We had a brilliant evening when Bob and June came to us for drinks after dinner. June showed Doug how to crochet, as he has a half finished mooring pin cover made out of supermarket carrier bags and needed help to complete it.
June ended up doing most of the crocheting!
This morning we awoke to frost on top of the boat and steam rising from the canal. A truly beautiful morning.
We all took off at about 8 o’clock this morning and cruised on until we came to Stourton Junction, where we parted company with June and Bob for a while as we wanted to explore the Stourbridge Arm.
Stourton Junction where we turned left towards Stourbridge.
On the way we came upon this strange craft!
After about a mile and a half of very nice rural canal we turned right at Wordsley Junction for the short trip of about a mile to Stourbridge – we wish we hadn’t! The canal was in poor condition to say the least. There was a lot of floating weed, which wasn’t too much of a problem but the floating debris unfortunately was. We found ourselves having to avoid some fairly large stuff.
Arriving at the end of the canal in Stourbridge was a disappointment as the ‘secure’ moorings were taken up with either permanent boats or those associated with the wharf industries. So we winded the boat with some difficulty, as there was a boat moored opposite the winding hole and eventually moored up outside the secure zone. Doug went into the town while James, feeling it necessary, stayed on the boat. We both quickly concluded to shelve our original idea of staying overnight and head back to the main canal. On the way back, and after successfully negotiating all the rubbish for the second time, we managed to get something round the propeller while we were on the nice rural stretch. We knew it was serious as there was a terrible screech from the prop and the engine stopped. Managing to get the boat to the bank, James got himself down the weed hatch and, with much grunting and swearing and cutting and pulling, ……..
…. he managed to get this lot from around the prop. It turned out to be a whole length of a bolster which they place at the edge of the canal to repair the edges and grow marginal plants in.
A cute little toll house at the wonderfully named Stewpony Lock.
This is Action Man having just finished his duties at Stewpony.
We reached Kinver at 4:30 this afternoon and who were we able to moor next to but June and Bob! who took us in and gave us a very welcome cup of tea.
Well, it’s been an adventurous day to say the least and one we will put down to experience, but anyone thinking of doing the Stourbridge arm – perhaps think again? Unless we’ve missed something it really isn’t worth the effort.