Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Double Droitwich

In a return to blogging form here's an update on the past week's travels, rather than the past month as we have been doing so far this year...

We reached Worcester last Wednesday, dropping down the wide locks from Diglis Basin down to the river

We had hoped to moor on the floating pontoons downsteam of Worcester, which we reckon are the nicest moorings in the city, but unfortunately they were full by the time we locked down onto the river.

Instead, we went upstream and moored near the racecourse. No bad thing as we had a great view of Worcester cathedral, which is very close to the river

We moored up in time to make it to the race course (right by the public moorings upstream of the railway bridge) for the last race, but a rushed decision on which horse to back didn't pay off.

The following day we set off up the Severn before joining the recently restored Droitwich Barge Canal at Hawford Junction. The barge canal is nominally wide (14ft locks) but very shallow and reedy in places so passing two wide beams would be interesting to say the least.

Due to the reeds and shallow edges, there is virtually no opportunity to moor until you reach the basin in Droitwich but here there are excellent 48hr secure visitor moorings with a water point on the end.

We had a couple of days exploring Droitwich, including a swim in the open air pool which is filled with a brine mixture (Droitwich being a former salt town) so very floaty!

On Sunday we left the basin, passing through the pretty Vines Park, where the barge canal joins the Droitwich Junction Canal and becomes narrow-beam. The canal then passes under the M5 in a notoriously low culvert. We were glad the water level was low and we made it with several inches to spare

After climbing a further six locks we arrived back at Hanbury Junction (from where we last blogged) just in time to perform some reversing narrowboat ballet with a boat that was just leaving.

On Monday we said goodbye to nb Leo who are going home for a few days, leaving Leo in a marina near Worcester, but will catch us up again later in the trip. We backtracked to Droitwich, getting under the M5 safely but this time with much less room to spare due to higher water levels - watch for people dropping the lock above you as the clearance is pretty limited!

Whilst in Droitwich we invested in a new inverter (gadget that turns 12v battery power into 240v mains power for non-boaty readers) and had excellent service from Sterling Power Products who are based nearby - thoroughly recommended.

Today we have descended back down the Barge Canal to the River Severn and are now on a lovely mooring just below the bottom lock, albeit one with no land access.

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