We had experienced heavy rain and strong winds and the River Salwarpe had risen by about a foot. BW had padlocked the Barge Lock, seen here to the right of the weir, to stop people cruising. We were keeping a close eye on the water level and as it had dropped considerably and two hire boats had arrived the day before, we cruised up through the two swing bridges in Vines Park. Arriving at the lock at 10.30 am we found it was still chained up, so we rang BW. They said they would send someone to assess the situation at 1.30pm so we had coffee and prepared to wait a while. Two Viking hire boats also joined the queue, but a chap turned up sooner than expected at 12.30 pm and let us all through. The problem arose because from the Barge Lock to Junction Lock we were cruising up the river.
Waiting at the Barge lock with the lovely Vines Park in the background. Once up the next narrow lock we were on the Junction Canal.
At Bridge 6 we had laid the chimney down and just limboad under the headroom restriction board. Bottle also learnt that he would have to duck down whilst steering under the new Bridge 5 aptly called the M5 tunnel.
Here we are in the new smooth sided staircase lock which BW came up to un-padlock as the Salwarpe runs across below the lock. We could now understand why they were being so cautious over water levels, Lock 4 had a healthy crop of Dandelions which had opened up as it turned out to be quite a hot day.
Approaching Hanbury Junction we saw this exotic looking place to our right. We were quite hot and tired by the time we moored up, having had to turn all seven locks which were a bit stiff. We really enjoyed being on this canal, but were unfortunate that the weather was so disagreeable. The free secure BW Marina was good, even though we blew about on the short pontoons. I didn’t like the idea of being locked in though.