Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Flying solo and no-one to save us this time

Set off early on Tuesday morning for the 11 locks on the Curdworth flight, I was allowed out of jail the boat to walk some of the flight with the boys and my windlass sitting snugly in it's holder on my back...oh joy.
 Approaching our first lock of the day - Curdworth bottom lock

I wasn't, actually, doing a great deal of locking - more sort of driving the boat out and holding it whilst G shut the top gate. I did have a go at one stiffish paddle where, with all my weight behind it, the windlass slipped and I crashed onto the concrete - bruises are quite spectacular when you're on blood thinning drugs!
I also shut the bottom gates with a little help from G's carefully placed tiller arm driving water behind with his (little) propellor to take the weight off of the gate. At least I was out with the boys doing something a little bit useful.
 Common Lock
 The pretty row of terraced cottages by Bodymoor Heath Bridge
 I've tied the boys up here because, not only did Muttley try to chase the cat that lives here returning home across the lock gate, he also added insult to injury by nicking all the cat's food which was in bowls behind the wall (I'm going to have to stop him hanging out with Floyd!). The long suffering Baxter grabs the opportunity for a quick nap.
 The Dog and Doublet where we should have been moored Monday night - 1 1/2hrs into our journey and we've only reached where we should have started from. It was clearly going to be a long day.
We trolled our way slowly up the flight and I returned to MR for a rest before the 3 Minworth locks, seeing those off and heading for Brum proper.
We stopped for dinner and to give G's leg a rest - what a pair of old crocks.
BW building a culvert to drain and repair the collapsed towpath
 Under Erdington Hall Bridge - topside guys were trying to repair the burst water main - the water was pouring down the inside of the bridge on the left of this pic
 Erdington/Bromford power station - sort of mechanical triffids; very foreboding from the canal below
 Running parallel to the parallel world
 Approaching the canal's spaghetti junction (under spaghetti junction)

 Loving the reflected light
 The sign posts help us chose the right branch
 We turn left here
Giving us a glimpse of the Tame Valley Canal to our rightRichard, Sue, Sarah, Andy and G were last through here at 10.00pm in May on Indigo Dream in the BCN challenge.
So, on to Cuckoo Wharf for the night - the only place to stop before the Aston and Farmers' flights - we went to bed hoping that Richard (from the aforementioned Indigo Dream) might be out to lockwheel us up the 24 locks into Central Birmingham. A lovely day, but very, very tired.

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