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Archive for October 15th, 2014

Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2014 – Day 23

Posted by indigodream on 15 October, 2014

Rewind to Saturday 9th August

Stourport (Bird in Hand) to Kidderminster

I mentioned that the 5-day mooring restriction was to cause us some pain……

As soon as we got home last Sunday, Richard remembered that he had family commitments on the following Sunday, leaving us with only one cruising day. Now, if we’d left the boat on a 14-day mooring we could have spent the entire weekend at home but, as it was, we needed to move the boat today…

It became a tiring day – the M25 was revolting and it took over three and a half hours to get to the boat. On the bright side though, we did arrive in time to have lunch at the pub – old-fashioned pub grub – faggots – lush! The hounds approved πŸ™‚

As always, the hounds attracted a lot of attention, though I was VERY peeved at an ignorant pub denizen who said that Ollie was fat. OLLIE! The boy we’ve rehabilitated from starvation and whose weight we watch closely, mainly because he doesn’t eat unless he’s coaxed. I was cross – you can insult me as much as you want, but say a word against my hounds – grrrr!

We set off after lunch with the vague aim of cruising until no later than 5pm and seeing where that took us.

Once again, I didn’t take any notes AND we’d forgotten the camera AND I accidentally deleted the photos I took on my phone – d’oh! However I DO remember enjoying the cruise. The Staffordshire and Worcestershire is a delightful canal – the landscape is interesting, the scenery is beautiful – you can’t ask for more. The canal cuts its way through strata of red sandstone, ancient and weathered to the point where I’m amazed that some of the cliffs and overhangs are still standing. Where the local stone has been used to build locks, the edges are moth-eaten – yet these structures have been there for centuries. I personally favour the more durable blue brick copings that we found on the Worcester and Birmingham canal!

This is a canal replete with memories of Blue and Lou – they did a LOT of rummaging around here – as they did on every canal with rural locks.

We soon arrived at Kidderminster. Now, I’ve never fancied mooring overnight outside Tesco, though I’m sure it would be fine. I’ve also worried about mooring anywhere below town lock. This feeling was reinforced by the defacement of the beautiful murals under the bridge by brainless graffiti tags.

Yet, as we came up the lock, we noticed a boat moored right outside the church – it looked perfectly secure. Heartened by this, we moved on a little further and spotted the 5-day moorings outside Sainsbury. There were several boats moored there, so we decided to moor there too – it has excellent road access and parking, and, of course, a handy superstore for when we need to stock up with goodies next week.

This proved to be a wise decision – the day had mainly been overcast but dry. However, as came up Kidderminster Lock, we had the most extraordinary rain – there were very few drops, but each one seemed as large as a bantam’s egg (ok a quail’s egg if you’re posh!), leaving 2″ sploshes where they landed on the boat’s roof. Just as we finished tying up, the thunderstorm proper arrived – the rain was apocalyptic and driven by a horizontal wind. We battened down the hatches!

The storm didn’t last long, and once it had passed, Richard got on his bike and cycled back to the car. In the meantime I packed up, not that there was much to go after just one day’s cruise!

It took a while for Richard to navigate his way back through Kidderminster’s traffic but we were soon on our way. We had a much better drive home – nearer to the expected two and a bit hours. Yes, if you do the maths we did spend slightly longer in the car than we did on the boat, but it was still a good cruise πŸ™‚




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