|"Telemachus", "Chalice" & "Albion" ready to go at Salford Junction|
|Ceremonial opening of "not to be opened until 08:00 am Challenge pack.|
|Our team leader Odin control operations at Perry Bar locks|
|Surely the happiest boater taking part!|
|Hudson owners have sophisticated ways of dealing with the rain!|
|Unusually it is not Alan looking miserable!|
|Even Hudsons need a bit of assistance sometimes.|
After the Perry Bar flight, into the Daw End Branch and up Rushall Locks - this time with a different team behind us, who had slipped in between us and team Albion at the junction. Telemachus waved us past, as being deep draughted they were slower than us - however, as we passed we got onto the shallows, making our overtaking rather inept. However, we all flew up the locks, and emerged at Catshill Junction ahead of schedule.
|"Tawny Owl" with CRT CEO Richard Parry on the crew.|
Out of the arm, another short distance, and into the Pelsall arm for just a mile. On the way back we passed Team Tawny Owl - last year's winning team - with the CEO of Canal and River Trust on board. All credit to Richard Parry who took over the post last year - he has really taken up the challenge of learning about the canals and boats.
|Walsall locks - the thunder and lightening had now stopped at least|
|Brief stop for emergency supplies at Walsall town basin|
Walsall Basin looks like a good place to moor overnight, and there is an Art Gallery that comes very recommended, but we didn't have time to stop. We were out of food, and very hungry by that time, so I jumped off the boat and did a flying visit to Tesco, while David found the answer to the next location clue.
|Night boating in the style of an impressionist painter!|
We got to Ocker Hill Moorings at 10:30, in the pitch dark, and moored up. We found Team Iona, with Ange and Dave, were moored there, as was another challenge boat. Albion arrived some time after us and tied up to a C&RT mud hopper - they had just had a very difficult journey down from Walsall, with people chucking things at the boat, and even people trying to board it. Given that the crew was 4 hefty men I was surprised that they had these difficulties and very grateful that we hadn't had the same problems only a short while before them. I set the alarm for 4:30, and we managed lights out some time after 11:30 - last thing I remember Alan saying is "You haven't really set the alarm for 4:30, have you?"
Star City, near Salford Junction to Ocker Hill Services
Miles: 35.6, Locks:30
Total Challenge Miles: 35.4, Locks: 30
Total Holiday Miles: 161.6, Locks: 97