Is this a Stoat on the Staff & Worc Canal? Burgh Island & River Severn


Good morning. I’ve just left Caunsall
Bridge. I had two moor up in a bit of a clearing for a couple of days, because
there was a big strong storm that swept across the whole of the United Kingdom
and the winds were really strong. So that’s just a bit of note of caution.
Don’t moor underneath big trees, especially when there’s lightning and strong winds!
But it’s quite early on a Sunday morning and I would like to get all the way down
through Kidderminster and down to Stourport on Severn today. It’s about five hours
journey and about six or seven locks. So I should be able to do it but there is
more rain forecast for this afternoon so we shall see. [Birds singing] After staying on the canal near the
village of Cookley it was time to head south down into the town of
Kidderminster. There are lots of supermarkets right next to the cut here
and it’s an ideal place to stock up on supplies. Just south of the town are the
Stourport Basins. There are four basins all connected together. Two upper and two
lower. I’ll be traveling west through both the upper basins and then down two
sets of double staircase locks and down onto the River Severn. I’ll then continue south to Wharf Inn at
Halt Fleet where I’ll moor up for the night. That was quite interesting I was at Debdale Lock just there and I was doing a bit of filming. Molly was by my side. I
was on the towpath side and what I’m pretty sure is a stoat, which looks like
a long, very dark brown ferret in a way came quite casually, bouncing along the
canal wall. Came onto the wall opposite me because I was just on the canal side, on
the upper pond and it just casually got into the water, didn’t realise I was
there, certainly didn’t realise Molly was there and swam a little bit around,
popped its head up and then this sort of, I can imagine the shock of terror on its
face because it would have spotted Molly just casually sat by on this side of the
canal watching her and it went dived straight back into the water and I never
saw it again. So it probably swam underwater quite a distance up until
some weeds and crept quietly and casually got out of the water, so not to
disturb it with this dangerous predator! You probably just wanted to lick it didn’t
you Moll. Yeah. It’s great when supermarkets take the
time and care to accommodate boaters. It’s just started to rain now so ideal
time for me to nip inside and get a load of shopping. So just over two years ago, when I was
last on this canal just south of Kidderminster, I went through a lock and
I a really helpful guy called Jordy Jim helped me through a load of
locks and lo and behold, he’s here yet again. He’s not lock keeping today but he
always carries his windlass with him apparently and he’s just been doing a
bit of shopping and spotted me, so he came over to give me a hand. So very
helpful. {Jim} Yeah a lot of people tell me who watch your stuff on YouTube has spotted
me Jordy Jim down at Caldwell Lock, when you add me. That must have been a few
year ago ,was it yeah. The boat looks a different colour now.
It’s physical, it’s out the flat, it’s good. You get to meet people.
I’ve been locking for 15 years the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. Spend a lot of
time on the weekend on the Stourbridge Flight and it’s just a different, the
canals, once you get out of town, the canals brilliant. I don’t want anything,
anything you know. I’m going to work Monday to Friday. I can’t help, if I don’t lock I
feel bad. That’s how it’s got. I’m following your, all your stuff online. {Jono} Thank you very much
{Jim} Thank you. Are you a bit damp Moll? What is really good,
over the years, whenever I’m walking Molly along the towpath, I’ve always got
her to sit when the cyclists come along or when other dogs come along and even
though she’s not on the lead now and she’s not with me,
she’ll always continued to sit down. Just now I was filling this lock and she sat,
I was, why on earth is she doing that and then I looked, right in the distance
and there was some cyclists so, she’s so clever. You’re a good girl. See what I mean. She’ll just sit whenever
she sees a cyclist it’s great. I needed to moor Alice up for a few days as I’d
been invited to a special 40th birthday party. Set on the south coast of Devon is
Burgh Island. The Art Deco Burgh Island Hotel is the main building on this small
tidal retreat and the writer Agatha Christie wrote two novels here. ‘Evil
Under The Sun’ and ‘And There Will Be None’. It was TV news presenter Kylie Pentelow’s
birthday. Having worked and been great friends with both her and her
husband, YouTuber Brady Haran for many years, a small group of us were invited
to celebrate, dress 1920’s style and have some fun, away for the weekend. [1920-1930’s Style Music] Happy birthday Kylie. Molly stayed at my dad’s and enjoyed
lying on soft furnishings – something still lacking in my boat. So finally I’m down in Stourport on Severn
Basin and I am going the narrowboat route. Unlike when I came up into the
basin a couple of years ago, I went up there wide beam lock and got told off
but I know the route this time. It’s the narrow boat side and it’s narrower
locks. At Stourport on Severn there’s two
staircase locks. There’s two locks, a gap and then two locks and the gap in between
the two isn’t very big. One boats just come up and the another boat was coming up
in the locks below so I’ve helped them come all the way through, which leaves a
nice big gap and we’ve left the top gate of the other lock open. So I can
exit this and go straight on in. It’s really warm now but I’ve got all my gear
on. Molly’s got her life jacket on. I had to get the anchor from on the roof and
actually make sure it’s connected to the boat. I’ve seen many people put their
anchors ready, but it’s not actually connected and the last thing you want to
do is actually have to worry about tying on ropes and things so. I’ve used a knot
that my step-brother Oli has taught me. He’s a tree surgeon so he knows all
about knots and it’s worked really, really well with just my line at the
back of the boat whilst mooring up. So hopefully it should be fine with an
anchor, should I ever need it. I think I’ve timed it just about right
because it looks like there’s a rowing competition on here and it looks like
they’ve just taken a lunch break. So I’m going through the very, very last lock at
Stourport on Severn. I’ll come out on the Severn and go down
towards Worcester. [Noise of gate opening] So it looks like the finishing line is just here so,
I’m just going to drive on out and hope for the best. And finally I’m on the River Severn.
Because I’m going downstream, it should theoretically, be a lot faster. It’s a lot
faster than a canal that’s for sure. [Music] When navigating downstream of a river,
because you’re going with the flow of the water, your sense of time, your sense
of speed is completely different to a canal and you can get to destinations so
much faster. I was just talking to the lock-keeper there and sort of asked him
where would be a good place to moor and he said well yeah Worcester and I was like what,
I’ll never get to Worcester before the locks closed. And he was, yeah you
will, it’ll only be about two hours. Now that on a canal will probably be about four or
five because I’m just going, I’m just going with the flow. I’m in tick over at
the moment and I’m zooming along. It’s fantastic. [Music] I’m moored up at a pub mooring and met
two great guys, Josh and his dad and put the world to rights for the rest of the
afternoon. Until next time, see you later.

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