We were all awake quite early, breakfasted, potty breaked and ready for the off by 8am.
The lads had taken all their rubbish home so all was left clean and tidy for the next visitors to this peaceful haven.
Our first lock was about an hour away, and one of the deepest on the river. It has a ground paddle which has to be opened first when locking up to raise the water level to almost half before you can raise the others. The gates here are also heavy, and as I couldn’t move them on my own, this was my first time at the helm on our very first outing last year.
Adrenalin is still brown, and as those coming downriver hadn’t opened both gates, with my heart in my mouth I edged us forward.
I nudged the gate going in, got confused a little but pulled it back together, then hung on for dear life to the ropes as Hubby filled the lock. It was a rough ride.
The lock after this is just a mile away, and shaped like a diamond.
It’s a swine, as if you get it wrong, there are no sides to clamber up as you can be left floating in the middle. The wind caught us too which didn’t help, so Hubby took over.
We’d caught up with our Norwegians, but were still at the lock an hour later as we stayed to help someone coming up river behind us.
Our communication was slipping, my confidence was waning, so Time Out was called for, cup of tea, biscuits if I could find any, and a chance to calm down.
We got through the next couple of locks OK, but I was far from happy with my performance, which Maggie picked up on and started to whine.
We hadn’t been able to let her out since we set off, so we stopped just before Evesham Lock to give her a potty break.
This is last year’s picture on the river.
The mood of the day had not improved much, and we shared the lock with our Norwegians again, who’d let us go ahead as they’d had to tie up whilst waiting for the lock to empty.
There was some official strutting his stuff above us who waited until they were inside before saying we couldn’t close the gates and they should have come in first as they had the longer vessel.
Here we go again, practicing reverse, but apart from the O guy, all boaters were in a relatively good humour, but it was still daunting from where I was standing.
We were within time sight of our goal, this being Offenham.
Last year, it was quite busy but we had managed to moor up OK, and there is both a water and an elsan emptying point here.
It was actually deserted when we arrived at ten past four, so we berthed alongside the tap to top up, but would do the loo the following morning before we left.
The boat was a bit grubby, so Hubby washed her (seems we do that a lot here!) whilst I walked the dog round the adjacent fields.
Again these pictures are from last year, both times after boat washes!
We’d done 6 locks today and were both knackered.
By the time I came back with the dog, the boat was moored on the opposite side (as in the top picture) and Hubby had the back floor boards up.
We had a small leak from our coolant bottle, but even though it was only a drip or two, it would need to be kept an eye on. This was nothing to do with the recent warranty repair.
It had been a frustrating day, and although not exactly disastrous, I felt nervous and unsure about my capability in handling the boat now. We had reached our intended destination, so it was a question of what to do next.