A bit of an early start for us this morning just before 8 am but one boat had already passed us. A warm still morning as can be seen looking out of the cabin doors. The reason for the start was due to time limited passage at the Rough Hills Stop Railway Bridge. The deck of the bridge is being replaced so the canal is supposedly only open for navigation between 9 and 10 am and again between 3 and 4 pm. However on the way we met both a hire boat and a privately owned. Arriving at the bridge dead on 9 am there was no sign of life, but the pontoons under the bridge had been moved out of the way.
It had just turned 10 am when we set the top lock of the Wolverhampton 21 and it was obvious that we were the first to use it today. All went well until we went to set the second and this is what we saw, a dry pound and all gates open on lock 3. Diana went down to close up 3 and I went back to let water down from the top. To date this is the driest pound I have encountered. Needless to say all the locks were against us but all the rest of the pounds were will up but each lock had the towpath side bottom gate open, that was until we met the CRT chap walking up who had been closing them. We finally met a boat at lock 18 and then a single hander at 19, even so the last two had leaked off by the time we arrived. The trip down had taken just a smidgen over 3 hours.
Leaving the Aldersley Junction I felt a bit guilty as we popped out into a fishing match, but only passed half a dozen fishermen, the ones north of the junction didn’t get disturbed. We stopped for a bit of lunch opposite Oxley Marina when a boat came by a little bit fast, he winded at Autherley Junction and came back even faster, I bet the fishermen liked him.
After lunch we pushed on south on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal passing our first clutch of duckling of the season, finally mooring on the rings just passed the Fox and Anchor at Coven for the night.