Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Hell Freezes Over

Tuesday, 3rd February
Another cold night with sub-zero temperatures saw the cut frozen over at Merry Hill (or Merry Hell as the locals call it) this morning. Steve thought it prudent to check with another member of the syndicate that owns Twelfth of Never whether it was acceptable to continue in the conditions. This was his brother Andrew, who drove over from his home nearby and not only pronounced conditions as "fit" but also stayed to help us down the "nine" (actually 8) locks at the Delph.
Hell frozen over!
Heading through the ice to the Delph
The Delph locks were ice-free and although all set "against" us with a team of four we made short work of them, pasing through the flight in 45 minutes. But it was slower-going again once back into the ice on the way to Stourbridge.  With no other moving boats around we stopped on a lock-landing  for lunch, after which we saw notices warning of low water in the pound below lock 13 due to building work adjacent the canal. The builders, however, had been warned of our passage somehow and had ensured enough water was available for us, without over-topping the dam they'd constructed on the offside bank. They'd even set Lock 14 for us, although in doing so their Poundland windlass had fallen apart, leaving the operative with a piece in each hand and wondering what to do next!

(Hey, perhaps "Pound" Land should move into the waterway equipment business - geddit?)

Our original destination for the night had been Kinver, but in view of the time, the ice and the greater number of moored boats we'd encounter on the Staffs & Worcs we settled for Stourton Junction. Although there was no pub there, we had enough essential supplies for a meal -apart from the wine and here Steve volunteered to go and get a bottle or two. I found him a bus to Stourbridge from just up the road, but he found another to Kinver so he, at least, made it there and, moe importantly, back again.


Halfie said...

No worries about ice removing the blacking then!

And I didn't know Poundland sold windlasses. Are they made of plastic?

Naughty-Cal said...

Blacking is sacroficial. Why get hung up about it?

Jim said...

We did have some concerns over the blacking, which is why we checked. It may be sacrificial but Steve only owns one-twelfth of the boat and none of it is mine!

Halfie said...

My original comment was intended to be ironic - there doesn't seem to be any blacking left.

Naughty-Cal said...

That means you only hve to pay 1/12 of the cost to redo it.