Friday, 9 June 2017

Ashwood Marina and Home.

Wednesday 7th to Friday 9th June 2017 in Ashwood Marina.
We made an early start on Wednesday morning so that we could catch an early train home. Ashwood Marina was just two hundred yards along the canal, so very quickly we were lined up to reverse into the marina. Our allocated mooring was at the very far end of what was once a long, thin arm off the canal to a coal transhipment depot.
Backing a narrowboat is always tricky as you can hardly steer when going backwards because there is very little flow over the rudder. However, MM "swims" very well, thanks to Jim Sparks who built the steel shell. Because the marina is long and thin, there is nowhere to turn, so we were half way down and making great progress when suddenly the engine stopped. Something round the propellor! Bother! R went down the weed hatch while MM drifted in the wind.
Half an hour later, R emerged triumphant with a very large piece of heavy black reinforced plastic that had wrapped itself around MM's propellor.
Soon we were welcomed to the same space that we used three years ago by Richard, the Marina Manager. It's hard to believe this was once an industrial site.
Still on time, despite the delay, we took our taxi to Stourbridge Junction Station and thence home for two nights. As we were walking out of the marina, M saw this little notice that caught her eye.
The verse says:
The rise of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden,
Than anywhere else on earth.
M says its reflects her own feelings perfectly.

We arrived back at Ashwood Marina at teatime on Friday having done our civic duty by voting.
After topping up with water, we set off back along the marina between moored boats - this time forwards and without interruption.  Eventually, we arrived at the junction with the main line of the canal.
Ashwood's other claim to fame is a very large nursery, which we didn't visit as M didn't have any more space on board for flowers. "Damn" says M! But we did sail past the owners' house and their magnificent garden - immaculate as one would expect!
As it was late, we didn't go far but moored up for the night at the first opportunity just a mile along the canal. It really is very lovely and rural hereabouts.

Three Days: 1 mile, 0 locks and 0.9 hours.
Trip: 41 miles, 31 locks and 24.1 hours.

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