Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Mollie and the Amazons

Well readers this is a small adventure story but Tin Tin doesn’t have a cameo appearance.

The sky was overcast this morning and the opportunity to apply a second coat of red paint to the cockpit handrail probably wasn’t going to happen.  Instead we decided to cruise to Autherley Junction.

It didn’t take long to reach Bratch Locks which we remembered from our frenetic two week hire boat cruise of the combined Stourport and Black Country rings in 2009.

Whilst the three locks initially give the appearance of being a staircase they are actually three separate locks with a very short pound between each of the lock chambers.  The pounds extend to the NW of the flight.

Middle lock with the lock keepers “Tower” to the right.  Various souvenirs can be purchased from the lock keepers. Jan assisted the two CRT volunteer lockies work Waiouru up the flight. One mentioned he has a narrowboat moored in Holland and had just returned from a two week holiday in Spain.  The other was planning a bus tour of NZ early next year.

There are very well maintained moorings above the locks.

Looking back

The sky darkened then decided to give us some liquid sunshine.  Initially it was only a light scattering of rain.  We passed working boat Roach which was being loaded with coal and then the heavens really opened.

There seemed little point in both of us getting wet so Jan went below and made hot drinks.  As we rounded the bend on the approach to Wightwick Mill Lock the first thing we noticed was nb Mollie moored smack in the middle of the lock landing moorings below the lock.  Why on the lock mooring and why in the middle???

Jan was able to work Waiouru up through the lock and we thought our luck had changed when a boat appeared from the opposite direction.  No need to close the top gate….. Except they weren’t going down!  Jan asked the crew how far it was to the next lock and was informed it was just around the bend.  She decided to walk to the next lock.  Wrong decision!  The towpath was flooded and she got soaked.  Apparently Amazonian natives could only count to three (1, 2, many).  The advice that the next lock was around the bend proved to be Amazonian.  Poor Jan struggled on…. and on! 

By the time we reached Autherley Junction both of us were looking forward to a very late lunch and a hot shower.  It’s surprising how a hot shower can raise one’s morale! Smile

We’re now tucked up inside Waiouru listening to the rain beating on the roof.

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