Wightwick to Wheaton Aston

Todays Video Here:

What a difference a day makes! After a rather wet day yesterday, it’s a gorgeous sunny start to moving be moving on up the country. My day started with a smile as I kept seeing faces in things.

I met some boaters coming down, they were on a hire boat and amongst the normal chit chat of where you are heading etc they mentioned they were heading down to Stourport, down the River Severn and back in at Worcester. I advised them they needed to contact the lock-keeper as the river’s status is currently red (ie closed) as in flood. They were shocked to hear this and had no clue. I advised them to call the hire company to get the numbers they needed and double check the river status before heading out of Stourport lock.

I am unsure how much of that is the hire company providing the information and them not reading it or the hire company not providing it but both me & the next boat down were talking about how wrong it could all go if they went when the river was dangerous.

Now I totally get that boating is for all people but I must say how impressed i’ve been with the elderly boaters we’ve come across whether hire or live-aboards. Some of the gate paddles are really tough to open and some of the gates super heavy to swing. If i’m able to still cope with the physical nature of boating in my old age i’ll be happy!

Very unlike me but I had a right grumble at a group of about 12 kamikaze kayakers as they came down through a bridge hole as we were coming through with inches to spare. So stupid that they think their plastic craft would last a second if it collided with my steel hull. I was so angry that they’d put themselves at risk, it was mainly kids so I put it down to not knowing. Then I saw the three adults and couldn’t believe they hadn’t said something. You cant just put the brakes on with a boat, you can pop it in reverse to take off some of the speed but it is not an instant reaction.

Aldersley Junction where the Birmingham Canal Network joins the Staff & Worcs Canal
Just after Aldersley is Autherley Junction which is the one we need to turn off onto the Shrophire Union Canal

I totally got confused at the stop lock onto the Shropshire Union Canal as the difference in water levels was only 6 inches and the pound was also higher than normal level with the rain we had been having. Got myself turning round in circles trying to figure out which paddles to open etc. In the end I gave up and asked Richard to help and I took over the helm instead.

I have decided to get some more pictures of some of the different types of boats we see along the way from traditional working boats to modern paint jobs and fun rooftop additions. Here are some from today:

Through a lovely wooden straight and the into some sunshine to moor up for the night 🙂

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