We were getting ready to leave this morning when Terry came chugging under the bridge, he was stuck in the weed last night about a mile away. I was considering fighting my way to the junction and then turning round after hearing tails about the weed, but then I read Andy Tidy’s report of towing his butty round, if he can do it so can we.
We left at 10 am and things weren’t too bad, the worst bit was where Terry got stuck, we could see where he was by the heap of weed on the bank, we did briefly come to a standstill there but were soon away again. After that we didn’t have any problem until lock 4 where I had to call CRT as I couldn’t close the bottom gates.
One of the features of this canal is the very high bridges, this is Chimney Bridge, a foot bridge on tall brick towers.
It took us just an hour and ten minuets to reach Rushall Junction where we turned right into the Rushall Canal. I have never seen so many Water Lilies as there are along here. The flowers are mainly white ones with a yellow centre but we even saw Lemon ones and even a bright red one. There are also acres of miniature yellow ones, almost like floating buttercups. We actually met a boat between the junction and Rushall locks who warned me the foot boars were bad on lock 8, so all the locks should be with us. Some of the pounds were very low, especially between 5 and 6 where Diana had to let water down for me to get across the pound, I still had to force my way through the mud to get into lock 5.
As I went into lock 4 the boat came to a standstill with the stern in the bottom gates, I managed to creep in as the water moved in the pound below but Diana couldn’t shut the gates fully, we tried everything, feeling with the boathook it was like pushing it into a hedge and coming out with a load of weed. In the end I gave up, turned the engine off and called CRT, I gave all the details to whoever mans the help desk and he said the man I needed was driving but would call me back. By now we had 4 youngsters on the lock side asking question, this turned out to be very luck because on of the lads said there were a bunch of CRT guys working on a lock further down the flight. With this information I was off and arrived at lock 8 they were just clearing their tools up to leave, A quick chat and they agreed to see what they could do, but they only had a short rake on the truck. As I walked back up the CRT returned my call, a man would be with me in an hour, I was better than that and had 3 of them following me. Once at the boat one of them climbed down to the stern of Harnser and I pulled it back to the gate, he could just reach the cill by kneeling on our counter, After a bit of weed up came a biggish branch, followed by more weed and a bigger branch, still the gates wouldn’t shut, more poking around and up came a bike frame, the gates would now almost closed, so they filled the lock to let me out and had a word with the two guys who were already on there way what was needed. We continued on to the top lock without problem to moor for the night outside the Longwood Boat Club and yet again there is a busy road crossing the canal ahead of us. The total time for the journey was 5 hours, but we spent an hour and a half in lock 4. If it hadn’t been for chatting with the youngsters it would have been much longer.
Todays Journey 6.6 Miles, 9 locks in 3.5 hours.
Map courtesy of Waterway Routes https://www.waterwayroutes.co.uk/