We a had a lovely lie in this morning; our moorings were so quiet. We were not immediately ready to get out of bed, so a lazy morning took place. Eventually we were under way by 9am and straight into the first lock. They didn’t get any lighter or easier to wind, so I swapped places with Marcus and took the bumpy boat ride in the locks. Not a bad trip through the locks, but we began to meet quite a few boats coming the other way. We stopped in the basin at Droitwich at about 12.00 and had a wander into town. Not a bad little shopping area and we found a nice place to have some lunch.
ON the way back to the mooring, we noticed 2 “gypsy” narrowboats with lots of children and 2 adults but also a lot of confusion and chaos as they tried to navigate through a swing bridge. as there were some locks up ahead, we decided to wait a while before setting off, as we did not fancy being behind them in the locks. However, it was not to be, as we caught up with them just after the last wide lock(which was the first one we did) Marcus went ahead and helped them through the locks, which sped up their progress a little and the lady put some of the children (there were only 5, apparently) to assist with the locks. James paired up with one little boy about the same age and they had a great time shutting gates and winding paddles. Most of the children were barefoot and quite in need of a bath- their feet must have been freezing, but they seemed happy enough. I lost all track of time and have no idea as to when we reached the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, but it was early evening. As we wanted to be one of the first on the Tardebigge, we pressed on and flew through the Astwood locks…..it’s so much easier to be efficient on the way up, as I can go on ahead & Marcus can help James close the gate. We heard a few rumours from passing boats that the Tardebigge was closed, due to a breach, but we could not find anything on-line. We reached Stoke soon enough & topped up with water, then moored up by the old salt works, ready to tackle the 36 locks that stoood between us and a clear run into Birmingham. All very tired and early to bed, but not falling asleep quite as quick as we all were- me must be getting acclimatised!