After an enjoyable day in Droitwich again yesterday, we decided on a change of scene – and a chance to charge the batteries again. Clare operated the locks that took us back to the entrance to Droitwich Spa Marina. At the river lock, a passer-by stopped to help Clare with the gates. As I came in to the lock I recognised him as the lock-keeper who had helped us through the locks out of Birmingham in July. It turns out he has a boat at the marina, but helps with the locks in Birmingham (20 miles away) on Mondays. And it seems he helps random boats through locks in Droitwich – thank you!
After the marina, Clare drove and I worked the three locks above the marina. Our previous experience meant we managed to do them a little better than last time. I now knew what the little sticks were for. The tail gates on the locks tend to shut themselves.
There are no instructions for the use of the sticks. I used them on all the gates, but one of them still closed as Clare was driving in. I now think that I should put one end against the brick ridges and the other just under the gate using the v-shaped notch.
I was also less puzzled by the side pounds. Once the boat was in the lock, I opened the paddles to let the side-pound partially fill the lock. Then I closed the paddles again before filling the lock from above as usual. By the time I ‘d done this at the second lock, the side-pound was empty.
At the the top lock, the side-pound was already empty when we arrived, so I just had to ignore it.
At the junction with the Birmingham and Worcester Canal we turned back towards Worcester. We are extending our stay in this area in the hope that we’ll still be in range when the replacement joystick for the bow thruster is delivered.
This section includes the Dunhampstead Tunnel, and our tunnel light is now out of action. We came through the tunnel two weeks ago. On that occasion the sun was lined up with the entrance and shone most of the way through. There was no sunshine today, but at least we know the tunnel is straight and quite wide.
I set up the front part of the tandem in the bow so that I could spin the wheel by hand and thus shine the dynamo light. The bye-laws require a white light to be visible at the front. Turning the bedroom lights on is probably sufficient, but I was amused by the dynamo idea.
I could clearly see the light on the tunnel roof. Clare was less convinced. We didn’t meet anyone coming the other way. I’d rather have a proper tunnel light, but might settle on a strategically placed head-torch next time.