Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Explorer Cruise - Day 4

6.5 miles - 9 locks
The estimated journey time for today's itinerary was 2-3 hours.  It took us 4.6 hours. The problems started at lock 4  of the Rushall flight.
Brenda & Brian with She who Must Be Obeyed
We started well with Brenda & Brian from Longwood operating the first lock and Stuart and Marie on the second one but the bottom gates of lock 4 would not open fully due to debris behind one gate.  Thisle Dhu - an aluminium boat with a rubber strake- could not get out of the lock and it had to be refilled for the boat to be reversed out at the top.  BW did come to their rescue later  but a number of boats were delayed. 
Descending Rushall Locks

As we were waiting I switched on the radio in the middle of The World at One on Radio 4 and thought we had made the national news.  Martha Carney was talking about hundreds of boaters waiting for hours in long queues. She went on to discuss the election in Egypt and I realised that she had said voters.

Part of our haul from the Tame Valley Canal
 The Rushall and Tame Valley canals are not the most picturesque in Birmingham and were very slow going due to the quantity and sze of debris in the canal.  We picked up a very handsome leather jacket along with a dustbin and various less interesting items. Thistle Dhu won the prize today for collecting a trampoline on its skeg which disabled it and Kershez towed it to the moorings.

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