Monday, January 31, 2011

More Flippin’ Ice…..

Well, January wasn’t going to go out without making a statement! Ice across the canal as we set off this morning, only a couple of millimetres above Bratch Locks, but almost an inch as we left Wombourne behind.

Still, it’s been another bright sunny day, but pretty cold.

We pulled pins at around 11:00, and motored the short distance to Bratch Locks.

Seyella into the middle lock, George winding a blue paddle down.

It looks a long way down to the lower canal level. Carol on R’n’R just leaving the bottom lock.

The locks have come regularly today as we drop down to the Stour valley. Bumblehole was next, followed by a shop-stop near Bridge 43. Then out of Wombourne’s built up area to the staircase locks at Botterham.

Leaving Wombourne

Rock’n’Roll breaks ice arriving at Botterham Locks

Dropping down the double staircase.

Just a little further on there are 2 locks taking the canal down past the village of Swindon. We’d got into the routine of the first arrival setting the lock up, ready for second boat to go straight in and down. This way we leapfrogged down to Greensforge, taking turns on ice-breaking duty.

R’n’R arrives at Swindon Lock, set up by yours truly.

The very low temperatures made some interesting ice sculptures last night.

“Ice Diver” formed by a frozen spout through a lock gate.

Icicles on the by-wash weir at Greensforge Lock

We’d intended to stop above Hinksford Lock, it’s a pleasant open mooring with good TV reception. But with the temperature forecast to drop to -4º tonight, and both boats needing water, we chose to push on to the sani-station at Greensforge.

We filled and emptied, but there was no space to moor above the lock. We dropped down and moored on the VM below, a splendid place if you like trees….

With a bit of perseverance I managed to get an analogue!! signal for the TV, so Mags can get her soap fix. George and Carol’s super-duper self-seeking satellite gizmo picked up a signal straight away!

Thanks to Paul, and Brian and Diana for their comments on The Bratch post. That’s what I find so fascinating about the canals, there’s always something interesting to find out.

Locks 10, miles 4.


Steve said...

Yesterday the ice at Kinver was fairly thick. Too thick for navigation (unless you dont mind losing your blacking!)

NB Just Heaven

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Steve
What's blacking? After last November/December, my hull's a nice shade of red - rust red!