The ambitious target destination for today was The Black Country Museum at Dudley (13 miles and 21 locks).
We headed off earlier than our friends, Andy & Mandy, and enjoyed a leisurely cruise to the end of the Shroppie in sunshine. After that we turned towards Stourport and then towards Wolverhampton. We arrived at the bottom of the 21 locks five minutes too late as we ended up following a boat up and had we been earlier it would have saved us having to empty every lock except one as we only passed one boat coming down the flight.
Storm volunteered to do the locks this morning. Fine by me. We’d cleared the locks by 1pm and while Storm had a cold drink and a rest I went off with windlass and vandal key in hand back down the locks to help Andy and Mandy who were still working their way up the flight.
They were in a queue of four boats coming up the locks and it required us to think a bit more about water conservation to ensure that there was sufficient water in the pounds between locks to make sure everyone remained afloat as some of these were looking quite low.
Once both boats were through we motored on in convoy towards Dudley. We thought we’d picked up something round our prop as we seemed to be needing extra revs to make headway. However, Andy was complaining about the same thing and he decided that it was due to the canal being deeper than we were used to and there being a bit of a flow on the canal. Our prop was clear and so was theirs.
We finally made it to Dudley but were warned off going into the arm near the museum because there were a lot of boats there so we moored up just outside beside a small park with a statue of William Parry, The Tipton Slasher. Had we made the right choice to moor here?
In the evening we set off on foot to find the basin and investigate how likely it would be to get into the arm in the morning. We made a note of the boats moored and planned to watch out in the morning to see if any came passed us.