Friday, 7 April 2017

Ocker Hill Friday 7 April 2017

As expected we started a bit earlier than planned, Last night we were moored outside the ex working boat Atlas and we knew they were planning toDSCF7468 take her to Ocker Hill today so they could have turned up anytime after day break, as it was it was 8-30 before her engine fired up and we cast off to reverse out of the feeder arm and back onto the Titford Canal.DSCF7469

All the locks were against us down to the Oldbury Junction but the levels were good. This it the lump of wood that caused yesterdays problems now floating harmlessly behind the reed in the pound between locks 1 and 2.DSCF7470

At Oldbury Junction we turned right on the Old Main Line and were soon under the M5 motorway again, heading to Spon Lane Junction where we turned about 270° down Spon Lane Branch with 3 locks to drop us down to the New Main Line at Bromford Junction.

I have seen more Cowslips along the towpath this year than ever before.DSCF7472 As usual the junction was full of rubbish and if you stirred the bottom up at all you would think you had hit oil.DSCF7473

Now on the New Main Line we are running parallel to the Old Main Line but several feet lower, we continued on to Pudding Green Junction where we turned up the Wednesbury Old Canal as far as Ryder Green Junction. It is not advisable to try to go any further up the Wednesbury and a waterways notice warns you that it is silted and weedy.DSCF7475 Instead we carry straight ahead to Riders Green Locks on the Walsall Canal. Here we find a CRT man who tells us that a couple of the pounds have been drained overnight and with the assistance of another chap further down they are refilling them. The first 4 locks were fine and then we slowed down when we caught up to the boat in front who was waiting for the levels to rise.

We manage to run hard aground on something under the foot bridge between locks 7 and 8 and had to make several attempts to find a route through. The next problem was down under the bridge just before the last lock where there was a divan bed on edge in the canal and we wedged tight beside it. We managed to pull out backwards and between us dragged the waterlogged bed from the water giving us a clear passage to Ocker Hill and the junction with the Tame Valley Canal. We will be spending the night here before taking part in the BCNS Spring Cruise tomorrow. We were the second to arrive bu now there is quite a gathering  with some boats moored down the Tame Valley.DSCF7478

Today’s Journey map 104.4 miles, 17 locks, 6 junctions, 6 canals in 4.5 hours.

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