Day : Saturday
Date : 3 August 2019
Start : 1000
Finish : 1700 Leys Junction.
I have uploaded our proposed route to CanalPlanAC at https://canalplan.eu/journey/12083_O9w5Ba6H82 if anyone wants to see where we are likely to be. It gets updated with actual position each night.
Bit of a bad start to the day, we left the moorings at 10am. and went the short way to Stourton Junction where we turned right, the first lock was empty and the gates open on the second, it must be Christmas I think.
Just as we were locking up a lady came down and said they were above lock 3 but they couldn't get the gate to close, CRT were on their way. We locked up and went into lock 3 and I had a good poke around with the boat hook, could feel something stopping the gate right at the toe but couldn't hook anything. Then the CRT man arrived but only had a short rake so rang for a man in a dry suit. He soon turned up, got in the water but couldn't sort it, so I backed down the flight and they drained the pound and lock. It turned out to be the iron work from the bottom of the toe of the lock, half off so it travelled back and forth with the gate and wedged on the cill.Once it was sorted the pond refilled and we were on our way, about 12 o'clock. The next two lock were ready for us as the CRT chaps were letting water down.
Plan B maybe we should go to Stourbridge and hit the 16 in the morning, but when we arrived at the junction the bottom lock was empty and the second had the bottom gates open, so up we went as far as the Glass House where we moored up and went for a look round, we were lucky with our timing as a lady was running a glass blowing course which we watched before returning to the boat with some rather nice cake from the cafe.
Last time I was this way kids were throwing bricks from the top of a derelict warehouse, its now a posh block of flats. The basin at Dadford's Shed is full of boats, it must be a major reshuffle if one wants to go out.
We just set off when our luck changed for the better , a chap came up the flight with a windlass, first thoughts it was a boat behind but he walked straight by and set the next lock, this happened all the way to the top. It was John, who is a member of the Dudley tunnel and canal trust, He often helps boats up the flight and because of this we were at the top by 5pm. I had planned to go up the Fens Branch as I have never done it, but its blocked by a fallen tree about 100 Mt. from Leys Junction. We had just moored up at the junction when a hire boat came round the bend and headed off down the flight.
4½ Miles 20 Locks + bottom one twice in 4 hours