I spent two days on the Droitwich moorings doing a few jobs on board that were possible in the almost constant rain. Eventually, I got the wanderlust again and decided to move on, hoping that my neighbouring boat would go about the same time, but he was in no rush, so I set off to do the double locks alone. The gates on all of them now opened into the recess, so could get in through one gate, which made it easier and faster. At last the sun shone and I had a lovely cruise up the Severn back to Stourport, where I moored up on the river pontoon to check out that the locks were not occupied, as they are in two staircases.
All went well through the first staircase of two locks, but I then saw another boat entering the top lock of the other pair. I walked up and had a word about passing in the middle pound, which he was quite happy to do.
When his lock was empty, I came out of the lower lock with the intention of mooring on the left hand pontoon, but the wind had other ideas and although I got the stern in, I could not pull the bow in with the centre line, so had to let go. The other guy took my bow line and pulled me over, so that eventually, I did get on the pontoon. These two locks are known as Brindley’s Joke, because they are not in line with each other and make for difficulties in both directions.
Why aren't they in line with each other?
Then there was the next pair of locks to contend with – no problem, just leave the boat in gear on tick-over in the bottom lock, while the top one emptied, then open the bottom gates and the boat will slowly enter the lock on her own; meanwhile I climb down the ladder and stop her – easy then? Well, no; something stopped her coming in as far as the ladder and there was no way to get on board, as the stern was now out of reach. What to do? Try flushing some water through the top paddle until she moved back into the lower chamber – that didn’t work, but when I closed the top paddle, the obstacle seemed to have cleared and the boat came forward enough for me to go down the ladder and do the business. Problem solved, but as usual there were gongoozlers on the bridge watching every move. I moored above the top basin lock and repaired to the pub.
Darley and Whitby moored on the water point for the night!
Too much beer at lunchtime Blossom?