Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Fradley Wednesday 16 July 2014

Last night moorings proved to be better than expected. I was expecting an early call with the flights taking off from East Midlands going overhead, but the wind changed during the night and they came nowhere near us. Last night they had been climbing right overhead.

Two boats went passed a little after nine so we set off at our normal 10 am. Before we left I jammed the contacts of the tunnel light relay so we had a light for Curdworth tunnel, but its so short I need not have bothered.

We passed The Kingsley where we have moored in the past, thisDSCF6221 has not only been vandalised but it looks as if they are building  bedrooms along side it, so next time we are this way it may beDSCF6222 open, that would be a first for us.

We were soon into Curdworth Tunnel, all 57 yards of it, It may be short but it can catch you out with several bulges in the off side wall. The roof is one mass of cobwebs but I didn’t see any spiders drop onto the boat.DSCF6225

As we approached Curdworth top lock we could see a boat just leaving the lock so we eased down, no point in chasing them down, but they were quite slow, even though the lock wheeler was using a bike to travel between locks. Even not setting ahead we were catching them up.

Some of the offside vegetation is really intruding into the navigation channel, I could have got round this on Harnser as we are only 57 ft. but if we were a full length boat going into the lockDSCF6229 this would be the steerer’s view. My bow is just against the top gate.

At lock 4 I spotted this tree growing on the offside well back from the lock on the field boundary, I wonder if her ashes are under the roots.DSCF6233 

We carried on down to the bottom of the flight, stopping for water just below lock 9 and as the locks were now further apart we didn’t see the boat in front any more.
Last time we were this way below the lock they were building a long flood defence wall in concrete and then cladding it with brick. The work now looks to be complete, this is to protect the canal from flood waters originating in the new Kingsbury Water Park that has been created in the old gravel pits and is fed by the River Tame

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A bit further along this stretch of canal BW in their wisdom spent a lot of money attaching sausages made from wire netting filled with sticks, coir and other stuff to the piled edge of the canal to make it more like a river bank with plants growing out of it. It was a complete failure as can be seen these ones still in place.DSCF6238 I wonder how many are, or will be rolling round the bed of the canal waiting to entwine a propeller at some time in the future. It was here that we met our first boat of the day and we had been travelling for 4 hours. We did meet three more boats after that before the Fazeley Junction.DSCF6240

We called in at Fazeley Mill marina and filled with diesel at 79p/lt which I didn’t think was too bad.

Work is ongoing again on the buildings at Fazeley Junction, they seem to stop and start on a regular basis, may be they will get finished this time.DSCF6245 We are still on the Birmingham and Fazeley canal but in places its the Coventry canal, it was all due to a funding issue 200 years ago when they were building it, so today’s problems are nothing new.

As we made our way north we met two young ladies on horseback, I wonder if they know they are not supposed to take horses on the towing path, ironic really as that is what they were built for.DSCF6247 We wanted to get well on as we need to spend a bit of time in the marina office at King’s Bromley tomorrow so we made it bit of a late one, around 6 pm it started to rain, we had already decided not to go as far as Fradley Junction as that tends to be crowded and we probably wouldn’t be able to find a spot where we could reach the bank at this time of day, so we pulled over just before Bridge 90, about a mile from the junction at 1845hrs. After mooring the rain got a bit heavier followed by bright sun and a rainbow.DSCF6249

Today’s Journey 17 miles, 11 lock, 1 Tunnel and 1 Junction.map Fradeley

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