We are now moored just outside Merryhill shopping centre on the Dudley canal, but at one point today I didn’t think we’d make it!

We set off from home at around 7:30 but, as we left the M5 at junction 6 it was obvious that something was wrong with the car. I had great difficulty in changing gear. A couple of miles further on it was worse so I pulled into a layby. The clutch wouldn’t disengage. I had to stop by turning the engine off!

We called Britannia Rescue, they said someone would with us in a hour. A guy turned up in a van, fiddled around for a few minutes and said “Your clutch is gone”. He arranged for a rescue truck to pick us up. Rather than be taken home we decided to carry on to Kinver, go off on our planned cruise and sort the car out later.

By the time we arrived at Kinver, got the car off the truck and unloaded it was half past one. So much for an early start!

So we have done 6 miles and twenty eight locks this afternoon, fairly impressive I think! We were lucky in that almost all were in our favour. Also we have a good system for going up flights where we work semi-single handed. The crew closes the bottom gates, opens the top paddles then goes on to prepare the next lock. The steerer opens & closes the top gate and drops the paddles before going on. We swap roles every 3 or 4 locks.

We got here in just over 5 hours, now tired and ready for bed.

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