Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A long day

(Boat Chalice - posted by Cath)

Anglesey Basin from the top of the reservoir bank
There was some debate about how far we would go today, but we set off with the intention of stopping near to the Tame Valley Junction, mid to late afternoon. However, we really didn't know where we might get a quiet mooring, we decided to stop wherever looked good. A number of people had suggested that we would enjoy Walsall Town Basin, but that was a considerable detour from the shortest route to the middle of Birmingham, and we were running very, very short of diesel. We couldn't find anywhere nearer than Sherbourne Wharf for diesel, and we had to go by the shortest way. I was concerned about trying to go the whole distance in one day, as I didn't want to have difficulty finding a mooring, which can be a problem later in the day.

Setting off from Anglesey Basin
We saw almost no other boats moving - a maintenance boat heading out towards Anglesey Basin fairly early on, the others were much later in the day. There were a few boats moored up, but these are very quiet canals - mostly well dredged, except for the Daw End Branch, where we stirred mud most of the way.

Top Lock, Rushall Flight
 There was a low pound in the Rushall Flight, but other than that we had no problems.

Rushall Canal, below the bottom lock in the flight

We decided that because we had made good progress, so were early, and because we didn't really fancy mooring at the Tame Valley Junction, we would press on into Central Birmingham. This goes against what I have argued strongly for this year - that we should no rush around so much, and should tie up early - however, I agreed that getting to Old Turn would be far nicer than the alternatives - but I was concerned that we might not get a reasonable mooring.

Fortunately, as we arrived at the bottom of Ryder's Green Flight we met with a single hander coming down. He'd left all the other locks our way, including the gates open, so we had an easy task. David decided to start blackberrying.

Looking up the Ryder's Green Flight, from lock 6. Wheelbarrow man is just visible
At lock 6 I noticed a man running down the flight from the top. He appeared to be pushing a wheelbarrow. We were just discussing why anyone would be running down the flight with a wheelbarrow when he suddenly swerved towards a factory wall, and threw the barrow over the wall, then strolled off back up the flight again.

When we got to lock 6 we took a photo over the wall, which shows the wheelbarrow lying in the yard - presumably where he or a friend would pick it up from later.

Battered wheelbarrow
The interestingly named Great Bridge Bridge
David and Cath blackberrying
Galton Tunnel
We arrived in Birmingham at about 5:30 pm, spent a short time finding a suitable mooring (towards the Mailbox), then went out to eat at the Slug and Lettuce, who were prepared to allow our well behaved dog sit outside with us in the 'beer garden'.
Anglesey Basin to near Gas Street Basin, Birmingham
Miles: 22.6 (Chalice), Locks: 17

Total Miles: 212.0, Locks: 152

No comments:

Post a Comment