Monday, 29 March 2010

Adios Amigos.

21 Locks, 5.28 Miles. Now moored at Coven.

Last night as we knew it was to be our last night together we had a farewell dinner with Carrie and Derek on Uccello.  Roast pork and veges cooked by Dot with a lovely chocolate cake for afters made by Carrie.

Wolverhampton 005 The final cake that Carrie made after seeing our Rag Rug.

With a long range weather forecast not looking too hot it was decided that today was the day to do the Wolverhampton flight, all 21 locks. We set off at 10am or 9am in Carrie’s eye’s as the clocks went forward last night to British Summer time.

Unfortunately we had another boat who had the same idea but set off at least an hour ahead of us so we knew that most, if not all the locks would be set against us. We led the way with Uccello behind us working together to get the boats through as quickly as possible. We had only just started our descent when another boat arrived at the top lock so that meant 4 boat’s in total on the descent.

Wolverhampton 016 Aldersley  Junction. An old factory perhaps?

After about 3 locks the crew on the last boat who shall remain nameless started complaining that we were holding them up. They were in a hurry as they had to get the boat back to it’s base and they obviously had not planned things very well. They were politely told that we were going as fast as was humanly possible and they would just have to take their turn.

We had heard some rumours about the flight not being very good but we found quite the opposite. Locks and towpath well maintained and the locals were all friendly so it was a hassle free run. It wasn’t until the very last lock that 2 boats showed up wanting to ascend the flight, pity they couldn’t have shown up an hour or so earlier, it would have made things just that wee bit better with less water being used.

Wolverhampton 020 Very narrow boat Sarni at Oxley marine on the Staffs and Worcester Canal

At Aldersley junction it was time to say farewell to our travelling companions for the last 3½ months, Derek and Carrie, not forgetting Bungie the dog . They were turning left towards Stourport where we turned right towards Great Haywood. It has been a pleasure to travel with them and we look forward to perhaps seeing them later in the year. Safe journey guys.

Wolverhampton 014Our last sighting of Uccello at Aldersley Junction.

We called into Oxley Marine for diesel and a new gas tank where we cordially greeted like long lost friends and invited to join them for a drink in their private club on the premises. After nearly 4 hours and 21 locks it was nice to sit, chill out and relax before setting off again. We only travelled for about an hour when we found the moorings near the Fox and Anchor pub. The funny thing is that we had spent at least half an hour at Oxley Marine and had been moored for over an hour when the “in a hurry”  boat finally went past us. The last time we saw him was at the junction as he descended the final lock so if he was in that much of a hurry where did he get too for the lost hour and a half?

Wolverhampton 023 Pendeford Rockin on the Staffs and Worcs: Chiselled out of solid rock. Single lane only.

2202 locks, 4231.15 miles, 91 tunnels, 130 swing bridges and 58 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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