Monday, 15 August 2011

A long days cruise

It was such a beautiful morning that we decided to set off at 9.00 which is unheard of for us. In fact, it's been such a lovely day for cruising that we carried on and did 7 ½ hours, not including stops for water and lunch.
There’s been plenty of interesting things to see today. At Hyde Lock the lock cottage has a lovely garden with gates styled like lock gates.

Many of the lock cottages have beautiful gardens. These dahlias were just past their best but still lovely.

Instead of a bye-wash, several locks on this section of the Staffs & Worcester have circular weirs to take the excess water down past the lock.

They're empty while the lock is filling

and running again when the lock is full
It’s a lovely canal with plenty of locks to keep you occupied (and fit). We went up Botterham Staircase, which is 2 locks joined together. You go straight out of one and into the next with no gaps between.

Botterham Staircase

inside Botterham bottom lock
At first glance Bratch Flight looks like a staircase of 3 locks, but it’s actually a flight of 3 locks as there’s a small gap between each lock.

in Bratch Bottom Lock

looking back from Bratch Top Lock
The lock-keeper was on duty and was very helpful and friendly. He told us that queues of 5-6 hours are not uncommon but luckily we only had to wait about 20 mins. for one boat to come down. He also told us that there are a lot of mink on the stretch of canal where we’ve moored for the night, so we’ll be keeping the cratch down and the doors closed as I don’t fancy one of them coming inside the boat.

We’re moored opposite the cricket ground behind “Clarence Elizabeth” who moored behind us in Stourport Basin.

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