Thursday, April 24, 2014

Stourbridge, Stowaway and The Staffs & Worcs.

We've had a good few days cruising since our last post and are now well into our stint on the Staffs & Worcs. Our guests have now all departed so some semblance of calm has returned.

Tuesday was a locking day. 28 locks from Merry Hill down to Stourton Junction, a drop of 262 feet no less. We had arranged to meet our friends Fiona and Rob again and they joined us as planned as we descended the Delph Flight. The locks were made easy by a willing crew even though all locks were against us.
Top of the Delph Flight
During the run to the top of the Stourbridge flight, Luke cooked a full English breakfast for everyone and we had a break at the top of the flight for refuelling. Very nice it was too and much appreciated by all concerned.
Breakfast for our locking guests
The Stourbridge flight, like Delph, was really pleasant, made even more so by the good weather. The remains of the once busy glass industry much in evidence as you descend the flight.
The Stourbridge Flight...lovely. 
We found our little 'stowaway' on the gunwale as we entered a lock. Not exactly sure how long he had been there, but it's a long time since I've seen a newt. Louise reckoned that I quite often take after one......not sure what she means !!! cute 
Once we reached Stourton we reversed onto the visitor moorings above Stewponey Lock and had a well deserved drink (or two). Before we knew it, it was time for our guests to leave. Fiona and Rob kindly ran Luke and Annabelle to the train station for us and we headed off to find a peaceful mooring for the night at Prestwood.

Fiona, Rob, Annabelle, Luke and Louise
The last couple of days have been leisurely and we have seen little boat traffic. We made our way up to Wightwick on Wednesday where we had arranged to meet our friends David and Sarah on nb The Hodmadod (East Anglian dialect for Snail). We bought Blue Moon from them three years ago and have become good friends, so it was lovely to see them. We enjoyed a good meal and catch up at The Mermaid.
Rocky Lock
Botterham Staircase
Having said goodbye to them this morning, we have had a relaxed day with some decent weather. We thought our eyes were deceiving us as we approached Aldersley Junction as it looked like there was a person 'flying' across the water. As we got closer it was a group of children enjoying activities at an outward bound centre.
Looks good fun
We started to see more boat traffic after we passed Autherley Junction. Gailey was all a bit tight with all the hire boats double breasted. We'd have thought there would be more of them out considering it's still the Easter holidays for some.
Breath in !!
Galley Roundhouse
With the weather forecast not as good for tomorrow we decided to continue a bit further than planned and have moored near to Tedddesley Park. I'm not sure what it is but Penkridge never seems to make us want to stop and spend the night there, although there were plenty there today that did.

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