It was a pleasant change in the weather after suffering the mizzle over the last two days. Last night we had a very nice rural mooring all to ourselves so I ran the engine for an hour between 9 and 10.
I went for an evening walk with the camera to do some experimenting. This next photo is of Waiouru using the automatic exposure setting.
And this next photo was taken using the standard landscape setting.
What I really wanted to do was take a photo of the spectacular sunset.
Red sky at night - shepherd’s delight
Red sky in the morning – shepherd’s warning.
The problem was the towpath tree line was obscuring the view. After walking a couple of kilometres I finally found a gap.
Once again we passed Graham Booth’s boat Rome. How could we forget both Graham and Rome as we had previously purchased a copy of his comprehensive book on fitting out a narrowboat when developing our own specifications for Waiouru.
This part of the canal has been cut through red sandstone and there are also a couple of tight bends. Fortunately the canal was rather quiet and we didn’t meet an oncoming boat at either bend.
We had just left Debdale Lock and were approaching Cookley Tunnel when we came upon this damned great CRT boat doing some dredging. Whilst the canal definitely needs some dredging, the boat had broken down in the middle of the canal.
We did muse about how CRT had managed to get such a wide boat in a short pound between two narrow locks. More on that later. The CRT bank staff suggested we attempt to get past by going to the right of the dredger. Waiouru did managed to squeeze through the gap and into the tunnel around the bend.
Someone was looking down upon us because a boat came from the opposite direction as we exited the tunnel. It might have been an interesting manoeuvre if they had arrived 5 minutes earlier.
There were a few vacant visitor moorings at Kinver but we didn’t stop having spent several days exploring the area last time we were here. Wilson’s of Kinver have definitely gone and their building has been sold.
Not to be confused with Kinver Canopies who are apparently doing well.
We carried on passing Stourton Junction and then found ourselves in a race.
This is one dumb squirrel. He definitely won’t find any nuts up those trees!
Shortly afterwards we came upon a second wide dredger and realized that the boat is actually narrow with two hydraulically operated wings that swing 180° before clipping to the gunwale.
Botterham Staircase Locks (2) were in our favour but Jan walked to the top to check before waving me into the empty lower chamber. She actually waved me away because a boat coming down was about to enter the top chamber. She assisted them down before walking back to the top chamber to fill it. Jan had just finished filling the top chamber when a second boat arrived at the top where the lady exclaimed “Oh you have it ready for us to go in!” Jan promptly disabused her of that idea so the lady went back to her boat leaving Jan to work the staircase on her own. Not that it particularly concerned us!
Botterham Staircase Locks
We continued on to Bratch Locks where the friendly volunteer lockie assist us up through the three locks. They are not a staircase. Each lock has a very short pound between it and the next. I’ll walk back tomorrow and take a photo.