Sunday, 21 November 2010

Winter Cruise - Day Two

The fire stayed in all night, so the boat was nice and warm in this morning.  It was a promising looking day, although it was still cold.  We left our moorings at 8am, and an hour later reached the stop lock at Autherley Junction.  We turned right onto the Staffs and Worcs, and then left to go up the Wolverhampton flight of 21 locks. 

 We last did these locks on a hire boat in 2006.  The bottom lock was against us, indicating a boat going up ahead.  At about the third lock up, a passer by with a windlass in a bag helped set the lock, and told us there was a problem ahead, with the pound between locks 4 and 5 about 2 feet down.  He said he'd knocked on the lock keeper's front door, but he was still in bed.

There's plenty of interest up the Wolverhampton flight, including the racecourse at the bottom, lugubrious blue brick railway viaducts, and various factories.  By one lock (16 I think), there's a cage on the offside containing a family of marmosets.

We reached the top lock at 1pm -- not bad going seeing as we'd had to turn every lock.  We pulled into the Broad Street Basin to fill up with water and have lunch.

Afterwards we set off again heading for Dudley.  Both the previous times we've tried to moor at the Black Country Museum, there's been no room and we've had to moor outside; this time there were plenty of spaces, so we turned and moored at abour 3.45pm.  A few minutes later, it started to rain.

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11 miles, 22 locks (23 miles, 23 locks)


Captain Ahab said...

I would lay good money on your friend with the windlass being a bloke called Geoff. I is a regular feature ofthe Wolverhampton 21.

Starcross said...

I'm not sure if its the same chap,but a bloke with a windlass in a bag helped me down the Stourbridge 16 last year. He told me he kept ther windlass in a bag becuase he had been stopped by the police for "carrying an offensive weapon"!

Anonymous said...

Just looked back on our blog and a chap called John helped us down the Stourbridge 16 in 2008 - wonder if it's the same man.

Nice to have help whatever he's called!

Sue, Indigo Dream