Thursday, 18 October 2018

Dudley, Black Country Museum

Here I am  Rune
Distance  6.2 miles
Total 3450 Locks  195 Tunnels
Running total mileage 5017.0 miles

After overnighting at Engine Arm, we’ve moved around to the Black Country Museum Moorings at Dudley for tonight. A reasonably pleasant trip although I do bore easily when stuck travelling under the M5 for about a mile and a half, not the most scenic part of the system. We didn’t get off to a good start either since almost immediately as we moved off from the Engine Arm Visitor Mooring we gathered up a plastic coal sack around the propeller that required a dive down the weed hatch to remove. Interestingly one of the long term moorers there had said yesterday that someone else had set off from the moorings and run into the wall of a building adjacent to the canal as he’d got something around his prop when moving off as well. Fortunately we didn’t hit anything it was just the buggeration factor of it.

Tomorrow we’ll be back off through Netherton Tunnel to Hawne Basin, apparently we need to go before Saturday since CRT are closing the tunnel between 10am and 1pm for some canoe event. Interestingly I was reading a short history of the tunnel and apparently at one time it was lit by gaslamps, I wonder who thought that was a good idea. Despite the fact that gaslight doesn’t really put out that much light (I can speak from immediate experience since there is a gaslight outside of the Black Country Museum that we can see from where we are moored) but a gas leak inside a tunnel doesn’t really bear thinking about!

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Smethwick, Engine Arm

Here I am Rune
Distance  3.3 miles
Total 3450 Locks  194 Tunnels
Running total mileage 5010.8 miles

Since we managed to get onto the 14 day moorings in Birmingham City Centre, we decided to make use of them and have remained on the mooring for about a week making a few visits into the city centre whilst there. It shows the beauty of the narrow boat since a week in a hotel in the City centre would probably set you back somewhere of the order of £500 for two in a budget hotel, Premier Inn, Travelodge, etc whereas our week in the city centre has cost us nothing.

We have now moved on to Engine Arm at Smethwick to take advantage of their washing machine to get a decent hot wash and tumble dry on our towels which are better washed at a higher temperature than the 30 degrees we use on the washing machine on the boat. We could increase the wash temperature but it depletes the batteries so if we can do a hot wash ashore, we will do.

We’ll only be here until tomorrow and then we’ll potter along the Old Main line either to the Black Country Museum moorings if any are free or on a bit further to Tipton. We’ll be heading back to Hawne Basin on Friday.  

Monday, 8 October 2018


Here I am Rune
Distance  11.8 miles
Total 3447 Locks  194 Tunnels
Running total mileage 5007.5 miles
After nearly 3 weeks on our mooring, we are back out on the move again, back into the centre of Birmingham again. A fairly straightforward trip with probably the easiest passage through Gosty Tunnel that we’ve ever had, just a few leaves around the prop as we entered the tunnel and that was it. Slightly more concerning was when we came to moor up in Birmingham when something wrapped itself around the prop as I tried to stop at the mooring. I then had no propulsion either forward or reverse and therefore no steerage either. Fortunately I had slowed down beforehand but we still drifted across the canal and hit a moored boat (gently) as I had no control over the boat. When I went down the weedhatch whatever had caused the problem had dropped off (so will be a problem for someone else) as all I recovered from the prop was a trivial amount of weed and plastic, nothing to account for the complete loss of drive.

Not sure how long we’ll be remaining here, we haven’t got onto the 14 day moorings so we may need to move.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018


Here I am Rune
Distance  11.8 miles
Total 3447 Locks  191 Tunnels
Running total mileage 4995.7 miles

After mooring in central Birmingham for 6 nights, we’ve moved on today to get to our mooring in Halesowen before the bad weather forecast for Thursday moves in. Having said that we were pestered with pretty strong winds throughout the trip from Birmingham City Centre out here to Halesowen to the degree that I actually looked forward to getting into Gosty Tunnel to get out of the wind for a short while.

The intention now is to be on our mooring until sometime the beginning of next month, so not many updates until October.