Saturday, 18 August 2018

New Territory For Us With Flamingo

(Now with just Flamingo- posted by Alan)

From our overnight mooring we were quickly arrived at Fazeley Junction, where we joined the Birnungham and Fazeley Canal.  The choices there are left to Birmingham, or right to Fradley Junction to join the Trent and Mersey canal - we took the latter option.

The passage from Fazeley Junction to Fradley Junction is about 11 lock free miles, but unusual because it is historically 2 canals.  From Fazeley Junction you are initially on the Birmingham, and Fazeley, and typical features of Birmingham canals take over for a while.  For example all the bridges are named rather than numbered.  However about half way between the junctions at a nondescript point in Whittington, history has dictated that it ceases to be the Birmingham and Fazeley, and becomes again a detached part of the Coventry Canal.  It remains so up until Fradley junction, with the bridges reverting to carrying number and not names.

This 11 miles went very well, despite being shallow in parts, and we made good time considering conditions and the large amount of other traffic.

Our plan was to turn right at Fradley Junction, on to part of the Trent and Mersey that circumstances have meant we have not been on in about 10 years.  It was just before the turn that I discovered I was completely unable to light our Morco instantaneous water heater - our only source on Flamingo for hot water in the summer, other than boiling a kettle.  Even with the cover off and everything exposed it simply would not light, at which point we got a sinking feeling about having to spend up to two weeks more on board with no running hot water.

Should we turn around, and make a run back to Alvecote, where at least we might be able to attach to a 230 volt mains supply?  The next opportunity to turn around would not be for quite a few locks and several miles - a fair amount of boating.  We decided to turn right on to the T&M anyway, but quickly pulled over to assess the situation further.  Dismantling some of the gas supply to the water heater proved gas was available at the inlet, so why would it not light?

Well eventually it did, but we have no idea why it didn't before, (or indeed whether it will again tomorrow!)  It's rather worrying but we both grabbed a hot shower whilst we knew it was working.

Moving off again we quickly realised that after Alrewas the canal closely parallels the A38 for quite a few miles, and we had no desire to spend a night next to it.  So we have moored at a quiet spot some half a mile before Alrewas, and will save the joys of the A38 until tomorrow.

We walked the dogs onto Alrewas, and enjoyed a couple of pints each, and a very acceptable meal at the Crown Inn.  The dogs could have gone inside, but we chose to sit in the garden on what was a very pleasant evening.

Shortly I will turn the Morco water heater off overnight - watch this space to see if I can relight it tomorrow!

Tame Aqueduct (Coventry Canal) to near Alrewas (Trent & Mersey Canal)
Miles 13.1, Locks:4
Total Miles both boats: 119.3,  Total Locks both boats: 47

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