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The Waterways Wanderings of Narrowboat “Just Heaven”

Netherwich basin

An interesting day today!

We awoke to a clear blue sky so decided to head on up the canal towards Hanbury junction in case the Droitwich was now open. A check on the stoppages website later in the morning said that it was. A short stop for breakfast just north of Tibberton then up to Hanbury and turn down the Droitwich junction canal. There was a C&RT volunteer helping with the first 3 locks. He confirmed that the Barge lock was now open. We got as far as lock 6 to find the top gates padlocked together! I called the C&RT help line, told them the problem, but they couldnt get hold of the local supervisor. They said that they would call me back. Heddi walked back to the volunteer to see if he could get hold of someone. He made various calls to discover that the guy with the key to the padlock had gone on holiday. They would sent someone to cut the lock off . Two C&RT operative arrived about an hour later with cutting tools. One of them looked at the padlock and said “I think I’ve got a key for that” So within a few minutes we were on our way again.
On arrival at the tunnel under the M5 we couldn’t get under the gauging board. So I had to remove the anchor and the box we keep it in off of the roof. We then just cleared through with only a couple of inches to spare!
Now moored in Netherwich basin.

Just north of Worcester

Only 2 miles and 6 locks today.

I got an email from C&RT saying that the Droitwich barge lock was closed due to excess water. So there was no point pressing on too far. We did a bit of shopping in Worcester in the morning then at about 1:30 set off up the canal to moor opposite a sports ground on the outskirts of the city. We have moored here before, it’s much more pleasant than in the built up city area.

Hopefully the levels in Droitwich will drop by the time we get there tomorrow.

Worcester

Just a few days out, to go to Droitwich and back. We enjoyed that trip last time, we thought we would do it again before we move to the new mooring at Cropredy.

Awoke to grey, overcast skies and the weather forecast predicting rain, but we set off down towards Stourport. The weather improved and all was looking good until we locked out onto the river. Then the skies darkened and it started to rain. The Severn often does that to us!

The gauge at Stourport was just in the “green”, but all those on the locks to Worcester were “amber”. There was quite a flow going and we arrived in Worcester quicker than usual.

Diglis basin and the vistor’s mooring were fairly full, but we found a space. Lots more boats were coming off the river as the level was rising, they had to go on up the canal looking for moorings

Spring is on the way

We have had several nights onboard during March and April, but we havent actually moved.
By now we should have moved to our new mooring in Cropredy Marina. It was due to open on April 1st. But, due to the bad winter weather the construction is several months behind.
We had thought to take a long cruise of 3 weeks or so between Kinver and Cropredy, but now we think we may extend our mooring here by a couple of months.

Stourport and back

Just a short trip to Stourport to top up the diesel and get a pumpout. We stooped on the way down near Pratt’s Wharf as it turned bitterly cold and started to snow.

Sheila popped in for a coffee and a chat while we did the services, then we headed back to Kinver

A new year

We arrived on new year’s eve. The plan was to go on a short cruise with two other boats. But one of them is stuck at Evesham on the Avon and cant get here because the Severn is still in flood.

So we have spent a few days walking and visiting. We went to Ironbridge to visit some of the museums and take a long walk around the area. We had to divert part of it as the riverside path is under water.

Met the friends we should have been boating with in a pub for a meal instead.

Winterising

We have just popped up for one night to complete the winterisation. The weather forecast is for extreme cold next week so I wanted to top up the antifreeze in the engine and partially drain the calorifier.

The Eberspächer powered central heating is on a frost stat so should keep the ice out, but in the past occasionally it has run the battery flat so failed to light. I’m hoping the solar panel will topup the battery during the day, but with short daylight hours and fairly low light levels it may not.

This afternoon we drove to Stourport and had a cream tea and some pleasant nattering with Andrew & Sheila and Andrew and Wendy. The six of us are planning a late December/early January cruise on the three boats – providing the weather allows it.

Kinver

Back to the home mooring this morning. Weather a bit cold but not too bad. The autumn colours are lovely but had to clear leaves round the prop several times :(

Not moved

We havent moved today.

The morning was spent doing some of the paint touch up and cleaning out the engine bay and bilge sump.

In the afternoon we walked along the west bank of the Severn up to the modern road bridge just before Bewdley and then back down the Severn Way along the east bank, about 7-8 miles altogether.

Wetherspoons for “Curry night” tonight!

Stourport Basin

The weather looked bright, but cold so we set off at about 8:00. The autumn leaves looked really good in the sunlight, but we had to frequently clear the prop with a blast of reverse.

In Kidderminster we stopped outside Sainsbury’s to do the shopping for the week’s food. Also a trip to The Range to look for Christmas presents.

Then over to the mooring by the church to stop for a full English breakfast.

We arrived in Stourport just before 2:00. Part of the reason for the trip was to touch up some paintwork that had got damaged on the York trip, but it was too cold. Paint doesn’t flow well below about 10°C so we did some general tidying up and then went for a short walk.

In the evening Andrew & Sheila joined us for a meal and a natter.

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