Thursday, 9 November 2017

More than a week later

We finally made Birmingham on Monday of last week, then after just one night there we moved on towards Oldbury.
Lovely rainbow at the rally
On Wednesday we went up the 6 locks there on our way to Titford Pumphouse. We have come here for the weekend to attend the end of season rally of the Birmingham Canal Navigation Society (BCNS).
We arrived on Wednesday so we could help setting up on Thursday. So Thursday saw us helping to put up a marquee.
A couple of people there we knew but a steep learning curve trying to remember everyone's names.
We did have some rain and hail on Saturday resulting in this lovely rainbow. Falcon is the second boat.
Moored just before Gosty Tunnel
There was a blues band on Saturday night and Paul spent some time serving at the bar.
By the time we were out and about on Sunday the marquee was already down. Our timing was good!
Several boats were leaving, but as we were staying until Monday we took windlasses and helped out at the 6 locks. 
When we arrived on Wednesday all the locks were ready and open so we made good progress so it's seemed only fair to return the 'compliment'.
We are 5th boat to the right of the bridge
On Monday Anne came to see us so when it was our turn to come down the locks having one extra pair of hands made it quicker.

At the moment we are in Hawne Basin. Spending 2 nights here before moving on a short distance to Withymoor Island where Falcon will stay whilst we go on holiday.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Passing the end of the Stratford Canal
After an overnight stop at Alvechurch we pulled into Hopwood on Thursday with the intention of a quick coffee stop. However when we popped to the nearby garage for milk we saw the Hopwood House Inn did 2 steaks and a bottle of wine on a Thursday for £22. So we decided it was too good to pass by. So Friday saw us through Wast Hill Tunnel mooring at Kings Norton.

Passed this group of fungi this morning
Yesterday we got the bus to Cotteridge to use the launderette we have used before. Unlike Paul I still have to pay bus fare, so when it cost £3 for a day rider we decided to get our money worth. So after a trip back on board for lunch we were back on the bus to Northfield.  As it's further from the canal we had not been there before. More shops than we expected. We managed to buy a few bits!
Busy working
Today with the clocks changing we were awake early so setting off just after 9! Arriving at Bournville and managing to get a mooring on the offside visitor moorings Paul has taken advantage to paint one side of the hull.  Always something to do 😎

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Top of Tardebigge

What it is all about!
Had some terrible rain on Thursday so the only place we went that day was to the pub. The Boat and Railway at Stoke Works. We have been gradually working our way up the Worcester and Birmingham Canal towards Tardebigge. On the whole the locks come in convenient groups of about six at a time. This has made nice division for daily trips. However as you can see from the panel left the flight at Tardebigge is 30 locks. 29 having to be worked in one go! We arrived at the bottom of the flight on Saturday and
Tardebigge Wharf
waited until later when our friends Anne and Chris, who live in Redditch to come and pick us up. They had invited us to their house for a meal and to watch Strictly. Then to spend the night. A lovely time was had by all. On Sunday they brought us back to Falcon, then parked at the top of the lock flight and came and helped us with all the locks. So after 3 hours, including a coffee
Tardebigge Tunnel, through there tomorrow.
stop we arrived at the top. Having 3 of us working the locks made it a MUCH easier trip. Thank you both very much.
Yesterday was a very different day. Paul's brother's Blake had been in Birmingham for the weekend, so we got the train from Bromsgrove and were able to meet up with him before he got the coach back to Plymouth. The last couple of visits we have made to Plymouth have been very brief and we haven't seen him, so it was good to catch up. Today we are having a lazy day. Tomorrow we have one more lock before the tunnel. We will then be at the summit and on the level all the way to Birmingham.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Moored by Hanbury

 After a lovely weekend with Lorraine and family we are back on board. Moving on from Tibberton we stopped at Dunhampstead last night. Luckily we seemed to miss storm Ophelia. It was very windy and we saw the red sun.
Today we have traveled a bit further, passing the
junction with the Droitwich Canal.  Lovely quiet mooring. Can just about see the lock ahead. The first of 6 we will be working through tomorrow.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Out of Worcester

Having travelled a few miles away from Worcester, on Saturday we decided we would turn and head back there for the weekend.

Leaving Worcester for the second time
Unfortunately not all went according to plan. When Paul went to start the engine nothing happened. So we called out River Canal Rescue for only the second time in 5+ years. It did take him 2 hours to arrive as the engineer came from near Banbury! He discovered that our starter battery was past its use by date! He did get us going, and after reversing about quarter of a mile back along the canal and backwards down a lock we were able to turn and continue on into Worcester.
Once there we met up with 
Offerton Flight of Locks
friends Anne and Chris. Chris works for a motor factor company and had got us a replacement battery at cost price 😀 Then he helped Paul to fit it. There was a bit of a panic when Paul said the battery had fallen in the canal. Anne and I thought that wasn't the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of it, only to find it was the new one that had gone in! Once again thanks to Chris who laid on the towpath and managed to grab the handles at the top of the battery and lift it out. Amazingly after a wipe off it worked!
Since then we have worked our way northwards and are now moored at Tibberton. Though at the moment we are in Marlow spending the weekend with Lorraine and family.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Into Worcester

Arriving at Gloucester Docks on Wednesday we stayed there a couple of nights before moving on to the River Severn and a longish trip to Upton on Severn on Thursday, a week ago now.  On the way we passed 4 barges which are used to transport gravel along the river. All named after fish. Perch, Chub, Pike and Elver.
Perch following us up the River
After spending just one night at Upton we moved on in the morning. We had seen the barges passing us during the morning. On their return down river we noticed how much lower in the water they were sitting. The water almost seeming to come over the sides. As we moved on Perch came up behind us! Unladen it seemed huge.
We were hoping to see her docking but we were too far ahead.
5 days after coming off the river we passed this
We spent a final night on the river on the rising pontoon just before the locks at Worcester. Spent a couple days looking round, shopping etc. We are now on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, which as you may guess will eventually take us into Birmingham.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Sharpness at the Weekend

Left Paul making the coffee
Alison and Gill arrived safely on Friday. On Saturday after a damp start to the morning it soon cleared away and we had a lovely cruise to Sharpness. Behind us is the tower which used to house the steam engine that turned the turntable for the railway bridge which used to cross from England into Wales.
Old lock keepers cottage at Sharpness
Paul made coffee while we girls had a short walk. Then we all went for a walk around the headland. After lunch in the Dockers Club, went on to look at the new lock which is the one now in use to enable boats to pass from the River Severn onto the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.
Paul on the stern with another Gill
Time then to head back to Shepherd's Patch. Gill stood at the stern with Paul.
Sunday was a quieter day. The 4 of us just having a stroll along the towpath as they were heading back in the afternoon.

Since then we have made our way back towards Gloucester. This picture was taken on the veranda outside Sainsburys.
If you can make it out we are the fourth boat.
Just a short cruise tomorrow will bring us back to Gloucester Docks.