertake. We were not in a rush to move and appointments increased as expected. Dentist, Doctor, ...the NHS came up trumps for us. Then there were the Spectacle people for me. I’d left my prescription glasses in France. I’m OK without them except for night driving...too much ‘glitter’ distracts my vision. So I got new glasses and found out a couple of ophthalmology issues that will bug me in 60 years time.
We found time to do a few things and cruised away for a couple of days to Stourport-on-Severn.
|St Mary and All Saints Church|
On the way we stopped, briefly, at Kidderminster where we met some students from the Music Academy.
They tried to tune my recent purchase of a classical guitar from a Kinver charity shop. If you are reading this ‘Kidder peops’ I followed your advice and got Cptn to adjust the low E machine head and with a bit of WD40 the guitar is in action.
The Staffs and Worcs Canal is lovely and a pleasant scenic cruise. It is not busy but that will change over summer. There were plenty of visitor moorings vacant in Stourport. I was told about a mooring in the Widebeam Basin and we checked it out, a lovely location overlooking the River Severn. It would be perfect except for the nearby Fun Fair.
“How long does the Fair run for. Is it seasonal??” I asked someone nearby.
“Oh it has been going all my life.”
“Not that long then.” I answered in return.
“That’s kind.” She said.
I am Lady Lock-n-Lol. Sometimes a timely reminder to butt out is needed. I am knowledgeable at working the Locks. I was taking Della for an afternoon ablution walk and rain had been and was about to fall. There was a Nb coming up the Lock as I was passing it so I shared the joys of the world under the sky that threatened rain, a darker shade of grey. I offered to close the gate after the Nb moved out. Thanks were offered and I smiled in return. I got the gate moving and positioned myself to bum-push it. It’s the easiest method to close the gate. I hadn’t carried out a full risk-assessment and unfortunately the treads of my trainers do not give any hold with the wet bricks that the former BritishWaterways laid in an arc that many a trusty foot uses when working a Lock. These brick paved arcs are not at every Lock but be warned they are dangerous when they are wet!!!
|Bricks don't bounce and nor do I!!!!!!!!!!!!|
There I am, my bum in contact with this wooden gate, and I am in a seated standing position. My shoes lost any grip on the bricks and I slid down in slow motion...my centre of gravity meant I went down in unstoppable slow motion and landed heavily on my coccyx aka tailbone. Only Della saw this happen. Proof was in the nasty bruise, I glimpsed, the next day although I felt the pain right from the landing.
Where’s the Arnica Cream?
That was 9 days ago! It still hurts and is uncomfortable, ibuprofen helps and I will recover.
I must write to the Canals & Rivers Trust. There is work to be done. Remove the brick surface in the Gate ground arc. It is dangerous in wet weather. Perhaps a recycled surface that is non slip can be laid. Environmentally friendly, promoting safety and lowering risk of injury meeting the needs of the boating community and Jo Public on holiday.