Friday morning, the rain came down with unyielding ferocity, but eventually gave in and we decided to move out of the marina at lunchtime and on up to the junction at Hanbury. This is me operating a swingbridge in the park area.
Oakfield, http://nboakfield.blogspot.co.uk/, were going to stay over the weekend before going south to Gloucester.
Laplander a steam icebreaker moored awaiting the lock.
As the small river Salwarpe had risen a little over the past few days and was apparently in flood, British Waterways had decided to lock Barge lock in the centre of town. This prevented boaters using the interconnecting river to get to the junction canal lock a few hundred yards away! Laplander was quite concerned as they had to operate their boat when the boiler was at the correct temperature and a delay was quite dangerous!
After calls to BW, the officious representative came out and allowed us all to pass through, but this had created a good delay in everyone's journeys.
Some boats queuing for the now open lock. BW were concerned about headroom under the first bridge on the river section (we were fine, but another foot higher, it would have been a squeeze!) and it is their first year looking after the Droitwich.
Ooh its' all about headroom as bridge 5 before the M5 culvert approaches! We had taken everything off the roof as you can see, even the exhaust chimney. The butty sits a little higher than the big boat, on the bow, despite 3 large drums of water under the front counter!
Immediately after bridge 5, is the M5 culvert, where we squeezed through. Not for the very claustrophobic, I certainly didn't like it!
Especially when you know how much traffic is being carried just above your head!
Safely out the other side.
We continued up through the remaining 6 locks including this staircase of 2 locks (newly built) where we were met by the previously mentioned BW worker! He kindly helped us up the locks, as these were all single now and had to be done twice. He was keen to lock the top lock preventing anyone coming down and ultimately needing access to the, now in flood, River Severn!
A new marina for around 200 boats before the remaining 3 Hanbury locks. This will be lovely when trees have grown and given it some shelter.
Steps down to the lower side of the locks at the Hanbury locks, used to get the line from the butty or get on or off the boat. I discovered a hook on the wall above the lock, where the butty line could be pulled to slow it down as it glides into the lock entrance. Small details like this impress me!
We moored at the junction and said our goodbyes to the BW workers (another had joined the first) and said that was enough for today!
Overall, we thought that the Droitwich canal was very nice, but from a boater's point of view, very very limited on moorings.