|First lock of the day - Rushall top.|
|Odin and Max run ahead of the boat.|
|Believe it or not, it's the tow-path side we are aground on!|
|The Rushall flight us quite attractive - when not firmly aground!|
The rest of Rushall was something of a relief after that, although we encountered a low pound or two. Fortunately, going down, it was less of a problem than going up, as we were taking the water down with us.
|Tame Valley canal - novel attempt to secure rock cutting.|
|Tame Valley canal - much is deep cuttings or massive embankments,|
|Looking down the "thick" of Perry Bar locks (known as the "new thirteen").|
|It's usually Odin that turns up this wet - this is Max.|
The further we got down the flight, the more water there seemed to be - our CRT man must have pulled out all the stops, although we couldn't see how the water was getting down the flight. Pounds began to overflow, and the lock areas were decidedly soggy - I had to wade through wide puddles around the locks to go to work the gates and paddles. Passing cyclists and walkers began to comment on never having seen the pounds so full.
|Charming young helpers|
Finally, we were at the bottom of Perry Bar. Two hours to sunset - could we make it to Curdworth six miles and three locks distant (the Internet said this would take three hours) - what if we hit any more problems? So, we decided to take the sensible option - to stop at Star City Moorings - despite the fact that we had heard about some recent problems with them. These are a short distance down a branch from the Birmingham and Fazely canal that we were on. The problem with them is that we need to go back in the same direction in the morning so, either you have to travel several hundred metres of the canal in reverse, or you have to carry on for several miles to find somewhere to wind. We decided to reverse.
Big, big mistake.
|And everybody else has been complaining about too little water at Perry Bar.|
I cooked dinner, Alan delved under the back end of the boat with the boat hook to remove some of the rubbish - although I think that he has more to remove in the morning. The only other moorer at Star City came to talk to him - perhaps impressed by having seen the antics with the sledgehammer - and asked if we didn't have a weed hatch. I know that some old boats have been fitted with a weed hatch, but Flamingo isn't one of them - the only ways to get the rubbish off the prop, is to delve under the back end with a boat hook, or, if things get really bad - to get in the water and hack at the rubbish with a knife.
Rushall Top Lock To Star City Birmingham
Miles: 8.1, Locks: 22
Total Trip Miles: 99.6, Locks: 117