Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Weed hatch Day!!!!!

We set off just before 8am and after we passed the nice open mooring place we should have been on we started on our industrial day going round the outskirts of Birmingham.

The title of this post was nearly 'No other Boats' as we did not see a soul for nearly 3 hours......and then it was only a tiny CRT boat doing some surveying.

At the top of the 3 Minworth locks there is a convenient sani station of which we availed ourselves.
  I hopped off here with Barney for my daily walk leaving Geoff to carry on alone.

Approaching Salford junction dual carriageway roads are in abundance and we went under several thanking our lucky starts that we we not caught in the traffic above.

M6 towering above us

Not far after the turn we were amazed to see some very good moorings at Star City.   If we had not wanted to get as far as possible today with the forecast of extra strong winds tomorrow we would have been tempted to stop.
Star City Moorings

Even though we were very much in an industrial area, the locks had a charm of their own
even with the trains....

Not long after this we had our first stop for Geoff to partake of his least favourite pastime!
Only a heavy duty plastic bag this time.

Approaching Bordesley Junction
This was where more trouble started.   We had decided to turn left here onto a stretch of the canal we had never been down.  The object of the exercise was party to recce the area for friends who would be borrowing Petroc for two weeks in July and who intended to do the Warwickshire ring.
It was quite windy now and as we turned left the lock was right on us and a very awkward landing place to drop Geoff off.  However I managed to get the nose in and he hopped off and prepared to make my approach to the lock.  However Geoff then called (or rather signalled) that a boat was just entering the lock at the top.....this was only the second boat we had seen all day!!!
I attempted to back off...not easy on this windy corner......only to have a loud clunk from the engine....just what I needed.   Tried the power, very fortunately the wind blew me onto a nearby sort of quay.  There was nothing to tie up to so I had to hop along the roof and swap with Geoff so he could investigate whilst I hung on to Petroc....   Weed hatch visit number 2...........this time it was a large heavy motor cycling jacket which was entwined round the prop so it too a while to clear.  Geoff said it was quite the worst he had had to contend with since we have been boating.
Eventually we were underway again and completed the 6 Camp Hill Locks.
The charm of this stretch of canal was not making any impression on us..........

Approaching the 3rd of the Camp Hill locks and our 3rd boat of the day!
A local engaging Geoff in conversation......
It was then a long, mainly uninteresting flog to moor at Catherine-de-Barnes (I think we are in the Solihull area)
Not too long before we had another enforced stop and weed hatch visit number 3........a load of plastic bags   and bits of rope this time.
Eventually tied up after what was for us a very long day.  Unfortunately the rain chose this time to return and we were eventually soaked by the time we were securely tied up.   Never mind, warm and cosy down below....
The forecast for tomorrow is windy windy windy we may be staying put.

Total distance:15.91 miles
 Elapsed time:8h16m59s 
Average speed:1.92 mph (3.86 lock/mph) 


Adam said...

We've stayed at Star City (albeit in the winter), and the moorings are fine. There's the added advantage of the cinema, although the complex doesn't really have much else to offer. If anything, Star City is probably quieter that Catherine de Barnes, because of CdB being on the flight path to Birmingham Airport. Be careful when you go down the Knowle Locks. They're pretty, but the shape of the pounds mean you get some strange currents, and the boat can easily end up all other the place!

Gillian Lovegrove said...

Thanks for the tip, probably means we will give them a miss tomorrow if the winds are as strong as forecast !!!!

Gillian Lovegrove said...

Thanks for the tip, probably means we will give them a miss tomorrow if the winds are as strong as forecast !!!!