Thursday, 30 March 2017

Saltersford (Warwick)

Here I am Rune
Distance 2.6 miles
Total 2452 Locks  118 Tunnels
Running total mileage 3430.9miles

After a reasonable workout today coming down the Hatton Flight I have one or two aches and pains here and there. For some reason I just couldn’t get properly into a rhythm for the first 8 or so locks. The rhythm was thrown a bit by getting a plastic coal bag around the propeller somewhere about lock 43 or 44 which I couldn’t shift with the usual forward and reverse drives so in lock 41 everything came to a halt while I got down the weed hatch to remove it. After that things started to get better although the weather wasn’t helping with a number of short showers but it all seemed to calm down after about lock 40 and it was soon after that we got into the rhythm of doing it. The total time to come down was about 3 hours and 20 minutes which is reasonable since we were travelling alone having signally failed to team up with any other boat coming down (passed a few going up though!).

I think we will be at our current mooring for a few days recuperation now.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017


Here I am Rune
Distance 4.7 miles
Total 2431 Locks  118 Tunnels
Running total mileage 3428.3miles

At last the weather is starting to warm up a little bit, today’s trip from Kingswood Junction to the top of Hatton Locks was in conditions that start to feel more like spring. Made it a fairly relaxed day today with the expectation of a bit more work to do tomorrow (like 21 locks). Still not a lot moving on the canal at the moment, I think we passed two boats on the move today and another couple came up through the locks after we had moored up. With only a couple of weeks or so until Easter I would have expected to see more boats coming out of the marinas.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Kingswood Junction

Here I am Rune
Distance 2.1 miles
Total 2431 Locks  117 Tunnels
Running total mileage 3423.6 miles 

Not a lot of distance today but quite a lot of work, 19 locks to be precise. Sadly, being narrow locks, it isn’t possible to team up with another boat to work them, it’s a shame because there was another boat in front of us making passage through the locks and they seemed pretty competent. They are in a bit more of a rush than us though since they wanted to do the Lapworth Flight and start on the Hatton flight today whereas we were happy to complete the Lapworth flight leaving Hatton for another day.

Not sure yet what the plan will be, whether we travel only as far as the top of the Hatton tomorrow and go down on Thursday or carry on and do the whole lot, all rather depends on what the weather forecast is over the next couple of days.

Monday, 27 March 2017


Here I am Rune
Distance 3.6 miles
Total 2412 Locks  117 Tunnels
Running total mileage 3421.5 miles 

A gentle cruise today, since I can’t be bothered with going down the Lapworth flight until tomorrow. The weather yesterday was positively spring-like, back to winter today with an icy breeze. On the plus side at least there was no rain. 

The next couple of days will be something of a work-out with 19 locks in the Lapworth flight and another 21 in the Hatton flight, so 40 locks to look forward to before we get to Warwick.

Saturday, 25 March 2017


Here I am Rune
Distance 12.4 miles
Total 2412 Locks  117 Tunnels
Running total mileage 3417.9 miles 

Today’s trip was, for us, quite substantial although involved no real lock work. Technically we passed through one lock, the stop lock at the start of the Stratford Canal, but that lock is permanently open. It is also a bit of a curiosity since it is one of the few guillotine locks in the area, not sure why they made it different to all the others. Sadly, as a passing shot on leaving Birmingham, we again had a rock thrown at us as we passed through Selly Oak. On this front Birmingham has been a bit of a disappointment since we had none of this nonsense 2 years ago when we were here, doesn’t relect well on the city.
The guillotine stop lock

Included in today’s list was 3 tunnels but only one of which I would regard as a ‘proper’ tunned. Broad Street tunnel is just a long bridge, Edgebaston Tunnel is a slightly longer bridge, it is only Brandwood Tunnel that merits the name, and that is only 352 yards long.
Brandwood tunnel

After 3 weeks in and around the city, it is nice to be moored back out into open countryside again.I think we will probably stay here at Earlswood tomorrow then head on towards the Lapworth and Hatton flight of locks on Monday.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Birmingham City Centre

Here I am Rune
Distance 4 miles
Total 2411 Locks  114 Tunnels
Running total mileage 3404.9 miles 

Since the weather forecast for Monday was rubbish, we remained at Merry Hill until today (Tuesday) and then enjoyed a pleasant, although still very cold, trip from there to Birmingham city centre. Again there were few boats on the move, although interestingly two of the four that we met, were in Netherton Tunnel. Not that it is much of a problem passing in the tunnel as there is plenty of space provided that you move to the right part of the canal. The emphasis on the last bit was because the second boat that we met in the tunnel left it until the very last moment before moving across to the left side of the tunnel so that we could pass left side to left side, as per navigation instructions. My thinking as we approached one another in the tunnel went from,”’s OK he’ll move over in a minute…”, through,”…I hope he is going to move over soon…”, to “….for god’s sake will you move over….”. I had to put the boat into neutral and come to an almost stop, partly because I thought that maybe he had a problem with his boat, engine failure, something around the prop or was having to bow haul it from the towpath.  Turns out that there was no noticeable problem other than he just wanted to be on my side of the canal.
Approaching Netherton Tunnel

Not sure how long we will be in the city centre but given the forecast for more rain tomorrow, we won’t be going anywhere until that has passed.