Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The Big One (16-6)

Tuesday 31st of July 2012

Black Country Museum to Autherley Junction.

The weather overnight was continuous rain and so this morning when we spotted a break in the weather - we decided to go for it and head for the Wolverhampton flight. Which is just a small climb down 21 locks. From Tipton almost all the way to the Wolverhampton locks the canal is quite shallow in places and weed growth is becoming a problem.

We were following a hire boat down the first couple of locks on the flight. However we had to have a word and ask them not to lock up the locks every time. We started to hang back to let them push ahead. This was to our advantage as other boats were coming up and so we were able to arrive with one or two locks set for us.

We came across a lock that was set for us, however there had been no corresponding boat on its way up the flight. Four youths aged about 14 to 16 were sat on the lockside. Taking a punt I said it was good of them to set up the lock for us. They were looking a bit sheepish as we left!  I think they had obtained a windlass from somewhere. Maybe like us they add to their collection of handcuff keys and windless by fishing with a magnet!

At the half way point a boat behind us sent down one of their spare crew members to give us a helping hand. He was aged about 11 and was a wizard on the windlass. The Memsahib was quite taken with him and built up a good working arrangement, with his help we soon increased our speed down the flight. At the bottom lock a few pound coins changed hands.

As we turned onto the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal it was noticeable how clear the water was. It also let us know how shallow the canal was in places. Soon we arrived at Autherley Junction stop lock where the Shropshire Union Canal meets the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. Now we are onto my favourite canal on the inland waterways system.

Wildlife highlight was a Kite being mobbed by a couple of Black Headed Gulls.

This Months Solar Panel Data
Average 27.3 Ah per day  High 51Ah Low 03Ah

Daily Total
Miles: 8.8
Locks: 22
Swing/Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 2
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 6.4
Diesel: 0

Accumulated Totals
Miles: 1012.1
Locks: 747
Swing / Lift Bridges: 119
Tunnels. 18
Pump Outs: 12
Engine Hours: 2300.1


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