Saturday, 30 January 2016

Windmill End

We last cruised this area in 2013 so it is lovely to revisit. At the moment we are moored at Windmill End which is quite rural even though it is close to Dudley and Halesowen.

We have just spent a couple of nights at Hawne Basin where the Coombeswood Trust have some good facilities at very good prices. Got all the washing done as well as pump out and diesel. Aldi not too far tho uphill all the way back!

Not taken too many pics as we have been this way before. So these are the view from windows either side.
Looking out kitchen window. Lots of snowdrops and one tiny daffodil

It looks much better than this! Good to see signs of spring.

Looking back towards the junction. Been a lot of rain overnight!

We are setting off later to Merryhill a big out of town shopping area with mooring very close. Then we will turn and head back this way.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Titford Canal

Despite the ice we made it safely to Dudley where we went to Tesco and had our eyes tested! Thankfully by the time we left it had all melted. We left there on Saturday then with an overnight stop we set off yesterday for the Titford Canal. The approach to the arm is under the M5.
Under the M5. A whole separate world down there!

Quite atmospheric under the motorway, thankfully it wasn't far and we were back in the open again and at the bottom of the 6 locks leading up to the Titford Pumping Station.
Titford Pumping Station at the top of the locks.

We stopped here at the top for coffee and lunch before heading the mile to where the Canal now ends. Again under the M5. Some large pools there and lots of water birds. Beautiful if you could take the road away!
Below is one of the bridges we went under! Today we have come back down the locks. Can't go too far as at some point we have to collect our glasses.

This must be where rice comes from!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Moored in Wolverhampton

Frozen Canal at Wolverhampton
Well Sunday morning saw us leave Compton and start up the Old Main Line. 21 locks up to Wolverhampton. Starting at lock 21 with lock 1 being at the top. We were doing well until we got to lock 16 when a guy walking by said two of the pounds (stretch of water between the locks) further up had no water in them. So we rang Canal & River Trust. We had coffee and then a late lunch. Not hearing anything back from CRT we decided to stay put for the night else we would have been cruising in the dark. The next morning we set off again, a couple of the pounds were very low but gradually we were making progress, there was a CRT guy out checking the water levels. He opened a couple of gates for us which was handy. All was well until lock 10 and we couldn't open the gate. So another phone call brought the guy to help us and he removed a shopping trolley from behind the gate! Whilst we have seen several on our travels this is the first to stop us! Well we finally Made it to the top. The mooring here is good, despite being adjacent the ring road and near the station! Not exactly quiet but we have had no problems. Very close to town!
Hoping to head out later towards Dudley. The ice should be softer now! Also a fuel boat went by so that will have broken the ice up for us.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Fame at last!

Tis our Falcon!
We have been making our way southward gradually retracing our steps. We have found a mooring we like which we call Morrisons. You can probably guess why! Yes that's right it's close to a large supermarket! There is also a PO and a few other shops there, so very handy. We left there yesterday heading for Compton, which is where we are now. Sat in the launderette. Which should be lovely and warm but the door doesn't shut properly! This morning Paul was catching up on some reading and found this article in November's issue of Towpath, a free Canal paper. We never have got round to changing Coomes to Thomas, but it's definitely us!
Tomorrow we plan to head up the locks to Wolverhampton, all 21 of them. Think we have to make one go at it as there doesn't seem to be mooring in between. So an early start!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Another week, same Canal.

We are still retracing our steps! Have past the point where we picked Richard up, that seems so long ago now. Well it was last year!.
Loading coal at Midland Chandlers Penkridge
This was Saturday, just before mooring for the night. At Braunston Midland have their own jetty, but here in Penkridge they are adjacent to the lock. So we moored below the lock and Paul walked up to see how much he could spend! So when we got to the lock it was already to go. No other boats moving so don't know why we were bothered! Sunday we stayed put so Paul could repair the chimney where it meets the fire. He had bought a new collar in Midland. This meant we had to let the fire out. Thankfully it was quite a sunny day for us so not too cold. We were able to light the fire again for the evening. Today we have cruised through Penkridge making our way up towards Wolverhampton.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Back on boardThat

That's the field beyond the towpath. Canal is the other side
Well after a lovely if hectic couple of weeks over Christmas and New Year visiting family and friends we are now back on board. Sorry if we didn't get to see you but it was very busy. We drove back to the marina yesterday. Today has been busy returning the car and catching up with the washing! Thankfully all was well on board, despite heavy rain and gales whilst we were away. We left the marina about 3, cruising just a mile to Tixall Wide. The water you can see is usually a green field. Much better here though than further north. For the moment we are heading back the way we came. So until next time, bye for now.