We set off at 0930 from near Hatherton Junction and stopped for Morrisons just after the narrows of Pendeford Rockin. We were due to meet fellow BCFer Richard at Aldersley Junction; he walked up just as we tied up there for lunch on Jubilee. And then it was off up the Wolverhampton 21. Kew went first, so all the locks had to be turned for us. With five of us altogether, though, we kept up fairly well. No water was wasted down bywashes; nearly every pound was low.
Some of the balance beams were quite rotten; I expect some are due for replacement soon. The gates themselves didn't seem to leak much. This is Lock 7; soon the lock number will be even less legible.
With Kew out of sight ahead we were going slower and slower. The water was beautifully clear, but that could mean only one thing. Weed. This is usually fine if it's just growing at the bottom of the cut, but here there was a lot of blanket weed floating on the surface. Jubilee's base plate projects an inch or two forward of the stem post. This prevents weed trapped against the bow from slipping under the boat; instead it forms a great clump which doesn't improve the hydrodynamics much. Every so often I remove it by means of a long timber batten, but as soon as I was removing it it was collecting again.
The weed also wrapped itself round the prop quite readily. The second time we stopped to clear it I discovered a thick bramble trapped on the skeg against the rudder post. This, of course, was a good collector of weed; it was sticking to the thorns. I had to resort to the steak knife to cut this away.
By the time we got to the BCLM it was 1930 and getting rather gloomy. David and Mary joined us for a meal on board Jubilee - Jan had cooked a delicious chicken stew.
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