Monday, 29 February 2016

Perry Barr

Well we spent 2 nights at Brownhills in the end. The weather was so nice on Wednesday that we decided to stay put and explore a bit. One side of the Canal is Tesco and a row of shops. The other side is trees and green so we went for a walk endng at Clayhanger. So the next day, just about to have coffee before setting off and there is a knock on the side. It was Stuart, the guy who led the BCN cruise we did in 2013 and he recognised our Boat! Bearing in mind he and his wife Marie lead 2 cruises a year that is some memory! Spent a couple of days working along Daw End Canal and then Rushall Canal. Back to locks, 11 of them.
Empty pound. We had 2 like this!

Lock 10 on the Tame Valley Canal being helped by Dave Upton
Yesterday morning saw us turn out on to the Tame Valley Canal, turning East towards Perry Barr. A new direction for us. There's a flight of locks there called 'The New 13'! Started out OK but then further
Lock 10, gate and paddles closed this is how much the lock is leaking.

on 2 of the pounds (length of water between lock) were empty. As in just a trickle in the bottom. This meant we had to let water down through, all this took some time. Along the way a man walking by stopped to help. Taking a windlass he stayed to help us through the last 4 locks. Thankfully as this saved me a lot of too and fro. Then when we got to lock 10 it was flooded, water pouring over the top of the gate and I had to paddle to get to them! We stopped for the day after lock 11 as by then it was nearly 6!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Return to Pelsall

Sunset at Pelsall
The last time we were here was in 2013 as part of a rally. There were boats moored all along the bank and 3 deep in places, with many people to go with it! Got here about 4 yesterday. Not another boat, lots of Canadian Geese though! There was a man cycling over the grass chasing them off into the water. Needless to say soon as he went the came back! Several moorhens and coots about too. The Canal has taken us through industrial areas, intense housing and some new build estates. As well as seemingly remote rural areas.
Will be moving on later today for Brownhills. Not so picturesque, but with Tesco and a launderette we will be busy. Well for us its busy!

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Back to Wolverhampton

Unusual passenger
Having fully stocked up at Oldbury we moved on a short distance each day. Yesterday we traveled a bit further, about 8 miles. Along the way we came across a boat that had broken down. Paul being Paul had to stop and help. To give him due he did get it going, but not for long! So having pulled alongside we all had a chat. Casper is their Barn Owl. He is beautiful and very tame. Obviously bred in captivity and very health looking. They also have a European Eagle Owl, which is much bigger but not on board. Maria and Keith (hope I got names right) had picked up their boat a couple of days ago and were moving ready to start on their project of refit. They were happy to be left there as they have lots of friends and family in the area who will come and help. We wish you good luck and hope we meet again at some point.
We moored for the night in Wolverhampton, where we left about a month ago. Just for the night as today we are moving on towards Pelsall on the Wyrley and Essington Canal. Also known as The Curly Wurly. I will let you work out why. It is a contour Canal, so no locks for a while. We have been along most of it before but that was in 2013. So for this year on to waters new.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Leaving Birmingham

We ended up staying more than a week in Birmingham. A long time for us to stay in one place. Managed to catch up with several friends we hadn't seen in a while. So lots of lunch with wine. Nothing better than good food with good company. On Tuesday Barry, Leyann and Matt came to Birmingham. They are friends we made at Yelvertoft back in 2012 when Falcon was still in the marina and we were sorting out. Must be about a year since we last saw them, so good to catch up.
Next day we got the train to Leicester where Dave and Joan picked us up and took us back to their place for lunch and a lovely relaxing day catching up and having a laugh. Back in time Paul and Dave were flying buddies in Plymouth.
Thursday was a quieter day with some administration chores, filling with water etc.
Friday Miggy and Dave, who we also met first at Yelvertoft, came to Birmingham, so another lovely lunch! Think this week is diet week.
We stayed put over the weekend to be sure of TV so Paul could watch the Six Nations.
We eventually left yesterday having to break ice along the way. Currently we are moored at Oldbury very near to Sainsburys so off shopping soon. As you can see below once again we were traveling under the M5. Strange to see the original brick bridge under all  that concrete.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Enjoying Birmingham

We can see clearly now!
Arrived in Birmingham on Sunday, having made slow progress with several stops along the way. Have had some heavy rain and strong winds along the way, but think we have fared better than many. The boat was rocking a few times whilst moored which had nothing to do with us moving around! Luckily we stayed dry. We did pick up our glasses as you can see (so can we now!).
We are staying here a while and catching up with some friends over the next couple of days.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Merry Hill

Spending a couple of nights here. Not so quiet but good for retail therapy! Been to see The Danish Girl today and tomorrow we are going to see Spectre. Tomorrow's film is a Silver Saver so for £4 each we get coffee and biscuit with the film and that price includes a seat upgrade!

Merry Hill

Looks better when it's lit up!