Last night was quite productive, I won a bottle of wine in the raffle at the BCNS meeting. The moorings were very quiet overnight, but this morning the recycling yard opposite made up for it, O and no one came along to use the water point we were moored on. It rained hard over night but was only a slight drizzle when we set off this morning.
Just as we were about to go Charlie Johnson the BCNS Chairman arrived on site and kindly went down opening all the top gates for us to help us on our way, he also came back with the news that the bottom pound wasn't low, it was empty, but we would be putting 5 lock full's of water down ahead of us to top it up. To make sure he kindly let some moor water down from the top behind us. He was right we did need that extra bit at the bottom. As we left the bottom lock it stunk of oil and diesel and there was a good covering on the surface.
Back onto the Old Main Line we turned right and back under the M5, over the New Main Line as far as Spon Junction. Here a boat was just coming up the Spon Locks which are almost parallel to the Old Main Line where we wanted to go down, so I held well back until he was gone before the 160° turn to take us down the three Spon Locks, this would take us down to the New Main Line joining at Bromford Junction. (Marked in yellow on the Waterway Routes Map) The junction gives quite a good view of the Chance Glass Works that is being restored at the moment.
Once on the New main Line we headed north as far as Dudley Port Junction where we turned left onto the Netherton Tunnel Branch which passes under the Old Main Line, we crossed that yesterday and the day before, before entering Netherton Tunnel or Dudley No.2 tunnel as its also known as. The tunnel is quite large with a tow path each side, I didn't even bother lowering the exhaust pipe. At one time this tunnel had electric lighting, powered from a local turbo generator driven from water flowing down from the Old Main Line to the New. The tunnel is 3035 Yards long and a little bit drippy in places, I got a nice shot of cold water right down my back. You can see the water splashes on the roof.
Once clear of the tunnel we were at Windmill End where the boat rally is being held, it was a bit congested with boats moored both sides and others trying to get into their allotted spots. We were hailed by one of the steward, Nick Wolfe who asked if we were attending or just passing through. We told him we were attending but not booked in so he allocated us a spot just down the Dudley No.2 canal which was sharp left at the junction and third mooring spot on the right.